These past six months since my separation and pending divorce from my husband of 19 years have been a great time of self exploration. The past three years, I have been in a dark place and suffering from depression. Since my separation and moving out on my own, I have spent a lot of time focusing on myself and am currently happier than I have been in years. I have been focusing on my own self love journey. I have rediscovered parts of myself that I lost over the past few years in a chaotic relationship. I have reconnected to paths that have been a huge part of my wellbeing and I am falling in love with myself again.
JOY as Part of Your Self Love Journey
When I started to walk the path on my self love journey two things happened right away. One, I quickly realized that self love isn’t a destination. It is the whole journey. And the other one was that the word “JOY” kept popping up time and time again. Why JOY? It wasn’t a word that I had ever really paid much attention to or even used on a regular basis. JOY was a major theme in a book that was recommended to me and I started reading. It came up in sermons at church. Podcasts that I started listening to talked about JOY. I even went on an interview to a studio to teach Yoga and Spin, the studio was decorated for the holidays and there was one word in the lobby made from 3 foot high, glittery letters. You guessed it…JOY!
JOY vs Happiness
Happiness is something I always strived for in my life. Happiness with friends and family. Happiness at work and at my job. Happiness in my marriage. Then it hit me, JOY is what I should have been seeking this whole time. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, and I am always tuned into signs that I receive. I took seeing and hearing the word JOY over and over again as a sign from God, and my angels and guides. So, I started to read more about JOY and research the difference between happiness and JOY. Is there even a difference?
Yes, there is. Happiness is fleeting, while JOY is eternal. Happiness often comes from an external source, such as a fun moment with friends, a great cup of coffee, visiting a new place, or even just a simple moment in time. However, JOY is a feeling that lingers, never fades, and comes from within us. JOY is something that doesn’t just happen, as Happiness does, but is something that we continually have to cultivate. JOY comes when we begin to love and accept ourselves for who we are and how we show up in the world for ourselves and others.
What is JOY?
I believe that JOY is not something we do for ourselves but something that we must share with others. JOY is selfless. I believe that part of obtaining JOY is to live in service to others and put others first. I also believe that JOY endures even in hardships and challenging situations like the current global pandemic with COVID 19.
JOY happens when we finally come to a place of inner contentment, satisfaction, acceptance, and gratitude. JOY helps to heal wounds, inspires us to help others, and fills our souls. I think self love and JOY go hand in hand. Each is a huge part of the other as you walk the path on your journey. Cultivating JOY will help you to love yourself and accept yourself more. Being more accepting and loving of yourself will help you to create more JOY in your life.
It’s funny too because I talked about JOY a few times in the past few podcast episodes without even realizing that I was focused on it. So it has been in the back of my mind for awhile recently as well as being put in front of me by the universe. So how do we cultivate JOY and live a more joyful life? Cultivating JOY is an ongoing process that takes time, but here are a few tips on how to find JOY in your everyday life
13 Tips to Find JOY in Your Everyday Life
Be present in every moment and look for the lesson in that moment. What is meaningful about the present moment, what can you learn from it, and where is there an opportunity for growth. This can also help you heal from the pain of your past.
Attitude of Gratitude
I bring this one up a lot, because it works. Take time to appreciate even the small things you already have in your life. Instead of trying to obtain the next big thing that you think will bring about happiness, focus on what you already have to cultivate JOY. What do you have in your life to be grateful for that can you bring you JOY right now?
Your Passion is Your Purpose
Take time each day to focus on something you are truly passionate about, such as a hobby, reading an uplifting book, etc. This can help you to understand why you are here and to find purpose and meaning in your life, leading to JOY.
Be a Goal Digger
Set and achieve goals for yourself, even small ones. Find a goal that takes you out of your comfort zone and puts you in a space to be challenged, learn, and experience growth. Nothing is more rewarding than crushing a goal you’ve set for yourself.
Live As Your Most Authentic Self
Is there any other way to be? Ask yourself if you are living to please others or are you living as your most authentic self. Are you living the live you want to without worry about what others think?
The simple act of getting outside can spark JOY instantly. Taking a walk in nature is a mood lifter than can help to relives stress, tension, and anxiety.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
When we are around happy and positive people, we tend to be happier and more positive ourselves. If we are around people who are pessimists and always complaining, this can sour our mood. Seek out and develop deeper relationships with positive people.
Make a JOY List
I mentioned this in my podcast episode on developing a gratitude practice. Make a list of all the things that bring you joy such as watching your favorite comedy, having a good laugh with a friend, or enjoying a delicious meal. This can be simple activities or larger, grand scheme events. But whatever sparks JOY in you, add it to the list. When you need a moment to experience JOY, go to your list and do one thing off of the list.
This is another one I bring up a lot because it is so important. Find a joyful way to move your body. Whatever that is for you! If you don’t like running, you are not going to find JOY by going out for a run. Find a fun way to move your body on the daily. Dance in your living room, do yoga, play on the playground with your kids, pick up the hoola hoop, etc. Movement is an instant mood lifter.
Learn to Let Go
Let go of anything that is not serving your best self or that causes stress. This can be toxic relationships, bad habits, or even your career. Let these go and get ready to embrace new adventures in your life.
We’ve all heard the phrase “comparison is the thief of joy”. It can be hard to feel joyful when we compare our own lives to what we see on social media. The truth is that most of what we see is not even real, or just a small pieces of what someone’s life is really like. Take time to unplug from social media and the news. This can help you to be more present and productive in your own life.
Be of Service to Others
It is better to give than to receive. Doing something good for others can bring about a sense of peace and JOY in your life. Random acts of kindness can lead to improved mental and emotional states as well as overall wellbeing. Pay for someone’s coffee, donate to a local charity, or take some time to volunteer.
Add a Pop of Color
Add more of your favorite color to your home environment. We all know I love the color pink. I have some small pink elements and décor scattered throughout my home. It helps me feel calm, balanced, uplifted, and more joyful when I see these items. Certain colors can invoke a more positive and joyful mood, so find one that works well for you and add it into your home décor.
Practice one or all of these tips on a daily basis to add more JOY to your everyday life. Let me know your favorite JOY inducing tip in the comments! Don’t’ forget go check out The Nourished Soul podcast on iTunes for more wellness topics to help you find JOY and love the skin your’e in.
Stay well! Stay fabulous!