Complaining. Offense. Anger. Judgement. Division. There’s a lot of yelling lately – online, on TV, on the radio, ongoing. It’s getting harder and harder to find joy.
But maybe you’re just looking in the wrong places.
Joy can always be found. We always have the option to choose joy. We can share, spread, and save joy. But how? Here are just ten ways I have learned that help me practice joy daily (and they are all in my NEW BOOK!). I hope they will help you, too.
- Forgive. When I’m sizzling with unforgiveness, it is really hard for me to find joy. If I’m too busy being offended, it’s impossible to see any good in the world. Those grudges we hold on to (I call them dead squirrels in my book) hold us captive. It’s like letting someone live rent free in your head. Forgiveness doesn’t mean trust – it’s more for me than anyone else. But when I forgive, it’s always easier to find joy.
- Give stuff away. There’s a lot of freedom in holding on to things loosely – especially money. There is a lot of joy in bringing joy to someone else by way of a gift, dinner, or re-gifting something I know someone else needs more than me. None of us really need all that stuff.
- Be grass roots grateful. When there’s a lot of mess in the world, I get down to grass roots grateful. That means really SEEING how good things are. I can see the computer screen and I have dexterity in my fingers to type this blog post. I have running water in the next room and I have a bed to sleep in tonight. Basic, but necessary joy.
- Stop letting other people determine your choices. There’s this chapter in my book called “Choose to Crush What Others Think”. We can’t let other people determine what clothes we wear, where we go, what we do, how we feel. We ALLOW a lot of people to steal our joy because we care too much about what they say. You’ll get a lot of joy back if you stop caring.
- Don’t cross bridges. Just another phrase for WORRY. Don’t cross the bridge until it’s necessary. I spent a lot of years worrying my dad would get cancer. And then he did. And none of the worrying I did helped me avoid it or cope with it or fight it. We waste too much of our joy on needless worry.
- Listen. Oh my goodness. I tell my students that we’ve done them a disservice by having them raise their hands to answer a question. Because when we raise our hands we’re only thinking about how important our own opinions are. That’s what we do most of the time – capitalize on what WE have to say instead of REALLY listening to others. And there is JOY when we listen because we’re giving to others. Oh – and if you’re already formulating your own opinion, you aren’t really listening (there’s some cool tips about listening…you guessed it…in my new book!).
- Make a List of Now. I know we all have “bucket lists” – but we all need a little adventure in our lives! Look for joy in something out of the ordinary. Try a new exercise class or learn to paint. Do something you’ve always “said” you were going to do or dreamed of doing. Find joy on purpose.
- Stop complaining. Be the person who finds the good in every situation. Complaining is a COMPLETE joy stealer without question.
- Gag the gossip. Okay. If it is not yours to tell or talk about, it’s gossip. Gossip partners up with complaining and creates a negative environment. If you’re wondering where your joy is, maybe you’re the one squelching it with complaining and gossip.
- Choose. You can’t choose what happens to you, but you CAN choose how you respond to it. Today is the best day ever, because if today were my last day I would want it to be my best day. Therefore, today is the best day ever. I have a choice. I can choose my perspective on things – and I can choose to see the good or the bad.
These are just ten of my strategies for finding joy when the world feels like it is falling apart. When I turn on the television and feel my heart breaking at the hate and the hurt and the horror, I try and find the path to joy. It doesn’t mean I ignore what’s going on – it just means that instead of complaining about it or getting offended, I try and find a way to see joy and help others see the joy.
It’s better for my health and my heart. Joy brings us together instead of tearing us a part. It’s the root, the foundation of my faith. Happiness happens to us, but joy – it isn’t dependent on emotion or circumstance. It’s an ever present choice. It is birthed out of gratitude and exists despite the craziness around us.
Let’s choose joy together.
Choose: An Invitation to the Best Day Ever Adventure is my new book and is available on Amazon and Kindle!
Join me on the adventure of a lifetime – let’s live life the way it was meant to be!
21 choices, 21 challenges, and 21 changes, all in 21 days. I dare you.