Ask for More JoyJul 14, 2022
We’re continuing the theme of how we ask for more of what we want and need, and this time, it’s how you can find more joy.
Many of us reply on attempts of meticulous planning as we juggle busy schedules packed with work and family commitments. It’s often the time allocated to what brings us joy that gets squeezed when time is short.
Yet to find joy, we must make it happen. It takes mindful intent to nurture those precious, joyful moments in our daily lives. Easier said than done when trapped in the cycle of ‘busyness’, but trust me, it’s worth it.
Joyfulness combines contentment with being present and includes awareness of those small moments that it’s so easy to miss. And we can feel this wonderful emotion regularly if we know how to welcome it and where to look for it.
Here are five areas to focus on to infuse your days with more joy.
Understand what brings you joy and prioritise it
Make a list of the activities, people and places that bring you joy, and block out time in your diary to see or do more of them. As simple and obvious as this is, it’s amazing how challenging this can be if our overriding instinct is to ‘get stuff done’ and to ensure everyone else’s needs are met before even thinking about our own. It’s all too easy to become our own after-thought.
For me, being in, on or by the sea is a guaranteed mood booster. Whether it’s with my family, friends, or on my own, this is my happy place and re-charges my resilience.
Savour the small things
Many studies show that the act of savouring—being consciously in the moment – increases our feelings of happiness. Get into the practice of savouring by applying it to everyday situations. For example, breathing in the smell of fresh coffee in the morning, noticing the sound of bird songs in the garden; the feel of a hug from a loved one or the laughter from a catch-up chat with a treasured friend. This regular reflection on what we are grateful for, and what we have, can nurture our joy and life satisfaction.
I recommend to my clients the simple trick of switching off your mobile phone and having a digital break. It doesn’t have to be for long, but it does help to tune our attention to the present moment.
Seek out positive connections
When we are around happy people, we tend to feel happier ourselves. And if those ‘sunny’ people also love and support us, then it is a win-win because knowing we have someone to call when we are feeling low or having a tough day is priceless.
Joyful people are more likely to form meaningful and lasting social bonds and laughter is infectious. It releases endorphins, the ‘happy hormone’, which reduces stress and boosts our immune system. Just think about how hard it is to keep a straight face when you are with someone who is belly laughing!
Be kind and do good
Helping others really does have a positive effect on our mental health and just a few acts of kindness can increase our levels of contentment. I’m not talking about big gestures - perhaps a thoughtful chat with a neighbour, letting someone go ahead of you in a queue, giving a compliment to a colleague, or doing something caring for a loved one. By being thoughtful and considerate, we enjoy higher levels of psychological wellbeing and positive emotions.
If you have time to spare, you may like to consider volunteering. You will reap all the benefits mentioned above, while also forming social connections with like-minded people.
Have experiences to look forward to
Feelings of happiness come from spending time doing what we love, with the people we care for. Ever had a fantastic weekend away only to come back to earth with a bump? The secret is to make plans for the next one!
Research published by Science Daily shows that having a healthy sense of ‘anticipation’ for what is in store not only builds a useful mindset but can also help you to live longer! It’s also very possible to learn to be optimistic.
Planning trips away and days out will create happy memories, yet experiences do not have to be huge moments in your life. It can be something simple like watching a movie after you have finished work or having dinner with a group of close friends. We all need rewards waiting for us at the end of a stressful day or experience.
I passionately believe we all deserve to have a brilliant, healthy, happy life full of meaning and love. So, it’s time to start asking for more joy in your life.
As ever, if you need more support with this, book a free call and find out how I can help you.
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