In our society today, so many people feel flat and know they have lost their joy. As women we tend to take on everyone else’s issues and before we know it we are drained and unhappy. As we are working, raising our kids, caring for a home, and dealing with all the curve balls life throws at us, life starts to happen to us and not for us. Joy flies out of the window. Then, more life happens, and without knowing we draw the curtains over the window of joy. Seriously, who has time for joy when you have to deal with all the things you have going on?
As a child, from the time I can remember, I took it upon myself to make sure everyone was comfortable, fed and happy. It wasn’t until I was well into my 40’s that I realized the pattern was very harmful and unhealthy. It took losing my husband to cancer to get me to finally sit down and take a deep cleansing breath, to start a long journey of healing. I had so much to learn and do to reawaken my joy.
You have read this far, something is resonating with you. If you are desperate to find joy, read on.
How do I get my joy back, ask yourself: “What’s preoccupying me? What’s making my heart unhappy? What are my concerns? What feelings do I need to address and let out to experience joy? Is it sadness, anger, disappointment, fears, hurt feelings, or am I just plain old tired and I need a good night’s sleep?” You can’t just choose to feel joy. We all need a little help and a pathway or roadmap to awaken our joy.
Here are some other tips to help you awaken your joy:
1.) Make joy a focus and priority in your daily routine
Stop waiting to be happy. You can add happiness to your life, right now. Build an inner environment of joy and express any concerns and emotions to guarantee that your joy will be welcome. Sing your favorite songs or play funny scenes in your mind! You don’t have to tell anyone, just do it in your head and delight yourself.
2.) Make a list in your journal of the things that spark your joy (and trust me there are many more than what you can think of right now)
Be very creative and write down at least 12 things that are doable, then share your list with a friend. This can include friends who energize you and make you happy to be around them. If you don’t have any of those friends, go find them. Find a Bible study or woman’s group, commit to going weekly. Keep yourself inspired!
3.) Keep things around you that only give you joy
Is that your clothes, your favorite treats, your books, or photographs? Keep objects that mean something to you close by. Bring joy into everything you do. Believe me, your joy is there. It may be sleeping – but, I promise, you can find it if you look.
4.) Reaffirm that joy is something you CAN have today
When you are not living in your joy, you are denying yourself the beautiful feeling of joy that is free for the taking. Joy is not in ‘stuff’ but in the world around you. Don’t wait to earn joy – it’s already inside you! Get in a joyful state of mind.
5.) Stop worrying
When your mind starts to run down the rabbit hole of worry and fear, learn to stop it early and remind yourself of the things you can do now and what is true. If it is something you can do nothing about, tell yourself, ‘I am going to wait to worry”! It is a fabulous trick to get your mind to level set and get back to the joy at hand.
6.) Laugh more
Laughing makes you feel good. This is no secret and certainly not surprising. Ask yourself ‘when is the last time I really laughed?’ Chances are, it may have been some time ago. We get caught up in all of our adult responsibilities and just don’t giggle like we did as kids. We should, though! Watch a funny movie or go to a comedy club. Call an old friend and retell the fun stories you have shared.
Laughing is shown to reduce stress, enhance your immune system, improve blood flow, and improve relationships.
“You carry all the ingredients to turn your existence into joy. Use them! Use them!” -Hafiz