There’s been some confusion between joy and happiness for a long time. Although both are associated with pleasant feelings, they’re different from each other. Joy is characterized by a strong emotion of inner peace and contentment, whereas happiness is the feeling of intense pleasure, excitement, and satisfaction. In most cases, joy exists naturally among human beings. Spending time with kids will help you see the amount of joy human beings would feel. However, most people tend to lose their sense of joy as they continue growing up due to various reasons, including life difficulties, changes, and trying to impress other people. According to psychologists, people can find joy regardless of their age, provided they understand the best ways to do it. It’s easier to recognize your joy through triggers caused by physical sensations and positive excitements.
How to Find Joy
Since joy involves emotions, you can easily attract your present personal attention, make prompt decisions, and get the power and ability to act accordingly. Joy is essential in several ways, i.e., it promotes kindness, raises moods, promotes success in life, and is an excellent determinant of good health. Below are some top tips on how to find joy in life:
1. Pursue your interests and hobbies
This is among the easiest way to find joy in your life. Recent studies have shown that people who regularly pursue their interests and hobbies end up improving their overall well-being. However, this only happens if people don’t become obsessed with their favorite interests and hobbies. Choosing to take part in your interests and hobbies means that you’ll have to dedicate more time and other resources to what you’re passionate about. If you pursue your interests and hobbies, you’ll be in a great position to build better career goals, create healthy relationships, improve life-work balance, plan for your future and get valuable transferable skills. Generally, pursuing what you like will assist you in living a life with purpose.
2. Create connections with positive people
Negativity is among the top things that steal joy from people. Therefore, to find joy, you need to try to limit negative ideas, feedback, and bad news. Typically, spending too much time with negative people (pessimists) will make your mood consistently negative. According to psychologists, if you spend much of your time with happy people, there are high chances that you’ll also be happy and connected to them. This is because you’ll be focusing on a positive outlook on life events much of the time. More importantly, it’d be a great idea to attach yourself to positive people who have similar interests and goals in life because they’ll be considerate of your general feelings. To avoid negativity and bring joy in your life, you should be intentional, write it down on paper, and learn how to turn negativity into positivity.
3. Confront your past
People will get overwhelmed or feel sad about certain things that happened in their lives in the past. If you’re in a position to confront your past, then you can easily find joy in your life. It’s common to have some bad life experiences from time to time. How you deal with these experiences will determine if your life continues as usual or comes to a standstill. Whether you experience pain due to a loss that occurred in your life or a lot of negative thoughts, simply confront your past, and you’ll be okay.
According to psychologists, difficult moments become more manageable if you calm down and stop worrying about the unknown and what the future holds. Start focusing on present moments that spark joy, including doing yoga, listening to music, visiting friends, and planting flowers. If this doesn’t work, you can talk to a therapist or counselor to assist you in overcoming bad memories.
4. Enjoy small things
Most people don’t know that the small things they think of can be of great help in finding joy. This usually happens when people don’t believe in the little things they can focus on at home. Most people tend to focus on big things while skipping pleasurable moments that can prove to be beneficial in finding joy. Some small things you can enjoy include reading your favorite novel, drinking coffee, spending time alone, jogging, and a dog walk. If you focus on these small activities and experiences, you’ll get more happiness and sparkle joyful moments.
5. Spend time outdoors
It’s essential to spare some time in your busy schedule and spend it with nature. There are many outdoor activities that you can engage in, ranging from swimming, hiking, walking in the park, etc. This way, you’ll come across soothing sounds of water flowing in streams, birds singing, and winds blowing, which will lift your spirit and calm down your nerves. Recent studies show that walking outdoors for one and half hours reduces brain activity and eliminates negative thinking. If, for some reason, you’re not able to go out, including severe weather conditions, you can use your smartphone or PC to go through plants and landscape wallpapers online.
6. Play different games
Playing games can easily help you find joy. Some people think that only kids should play. Recent surveys show that adults who play various games regularly experience fewer stress levels than those who don’t play. It’s essential to schedule time and engage in any form of play. The intensity of play will depend on your body and strength. If you’re not in a position to play different field games, you can consider indoor games that don’t require a lot of strength and endurance, including chess games, love puzzles, or even playing with kids. In fact, playing with kids is among the top games that adults can engage in because it’ll help both the parent and child enjoy the moments while learning different aspects from each other. Check out our list of anxiety relief games for ideas.
7. Show kindness
Showing kindness to others will spark a sense of joy for both parties. If you make kindness part of your daily habits, you’ll do good for your own well-being even without realizing it. You can show kindness to others in various ways, including giving positive compliments, listening to their problems and providing solutions depending on your ability, staying connected to other people, giving care packages from time to time, expressing your empathy, helping your colleagues complete their tasks, babysitting for free and making unexpected and surprise visits to your friends and family. A 2005 study whose objective was to find whether there was a relationship between happiness and kindness found out that the happiest people had actually performed different acts of kindness to others.
8. Practice self-care
Self-care plays a significant role in enhancing the well-being and healthy functioning of human beings’ physical, emotional, and mental aspects. It’s especially important when you want to find joy. Generally, self-care will help you reset your life every time you face difficulties, thus bringing joy. Self-care takes many forms depending on what one wants to achieve and is essential in eliminating life stressors. It also helps reduce burnout, improve resilience, reduce depression, build solid interpersonal relationships and improve energy levels. Self-care can be in the following forms:
These are activities that help the body to run efficiently. Some physical self-care activities include getting adequate sleep, eating healthy foods, getting enough exercise, taking adequate water to stay hydrated, and regular body checkups.
Your psychological well-being is also part of self-care. It should also be maintained through various ways like watching movies and reading to stimulate your mind and be sharp. The best type of mental self-care is arguably meditation. Try a meditation for relaxation to help silence the chattering mind.
Everyone needs a social life to stay healthy. Social connections play a significant role in building and maintaining close relationships. Create time to interact with friends and nurture relationships.
Emotional well-being is also important in one’s life. It’s essential to learn various coping mechanisms to handle emotions like sadness, anger, and anxiety, which can take away your joy.
9. Social interaction
This is a form of interaction within different social groups. Social interaction doesn’t have to be intense for an individual to find joy. Even small tasks like starting conversations with your peers can really help. This brings social connection, which plays a significant role in healthy living. According to experts, social interactions positively impact people’s emotions. Whether you’ve been busy at work the whole day, you’re facing some life or personal challenges, or you’re having family issues, it’s essential to create time for social interactions, no matter how simple the interaction is. Being connected to people will make you live longer and happier. If you’ve got a tight schedule during the week, you can find even an hour or two and talk to your loved ones or friends.
10. Change your routine
Doing the same thing repeatedly leads to boredom which can take your joy away. It’s essential to adjust your daily routine to prevent this boredom and have a new positive experience. For instance, you can switch your morning routine from tea to coffee.
Find Your Joy
Let finding your joy be the path in life, not the destination. Happiness is not an end state nor should you see it as one. Joy and happiness are the little moments, the progress, and the small things in life.