A few years ago, if you asked me to create more joy in my life I would have immediately correlated this to going to more concerts and traveling more. While I did have a wonderful life and there were plenty of joy filled moments, this concept that I now shout from the rooftops of creating your own joy daily, may have seemed silly or even impossible. But like most things once you experience the benefits, when you see the results, it all starts to make sense. So now I shout this to anyone that will listen.
Science has shown that when you laugh you release endorphins which reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive, feel-good feelings. The simple act of making yourself laugh will make you feel better. While laughter is always the best medicine, creating joy is a very personal experience and can vary from day to day and from moment to moment. I have complied a list of ways that I create some joy and some resources and ideas to help you make this a regular part of your day.
I do have one caveat... If you aren't doing well on your foundational habits of getting sleep, drinking plenty of water and adding some movement into your day, no amount of listening to your favorite song will cancel out extreme fatigue, so be sure to spend some time laying a solid foundation while you create your joy.
How to use this list:
This list is a starting place. Ultimately, find some way to regularly add some joy to your day, despite your mood. Once this becomes a regular habit, it will not only help you stay grateful and happy it can help you become a more productive human. Hell yeah!!
Also, if there is another area of your health and wellness that you are struggling with, such as sleep or exercise, how can you add more joy to the process? When these activities feel neglected or like a punishment, they will be harder to stick to. Add some joy and you won't have to push yourself so hard to make it happen, you will begin to be pulled towards them. Add some essential oils and a relaxing playlist to your bedtime routine or reward yourself when you have a week filled 7 hours nightly. Invite a friend to yoga and grab a bite after, add some awesomely uplifting music to your workout or again reward yourself for a killer week of exercise.
Music: This is my go to joy creator.
Listen to your favorite song/album as you get ready for work or go for your morning walk. Thank you Spotify for all that you do for me :)
Here is my Create Your Own Joy playlist on Spotify.
Go catch an open mic night or your favorite local band. Wills Pub in Orlando is one of my favorite spots to find a wide variety of live music.
Sing along with your music or create your own music!!
Learn to play an instrument or find some peeps to jam with.
Media: Be careful, this can build you up or wear you down.
Follow fun and positive accounts on Social Media. Slowly let go of the ones that are Debbie-downers and that are full of people complaining. See ya later haters!!
Watch a funny movie, show or stand up - Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is a recent fave.
Subscribe to a funny or inspiring YouTube Channels.
Listen to a podcast: **There are hundreds of podcasts.
Movement: Also releases endorphins.
Dance in your kitchen while you cook dinner :) #danceforyourdinner
Go dancing with your friends.
Walk your dog.
Do a mini workout. Here is an oldy but a goodie of mine ----> CORE-dio
Take a dance class with a friend.
Try a new form of exercise.
Go for a hike or to the beach.
Do some cartwheels or handstands or simply stretch.
Play catch or kick a soccer ball around.
Make Something: Being creative can help with feelings of depression.
Cook a meal or learn to cook a new one.
Get crafty, just for fun. Extra points if you get your hands dirty.
Plant some plants. Again with the dirty hands.
Start a blog.
Take an art class.
Make hand made gifts.
Make someone smile by smiling at them or telling a joke.
Make someone happy by helping them and being patient.
Spend time with friends and family.
Get out of your comfort zone - try something new, get a tattoo (spend some time thinking about this one), plan a trip to somewhere new, go somewhere you've never been, set a 30 day challenge for yourself.
Spend time outdoors.
Create a life you don't want to avoid or run from. Add more joy and see what happens. A little goes a long way.