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How to Find Joy in Life During Difficult Times

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How to Find Joy in Life During Difficult Times

Do you ever feel like you struggle with finding joy in life during difficult times? Perhaps having a mental list of easy habits to try out weekly could allow you to feel more happiness even amid hardship. You could incorporate something as simple as listening to music in the shower, and you might find that this elevates your mood.

Do you wonder how much closer you would be to achieving your goals if you had more joy? These positive feelings could stem from when you come home and see your pet running to greet you, or it could be the sensation of waking up and knowing you have zero responsibilities for the day.

Whatever joy means to you, this feeling can be harnessed in surprisingly simple ways, even during difficult times when it can be hard to remember what being happy feels like. So, here are 19 tips for finding joy in life during difficult times that can be incorporated into your daily life.

1. Stay in the Present

When we are overwhelmed or feeling sadness and loss, the secret to finding joy is in taking life one day at a time. Difficult periods can seem more manageable when we don’t overwhelm ourselves by worry about the future and all of the unknowns.

Practice focusing on small moments in the present that spark some joy, whether that means playing your favorite song on repeat, planting new flowers in the garden, doing yoga, or seeing a good friend. When we take time each day and do something fulfilling, big or small, finding joy becomes more natural.

2. Indulge Your Five Senses

Everything you taste, smell, touch, hear, and see can affect your mood. When we spot a butterfly or take the perfect bite of food, our senses are heightened and we instantly feel excitement and joy. So, satisfy your sweet tooth with that piece of cake, light a fresh candle, pet your furry friends, listen to songs that boost your spirits, or watch the sunset. Anything you can do that awakens your senses will give you feelings of joy.

3. Change up Your routine

Do you feel stuck in a rut like a hamster running on a wheel? When this happens, it’s easy to see the smallest of troubles as an epic problem. A quick fix is to switch up your daily regimen.

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If you always start your morning off with coffee, consider drinking tea. Instead of driving the same route to work, try taking a scenic detour. Shaking up your routine and trying new things will allow you to find unexpected excitement and joy in life.

4. Become the Main Character

One of the biggest fears people have in life is loneliness or worrying that they might be lacking, which can hinder joy. By filling that gap with self-love, you become the main character of your life story.

When you no longer feel the need to always be surrounded by people and you are glad to spend time with yourself—that is joy. It means all of the people in your life are great supporting characters, and you are the star of the show. Once this is achieved, you become more self-reliant, and keeping happiness alive is much easier to achieve.

5. Take Time for Mindful Activities

Are you constantly on the go and busy? Setting aside time in your day to slow down and exhale leads to a wonderful feeling of being at peace. This could be through meditating, walking, gardening, journaling, reading, or even folding laundry. Creating a quiet space allows you to hear your thoughts, and it nurtures the soul. By practicing mindfulness, you can let go of stress and replace it with joy and calm.

6. Give Yourself a Makeover

Sometimes, simply dressing up or putting on makeup can change your outlook and help you feel refreshed. Think about it—whenever your hair is curled or freshly cut, do your spirits feel lifted? Most likely, yes! Even getting your nails done can make you feel glamorous and ready to take on the day. When you pay attention to grooming, you look your finest and feel your best, which is a fast track to experiencing joy.

7. Be Silly and Unleash Your Inner Child

As we get older, we tend to become more cynical and lose sight of our inner child and the ability to be silly and have fun. But the key to staying plugged into the experience of joy is to remind us of our youthful spirit. Sometimes, we have to go on that roller coaster, roll down a grassy hill, or have a sleepover like we did as kids to feel pure bliss. By occasionally letting go of any rigidness that comes with growing up, we can shake off the doldrums and truly enjoy ourselves.

8. Treat Yourself

There is a reason retail therapy exists, and it does not have to break the bank! Consider buying a new outfit, take yourself out to a fancy dinner, or pick out something small that makes you smile. Give yourself the experiences you dream about having each day. When you are bogged down or going through a difficult time, treating yourself feels rejuvenating and helps you find joy in life.

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9. Experience the Outdoors

Nature is full of amazing sights and sounds that can put a smile on your face. Consider stepping outside for a moment to feel the sun on your skin and the grass beneath your feet. Embarking on a camping trip or going for a hike or bike ride are great ways to immerse yourself in the outdoors. When you can experience the world’s natural wonders, you open the door to discovering beauty and joy.

10. Start Conversations

Are you so busy with work, school, taking care of the kids, or any number of daily tasks that you rarely find time to engage in meaningful dialogue with other people? Making room for conversations can become especially hard when you are going through a difficult time.

During these periods, talking to someone and seeking another person’s advice can feel supportive and uplifting. So, cherish the connections you have with people by taking a second to text an old friend or call someone you have been thinking about. You might end up having a rewarding conversation that leaves you feeling warm and cheerful.

11. Conquer a Fear

When was the last time you felt the thrill of taking a leap of faith or conquering an activity that frightened you? The feeling of joy that comes from knowing you completed something you were hesitant about is very gratifying. It can be scary going on a blind date or giving a presentation at work, but once you forge through it, you will feel so much joy. Even solving a crisis can bring us this feeling.

Pushing through fear is when we discover just how resilient we are. When difficult times are followed by winning moments, we prove our ability to overcome adversity and thrive. If you are considering how to navigate fear and take your power back, it is helpful to look at these 12 tips for managing crises.

12. Accomplish Small Tasks

No one likes the feeling of a never-ending to-do list. Instead of trying to check off all your tasks in a day or week, consider making life more manageable and reward yourself for accomplishing even the smallest of things. This could be something as little as hitting the snooze button just once instead of five times or finally putting away the heap of clothes that has been living in the corner of your room for weeks on end.

Allowing yourself to be proud of completing both big and little tasks will help you feel more accomplished, peaceful, and happy.

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13. Limit Your Screen Time

These days we, are always looking at one screen or another—our phone, TV, or computer—and we rarely glance up to fully take in our surroundings. Social media can easily become overwhelming, and watching too many Netflix shows or movies can make us wish we were living a completely different life.

Being away from screens for some time helps us feel more present and productive, and it reminds us to quit comparing our lives to what we see on Facebook and Instagram. It allows us to redirect our focus and love the life we have. So, where possible, consider setting screen limits for yourself and view in increments. You will find joy in those moments that were formerly taken up by distractions from phones and reality TV.

14. Release Your Emotions

Have you ever been so overwhelmed or stressed out that you felt like a shaken-up can of soda about to explode? We have all been there. Releasing those pent up and negative feelings will enable you to experience other, more positive, emotions.

Getting in a good hard workout, taking a long shower, or cranking up the music and singing along are great ways to pop the soda cap and feel more relaxed. When your mind and body are free from tension, it is much easier to find joy in life.

15. Appreciate the Little Things in Life

When we are going through a difficult time, we can become so concerned with the future or the past that we miss out on life’s simple pleasures in the present. Perhaps it’s the sound of a child’s laugh, an unexpected rainbow in the sky, or finding an onion ring in a basket of shoestring fries. These little surprises in life can easily be overlooked, but taking the time to appreciate them will make each day more rewarding.

Practicing gratitude is another path to happiness. When we remind ourselves to appreciate the everyday gifts in life, like the fresh air we breathe or good friends and family, we automatically find more joy in our daily lives.

16. Volunteer

Helping people is tremendously rewarding. Consider spending some of your time elevating others through service. It could be tutoring, helping out at a shelter, donating clothes, or taking out your neighbor’s trash.

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When you move the focus off of your problems and assist others, you will feel new purpose and joy. Volunteering can allow us to stop dwelling on negativity in our lives and put that energy into uplifting people. When we do things for others, we are not only feeling joy but passing it on, too.

17. Remind Yourself of Your “Why”

Sometimes, just remembering what you are striving for will help get you out of a frustrating rut. Try considering how you got where you are today and what matters most to you. Focusing on things that excite you about the career you chose, the reason you joined the gym, or what pushed you to finally explore a new city will bring joy back into your life. By keeping your “why” prioritized and at the top of your mind, you will continually feel inspired and encouraged to keep going.

18. Learn to Let Go

It can be challenging to release something that has been a staple in your life, but you may discover that by allowing yourself to let go of it, you experience more joy. If you are unhappy and struggling, know that it is perfectly okay to change direction and leave a job you have had for fifteen years or end a long-term relationship.

Certain aspects of life you thought were vital might actually be what is holding you back from feeling real joy. When we learn to leave behind careers, connections, or habits that are no longer serving us, we allow ourselves to feel rejuvenated and prepared to embrace new adventures and enjoyment in life.

19. Take Time Out From the Spotlight

Creating a flow between the need to be focused and the ability to relax will help you find more joy. There are times you need to be in the spotlight, and the same goes for being in the shadows.

The shadows require less energy: sleeping, eating comfort food, or just lounging and doing nothing. When it is time for a work presentation or a school exam, you are back in the spotlight and exerting all of the energy that you saved up in the shadows.

Many people stay in the spotlight for too long, and they burn out. You have to be intentional about remembering to take time in the shadows. Striking a balance between the two will help you create more balance, and you will discover and appreciate when you feel the most joy.

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The Bottom Line

Joy is an emotion and state of being we all strive for, and finding it does not require an immense amount of effort. These 19 tips are all examples of small action steps you can take to feel more peace and happiness, and you may already be doing them without even knowing it. So, challenge yourself to adopt two or three new, bliss-inducing habits over the next several weeks and watch your joy in life grow.

More Tips on Finding Joy in Life

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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Nancy Solari

Nancy Solari is an accomplished CEO, life coach, and motivational speaker.

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Last Updated on December 6, 2021

Feeling Lost? 40 Quotes to Help You Find Meaning in Life

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Feeling Lost? 40 Quotes to Help You Find Meaning in Life

Sometimes, we carry with us ancient wisdom that has been whispered through generations where we find strength for what we need. Other times, we sense our happiness and sanity have been swept away, and we float rudderless in our space. We wonder if we’re heading in the right direction and feel doom rather than the transformation. In these moments, we may need some feeling lost quotes to help us find inspiration again.

During the times when we feel lost, it’s too easy to forget the comfort of good times and wade through the fluff that separates us from the pack.

I often work in leadership and have to test my limits and inspire those I’m leading. One of the quotes I keep in mind by T.S. Elliot is:

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

Knowing how you will perform in a crisis, personally or professionally, can help you get through tough times. The people who tend to work best in a crisis or stay calm in stressful times are those who are honest and forthright.

We often try to find sense in our lives with logic, reducing perceived risks by increasing control. The problem with control is you can hold on too tight, narrowing your options and missing the big picture.

Trying to squeeze action out of undefined goals only increases the pressure. Being happy comes from a sense of self and freedom, not a narrow list you’ve locked yourself into.

Sometimes, we need to observe our life in new ways and examine it with wisdom we doubt we have. Those big successes are done with small incremental actions done every day. Who will you choose to be in times of doubt?

Whether you bookmark this page for future inspiration or show off powerful, inspiring quotes on your T-shirt, coffee mug, key chain, and screen saver, these 40 feelings lost quotes will help remind you of your true essence.

We can reconnect with our priorities and take inspiration from both the ancients and modern visionaries with some of my favorite words below that inspire simplicity and truth.

Feeling Lost Quotes

1. “If you are working on something you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you” –Steve Jobs

2. “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” –Gordon Eadie

3. “One of the truest tests of integrity is a blunt refusal to be compromised.” –Chinua Achebe

4. “The fears we don’t face become our limits.” –Amy Elizabeth

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5. “Be who you needed when you were younger.” –Anonymous

6. “We generate fears when we sit. We overcome them by action.” –Dr. Henry Link

7. “The intangible represents the real power of the universe. It is the seed of the tangible.” –Bruce Lee

8. “Storms make trees take deeper roots.” –Dolly Parton

9. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” –Henry Ford

10. “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” –Vincent Van Gogh

11. “Stop acting so small, you are the universe in ecstatic motion.” –Rumi

12. “A tree that is unbending is usually broken.” –Loa Tzu

13. “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” –Plutarch

14. “We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” –Plato

15. “Your teacher can open the door, but you must enter by yourself.” –Chinese proverb

16. “To get lost is to learn the way.” –African Proverb

17. “Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” –Zig Ziglar

18. “Do you know who you are? Don’t ask. Act. Action will delineate and define you.” –Thomas Jefferson

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19. “Give thanks for what you are today and go on fighting for what part of you will be gone tomorrow.” –William Shakespeare

20. “Sorrow looks back. Worry looks around. Faith looks up.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

21. “One day you will ask me which is more important, my life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.” –Kahlil Gibran

22. “You were born to be real, not to be perfect.” –Anonymous

23. “After climbing a great hill, one only finds there are many more hills to climb.” –Nelson Mandela

24. “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.” –Maya Angelou

25. “I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance and affection to be art.” –Kahlil Gibran

26. “Fear is only as deep as the mind allows.” –Japenese Proverb

27. “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” — Joseph Campbell

28. “Go within every day and find the inner strength so that the world will not blow your candle out.” — Katherine Dunham

29. “One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day. Similarly, one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” — Aristotle

30. “There are two ways to live your life. One is as if nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

31. “You got to go down a lot of wrong roads to find the right one.” — Bob Parson

32. “Anger, resentment, and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others. It only changes yours.” — Shannon L. Alder

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33. “To be lost is as legitimate a part of your process as being found.” — Alex Ebert

34. “Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.” — Henry Rollins

35. “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” — Elbert Hubbard

36. “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” — Vivian Greene

37. “Nothing is more beautiful than the smile that has struggled through the tears.” — Demi Lovato

38. “Leave your front door and your back door open. Allow your thoughts to come and go. Just don’t serve them tea.” — Shunryu Suzuki

39. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” — Robert H. Schuller

40. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” — C.S. Lewis

Sometimes It’s Ok to Feel Lost

After looking at these feeling lost quotes, it is easy for someone to be confused. But these inspirational quotes will guide you to hear a voice every time when the risk is high, and you have nowhere to run. It is always easy to choose the shortcut and ignore the voice of the subconscious to do the right thing!

No matter how dire the circumstances might be, you need to make efforts and find ways to uplift your morale. Not making an effort is more painful than the risk of immersing your thoughts in negativity.

When you are feeling lost, it is natural to be confused about the next step. However, you have to determine when the risk of staying in a sad state for a longer period is causing more harm than good.

And don’t you worry, it’s okay sometimes to feel lost and not know where you are heading in your life. We go through various phases in life, and none of them stay permanent. Remember that “Life is a work-in-progress” and this too shall pass. Keeping hope is very important if you want to sail through the tides of life.

Don’t Be too Hard on Yourself

Everyone is fighting their fight in their ways, but none can say – “I know it all.” Life is a constant struggle, and everyone has to push through personally to overcome obstacles.

Whether it is your professional life that’s making you feel lost or your personal life brought about this state of mind, remember that you alone can find the solution. Happiness is a state of mind, and you alone can control the emotions that can bring a change in your attitude when you are feeling lost.

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No one can tell you what your purpose is in the world, and only you have to decide that on your own. The universe has given us life and one that teaches us various things through unique experiences. Some might be good, and some might be bad.

So, don’t beat yourself up or be hard on yourself even if you have not yet figured it out. It’s okay! You don’t owe anyone an explanation about why it is taking so long or why haven’t you been able to figure it out yet. Go at your own pace, and you shall reach where you intend to. Nothing is permanent, and you will find your way out. It’s just a matter of time.

Rather than complaining and belittling yourself, you can try brainstorming ideas to help you move on. Procrastinating and beating yourself up will only drown the motivation and bring nothing of value but just self-pity.

Don’t forget if you set your heart to something, you can achieve it. Feeling lost is not a permanent state, and to uplift your emotions, you need to have faith.

Final Thoughts

Many of these feeling lost quotes have a common core. That is, to take a step back and view yourself in a new way.

Take action and make inspiration a routine. To act creates learning, and that builds confidence, provides direction, and eliminates doubt.

Imagine what you want it to be so that your vibration matches your desire. We can’t snap our fingers to instantly change feeling lost, but we can increase our situational awareness with our emotions and places where our lives have or may take an abrupt turn.

We take inspiration from our daily lives in as many individually unique forms as we are different. Inspiration can strike instantly and sporadically or feel like a trickle that slowly grows into a majestic waterfall crashing through with creative energy. That trickle is what will keep you going in dark times.

When you’re in a place where you feel lost and don’t recognize yourself, allow some inner compassion for the person you are right in that moment[1].

You have the power to create your world, one step at a time, and these feeling lost quotes can help. You choose how you think. Tune in to how you feel and why.

Remember you have the power to be, have, and do anything you desire. Tough times never last, but tough people do.

See what I did there? Another quote to inspire original thought as it applies to you. It’s been said that if you want to test a man’s character, give him power and you will see his true colors. So keep your inspiration on tap for when you need a reminder of your purpose.

More to Inspire You When You’re Feeling Lost

Featured photo credit: Daniel Jensen via unsplash.com

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