Advertising
Advertising

40 Simple Ways To Practice Joy Every Day

40 Simple Ways To Practice Joy Every Day

Life comes equipped with up’s and down’s that make it hard to stay positive all the time. If you’re feeling down, these forty ways to practice joy might make you feel better.

1. Throw off your work clothes as soon as you get home, replace with comfortable pajamas, snuggle up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn or ice cream, and turn on one of your favorite 80’s movies.

2. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage, trip to a sauna, or full spa treatment.

3. Visit some younger relatives and challenge them to a game of dodge-ball, four square, or hide-and-go-seek.

4. Smile, say hi, (maybe even wink at) every person you see today. Enjoy the reaction. ;)

5. Surprise your mom or dad with a phone call right after work, Ask them to tell you a funny or embarrassing story about their relationship’s early days.

6. Compliment one person whose work you admire on Twitter every day (networking: it doesn’t have to be complicated!).

7. Dress ridiculously nice (for no reason at all).

Advertising

8. Look in the mirror and identify something about your body that you find cute, handsome, or attractive.

9. Exercise in a way that gives you joy. Lift, run, dance, jump, swim, play!

10. Breathe deeply. Imagine the things you are thankful for on each inhale. Let go of your upset feelings on each exhale.

11. Walk at the park while listening to nature sounds. This will calm your nerves after a stressful day at work.

12. Visit the library. Ask a librarian what their favorite book is. Read it. Go back and talk about it after you finish.

13. Buy yourself a new outfit that makes you feel confident. Be amazed at the difference in your demeanor.

14. Gaze at the clouds. Quiet your inner-chatter. Try to identify interesting shapes in the sky.

15. Drink a big glass of ice water with chopped fruit added for taste, because you’ll feel much better if you’re hydrated.

Advertising

16. Tell a silly joke to a co-worker who looks like they’re having a bad day.

17. Watch that movie you’ve been wanting to see, but no one will go with you, because you need to learn how to enjoy yourself without needing the company of another.

18. Find a new restaurant to visit. Ask your waiter or waitress what their favorite dish is. Order it (especially if it is something you’ve never tried before!).

19. Speak to yourself with kind words that lift your spirits. Don’t say anything about yourself that you wouldn’t say about another person. Treat yourself the way you want to be treated!

20. Throw a party, invite five of your closest friends, ask them to bring a dish or six-pack of beer or bottle of wine, and have a good time together.

21. Go to a kickboxing class. Imagine the things you’re pissed off about while kicking and punching. You’ll feel a lot better when you’re done!

22. Read the book that inspired you the most, highlight your favorite passages, and write them down in your own words. Expressing an author’s most important points in your own words will help you remember it better.

23. Give your dog or cat a new toy and get tickled when you see how excited it makes them. Video their reaction and put it on Facebook or Instagram so your friends can laugh, too.

Advertising

24. Talk to a total stranger at the bar. Ask them if they would be willing to tell you a crazy or interesting story. If they are, engage eye contact and actively listen (don’t look at your phone!). Tell them a story, too.

25. Say thank you and really mean it. Make sure to tell them why you appreciate them specifically!

26. Share an interesting article with a networking contact you’ve lost touch with. They will appreciate the thought.

27. Learn a new hobby like knitting, juggling, or ice-sculpting. If you realize you hate it, try a new one. Repeat until you find something you love.

28. Invent a funny song about your day while you’re driving your car. It could be about that delicious sandwich you ate, that gorgeous waitress you met, or whatever is on your mind.

29. Scratch your dog’s chin and forehead. Your pet can’t reach those areas with their paws, so they will love it!

30. Jump into a pool (even if you can only dog-paddle like me), because if you don’t now, you’ll wish you did when summer is over.

31. Stop hanging out with people who don’t appreciate you for who you are. Friends should be upfront and honest, but that doesn’t mean they have to be hateful about it.

Advertising

32. Walk barefoot in the grass. Try to perform a cart-wheel. If you fall on your butt, that’s okay — laugh at yourself and enjoy a brief moment with mother nature.

33. Hand-write a poem or love letter, wrap it up with a bow, put it in a nice bag with some bite-sized chocolates, and give it to your partner.

34. Climb a tree as high as you can go. If that’s too hard, hop up to grab a branch, and swing like a monkey for as long as you can hold on.

35. Dig through photo-albums so old that you’ve almost forgot about them. Reminisce about your favorite childhood memories, and get tickled at the blackmail worthy photographs your parents took.

36. Take a few days off work and enjoy a staycation. Go to a nearby theme-park, amusement park, thrill ride; stay in and get absorbed in a good book, movie marathon, creative project; or do whatever you feel led to do.

37. Listen to upbeat music while doing monotonous tasks like folding laundry or fixing breakfast. Dancing like a crazy person makes even the most boring of chores more bearable!

38. Have a pillow fight with your partner. Be more playful with them in general. If you’re lucky, it could lead to something more frisky and fun.

39. Make a silly face at yourself in the mirror. Challenge yourself to see how many different dramatic expressions you can make, all the way across the emotional spectrum. Happy, angry, sad, embarrassed, scared, aroused? There is no limit!

40. Tell us about the ways you practice joy in the comments (and make sure to share this with your friends). :)

Featured photo credit: Joy on the Beach in Cape Cod/Diana Robinson via flickr.com

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

10 Ways To Fix A Bad Relationship 9 Things to Remember When You’re Having a Bad Day Less Thinking, More Doing: Develop the Action Habit Today Why Instant Gratification is the Villain of Success How To Be Happy Alone and Enjoy Life

Trending in Communication

1 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way 2 How to Break Free From Negative Thinking for Good 3 15 Simple Things You Can Do to Boost Your Daily Motivation 4 How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often 5 Feeling Super Stressed? Do This Daily Routine Every Day

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

Advertising

2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

Advertising

Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

Advertising

12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

Read Next