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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on February 13, 2019

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

10 Things Happy People Do Differently

Think being happy is something that happens as a result of luck, circumstance, having money, etc.? Think again.

Happiness is a mindset. And if you’re looking to improve your ability to find happiness, then check out these 10 things happy people do differently.

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. -Dalai Lama

1. Happy people find balance in their lives.

Folks who are happy have this in common: they’re content with what they have, and don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things they don’t. Unhappy people do the opposite: they spend too much time thinking about what they don’t have. Happy people lead balanced lives. This means they make time for all the things that are important to them, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, religion, etc.

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2. Happy people abide by the golden rule.

You know that saying you heard when you were a kid, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Well, happy people truly embody this principle. They treat others with respect. They’re sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. They’re compassionate. And they get treated this way (most of the time) in return.

3. Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff.

One of the biggest things happy people do differently compared to unhappy people is they let stuff go. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy people realize this, are able to take things in stride, and move on. Unhappy people tend to dwell on minor inconveniences and issues, which can perpetuate feelings of sadness, guilt, resentment, greed, and anger.

4. Happy people take responsibility for their actions.

Happy people aren’t perfect, and they’re well aware of that. When they screw up, they admit it. They recognize their faults and work to improve on them. Unhappy people tend to blame others and always find an excuse why things aren’t going their way. Happy people, on the other hand, live by the mantra:

“There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.”

5. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people.

happiness surrounding

    One defining characteristic of happy people is they tend to hang out with other happy people. Misery loves company, and unhappy people gravitate toward others who share their negative sentiments. If you’re struggling with a bout of sadness, depression, worry, or anger, spend more time with your happiest friends or family members. Chances are, you’ll find that their positive attitude rubs off on you.

    6. Happy people are honest with themselves and others.

    People who are happy often exhibit the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. They would rather give you candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and they expect the same in return. Happy people respect people who give them an honest opinion.

    7. Happy people show signs of happiness.

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    smile

      This one may sound obvious but it’s a key differentiator between happy and unhappy people. Think about your happiest friends. Chances are, the mental image you form is of them smiling, laughing, and appearing genuinely happy. On the flip side, those who aren’t happy tend to look the part. Their posture may be slouched and you may perceive a lack of confidence.

      8. Happy people are passionate.

      Another thing happy people have in common is their ability to find their passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy people have found what they’re looking for, and they spend their time doing what they love.

      9. Happy people see challenges as opportunities.

      Folks who are happy accept challenges and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. They turn negatives into positives and make the best out of seemingly bad situations. They don’t dwell on things that are out of their control; rather, they seek solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles.

      10. Happy people live in the present.

      While unhappy people tend to dwell on the past and worry about the future, happy people live in the moment. They are grateful for “the now” and focus their efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Their philosophy is:

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      There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

      So if you’d like to bring a little more happiness into your life, think about the 10 principles above and how you can use them to make yourself better.

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