Finding joy is a topic I hear about often because I love learning about, and researching personal development. Often, most people are having a hard time finding joy in their everyday lives and feel lost in their world. Sometimes it’s related to a job, or a relationship, an expectation, or a limiting belief. Here are my thoughts and tips for finding joy EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Make Up Your Mind
You actually have LOTS (scientific term, haha) of control over whether you are going to feel positive or negative. This one took practice for me! I don’t inherently wake up in either a positive or negative mood, I’m pretty neutral. When I read about how our words/thoughts truly make connections of response in our brain, it was a lightbulb moment. (checkout the book that goes into detail about how our brain works, and how to train it > FASCINATING!)
Our brain is constantly matching what it perceives to be happening. Think about when you may be REALLY frustrated with your child at a birthday party, but you know it’s not a place you can unleash the wrath of “I SAID NO!”, so you use your I’m-a-sweet-composed-mother voice and you are able to not feel as angry. The situation is milder by you recognizing your circumstance, and adjusting. You are able to control that wave of emotion.
This can be applied to ALL situations. Decide “How do I want to repsond?”, and adjust. Or, “How do I want to feel?”, and your mind will feel different. It takes PRACTICE to not react inherently natural, so you have to work hard at shifting your perspective. It gets easier with practice, and it’s possible to truly make a difference in how you emotionally towards anything. The key is to use present tense, and I’ve found that repetitively saying it out loud is truly amazing at helping me shift into that mindset more quickly and profoundly. Words are life ::
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.Proverbs 18:21
Do not underestimate the power that your words and thoughts have over your life. Finding joy is possible just by speaking it into existence thru your faith in the Christ.
Establishing a Rhythm
Establishing a rhythm is something that TRULY brings so much joy to your everyday! You don’t have to plan every detail, or live by a precise schedule, but working into your days standing activities will ensure that you are being more intentional with your life. And when we can be intentional, it creates margin to incorporate the life-giving elements that fill us up, and push us to grow!
What does establishing a rhythm include:
- Morning routine : there is NOTHING WORSE than feeling rushed and overwhelmed trying to get out the door and into work., or mom mode, or school mode. Think about your best days, and how they started. This is what I did to help me formulate what I needed each day to start out on the “right foot”.
- daily exercise : get moving! Even if it’s walking to lunch, walking around the room while you’re on the phone, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Our bodies were made to move, and studies have shown that having mainly sedentary day in some cases is more harmful to your body than smoking multiple cigarettes a day. NO EXCUSES!
- Knowing Yourself : are you in introvert? Do you need to wind down your day, and have quite, alone time to recharges? Are you an extrovert, and it helps you wind down to call someone and talk about your day or have that undivided attention time set aside to download your day with your spouse?
- Plan out your must-do’s AND your want-to’s : If you don’t plan for things, you’re going nowhere. It’s important that you put into practice incorporating the things that you love into you DAILY life. No matter how big, or small >> you have to have your skills, passions, and dreams part of your normal routine because it allows us to live more fulflling, life-giving lives <insert JOY>!
In order to have true joy, you have to be receptive to God’s work in your life. You cannot be drilled in to your own ambitions, you must be perceptive to His because He built you for a purpose, and ultimate joy comes from Christ flowing through your life.
We have to be able to see where God wants us to go, and not be pigeon-holed into what we want for ourselves. God has a calling for your life, and His plans are the best plans. This is a point I’ve struggled with strongly! I like to be in control, and when I’m being pushed in another direction or hitting dead-ends, I have to step back, pray, and really gain clarity with what God wants me to do. God reveals to each of us what He wants us to know, so be receptive! Trust that He knows BEST!
This is a great podcast by John Piper on this very topic (huge Piper Fan!)
Recently, I was thinking about my life, and really took the time to think about it in the context of JUST MY LIFE. Not in comparison to anyone else, not thinking about where I wanted to be, or things that are on my bucket list to accomplish. I just thought about the circumstances of my life >> the facts. And when I removed all ancillary things and zero consideration of others, I found that I couldn’t stop smiling. I was JOYFUL! Joyful with what my life contained, what goes on daily in my life, and how I spend most of my time.
I was OVER JOYED! It’s easy to compare ourselves, marriage, lifestyle, home, finances, family against what other’s have. And it is the THIEF OF JOY!
When you strip down to what you truly value in your heart, those things are more than likely a part of your life in some way, and if they’re not > it’s easy to recognize what is missing when there is no energy being spent thinking about what someone else has going on.
Today, it is IMPERATIVE to create the habit to remove the things that do not serve us well. We have to protect our life, our beliefs, our hearts from being swayed away from what is truly important. And it is SUPER difficult to remain vigilant at practicing this when hours spent mindlessly scrolling and consuming the thoughts and pics of what everyone else feels is important to share, complain, or brag about. It makes an impression!
I recognized how easily I would become frustrated or resentful after spending time looking at everyone’s perfectly curated posts, and it hit me the other day that I don’t need that in my life.
Other people live their lives, and it literally has not bearing on how I live mine. Their lives do not take away from my life. I am joyful living the life that I have. I don’t need all the things she has because that’s not my story, it’s her’s.
So DO NOT COMPARE. Do not be consumed with what others say is important, successful, or meaningful >>> they are living THEIR life, and you are living YOUR’S!
Ask yourself today, where do I find joy?