Live for the moments you can’t put into words. –Unknown
Many of us are stressed out and frazzled, wishing that we could find more experiences of happiness and joy to make our lives complete. The great news is that you have the power to live into more joyful moments—simply by being more aware and intentional about your life.
Discern Your Joy
Close your eyes for a moment and think back to a recent time where you experienced pure joy. Or if you can’t think of any joyful moments recently, think back further. Can you think of one moment that brought you a deep amount of joy?
When you’ve got your joy moment, consider what was going on inside of you when you experienced that joy. What was going on around you? What were the factors that made that moment so wonderful? Was it the people you were with? Something you accomplished?
Remember, you don’t have to be able to explain this type of experience to anyone but yourself, but we are aiming to get at the core of what brings you joy.
Learn from Your Joy
While we aren’t trying to have repeated experiences, we can learn from joyful moments so that we understand what we are passionate about and how to live into those moments more frequently. While we can’t exactly manufacture joy, we can allow space for it in our lives. We can make decisions and pursue opportunities that lead us to experience joyful moments more often.
Remember, we aren’t using a pre-determined measuring stick that the rest of the world might want to assign. Not everyone finds joy in the same things and there’s no right or wrong answer to this. Some folks might find the most joy in playing or reading a book to their child or grandchild. Others might find they are most joyful when giving a teaching presentation at work. Still others might find being outside or travelling to be where their greatest joy lies. Where does your greatest joy come from?
Schedule in Time for Joy
Of course, you won’t be able to replicate any joyful experience exactly again--that would be more akin to a scene from the film “Groundhog Day” where the same things happen over and over again. And most people agree that anything good can turn bad if you do it too many times in a row!
However, once you’ve answered the question about where you find joy, then it’s time to take stock of your life and figure out how to experience more of this. First take out your calendar and look at it. How much of what’s on your calendar brings you joy? And how much time do you intentionally carve out to read that book to your child or drive to the nearest park and spend time outdoors?
If it’s not often enough for you, then do something about it! Add some “joy time” to your calendar and keep that as an “appointment” on your agenda that you’re not willing to change for anyone.
Be Aware of the Joy
Another way to be sure you are sucking all of the marrow out of your joyful moments is to make sure you are fully present when you are in them. Many people miss out on their passion because they are stressed out about other things at the very moment when they should be having fun! When you commit to setting aside negative or stressful thoughts, you can release yourself to dig deeply into the fun and joy that is coming your way during the present moment.
Live more fully and joy-fully by discerning what brings you joy, scheduling it in and being fully there for each joyful moment. You won’t regret it!
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