50 Ways to Increase Joy in Your Life

50 Ways to Increase Joy in Your Life

During this particularly trying year of 2020, we all could use a bit more happiness in our lives.  We have compiled some tips based on the Action for Happiness’ 10 Keys to Happier Living.  Tips are grouped into five sections with ten suggestions each.  Happiness is a muscle we can exercise every day.  Life can be a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, but through gratitude and positive we can cultivate both peace and joy to get us through the rough times.  By practicing these tips, you can become more resilient and experience more grace in the face of uncertainty.

Giving Back

  1. Freely give sincere compliments whenever possible. This is a blessing you are able to give both the recipient and yourself.  Focus on giving positive feedback on one’s work, attitude, style, or anything else you genuinely admire.  Not only will give them encouragement to keep up healthy patterns, but it will promote you as a kind person who empowers others.
  2. Say thank you, not just to the close people in your life, but the everyday helpers you meet such as the grocery clerk, barista, or bus driver.
  3. Write a letter to your local police, fire, or emergency departments thanking them for the service they provide daily.
  4. Hold the door open for the person behind you.
  5. Buy a homeless person a meal or create care packages to hand out when you see someone in need.

Form Connections

  1. Freely say “I love you” to people that matter.
  2. Give someone a hug.
  3. Go out of your way to praise, and be specific, co-workers and other helpers in your life.
  4. Adapt a habit of mindful listening to people, not just your inner circle.
  5. Ban technology during meals, so you can all have vibrant conversations together.

Strengthen Your Temple by Exercising

  1. Take a walk and offer warm smiles to everyone you pass.
  2. Do simple exercises regularly to produce a quick energy boost and circulate your blood. It also helps induce creativity, so a quick exercise break helps alleviate fatigue from monotonous work projects.
  3. Do a headstand. Headstands are a great way to flush fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to the brain. It’s quirky new perspective on the world can help you laugh.
  4. Take the stairs whenever possible.
  5. Go for a bike ride, walk or hike with a friend. Getting outside in nature has a restorative effect on the psyche. In just 15 minutes, exposure to nature can increased feelings of vitality and relaxation.

Be Mindful

  1. Smell the flowers, observe their color, textures and patterns. Fully notice the beauty nature provides us.
  2. Soak in the sunrise or sunset. Remember that no matter what, the sun will rise again tomorrow.  There are always new beginnings.
  3. Get mesmerized by the flames in a candle or fire.
  4. Practice mindful eating to truly savor the flavors, aromas, and experience.
  5. Marvel the ways your body performs in harmony without your direct intervention. Examples include breathing, feeling, digesting, thinking, yawning, blinking, sweating, shivering.

Never Stop Learning

  1. Freely ask questions. Having an inquisitive nature is fuel for your imagination and spirit. Ask more questions. Keeping your mind open to the marvels of the world is fuel for your
  2. Visit museums, galleries, and historical site as often as possible.
  3. Tackle a new sport, yoga class, or team activity. Learning a new sport builds the volume of gray matter in motor movement centers in your brain.
  4. Discover a new hobby like drawing, playing an instrument, cooking, or learning a language. Learning improves self-esteem and bolsters creativity.
  5. Share your knowledge. Teaching others empowers you to have a new perspective and promotes greater understanding.

Set and Work on Goals

  1. Plan a trip. This will nature a love of learning and create healthy anticipation.
  2. Create a routine. Rituals provide stability and comfort while still teaching you mindfulness.  Involving others helps strengthen relationships and fosters fond memories.
  3. Sign up and train for an event like a marathon or 24 hours danceathon — you’ll get all benefit when doing it with a group. The sense of accomplishment of achieving a goal after extended time investment is a huge happiness booster, building confidence in all facets of life.
  4. Create action steps that allow you to more easily reach your goal. Weekly review your process and lessons to make sure you are on track.
  5. Find a mentor, coach, or teacher who can help guide you and hold you accountable.

Become Resilient

  1. Listen to upbeat music and don’t be afraid to dance!
  2. This improves strength of mind, heart, and spirit. Begin a simple practice just one minute of focusing on your breathing.  It’s ok to get distracted, notice it, forgive yourself and begin again.  With time you can build towards longer or guided meditations.
  3. This simple act manipulates the brain into feel more positive due to bending the zygomatic major muscle, which is the smiling muscle.
  4. Be curious. Taking this approach rather judging or getting critic, allows you to see each experience as a lesson and propulsion forward.
  5. Lean into the pain. You learn more from struggles than success.  Struggle is often a manifestation of resistance to change to avoid being uncomfortable.  By exploring this discomfort, we find greater power and opportunities within us.

Discover Blessings

  1. Keep a daily gratitude journal. Each day write 3–5 positively impactful things that happened to you.
  2. Make a Gratitude Board. Any type of board will work.  The goal is to showcase aspects that you are grateful for. Keep it somewhere that you see often so you are constantly reminded about the good in your life.
  3. Tell people about the special happy moments of your day. Regularly sharing blessings will help train your brain to look for the good around you.
  4. Know what makes you happy and do more of it. Does art lift your spirit? Then commit to painting outside more often
  5. Visit website that make you smile or laugh.

Love Yourself

  1. Practice the loving-kindness meditation to promote love and acceptance all around you.
  2. Notice what your self-talk is like. Are you constantly criticizing and judging yourself? If so, begin to treat yourself like a loved one.
  3. Have an open mind. The more accepting you are of yourself, the less you focus on external perceptions. This expands your thinking and possibilities.
  4. Challenge yourself. Getting outside your comfort zone occasionally helps your grow. Start small and grow more daring with time.
  5. Nurture yourself. Get a massage, go to a spa, take a warm bath.

Team Up

  1. It doesn’t matter the cause, being active in a community setting will help you think outside yourself.
  2. Look up. Marvel at the cosmic world.  Learning more the solar system helps us realize just how smaller our problems truly are.  Revealing in the night sky fosters wonder and intimate connection.
  3. Join a community group. Whether it is social activism or a recreational sport team, connection with others makes you feel a part of something far greater and spur you on to greater action.
  4. Adopt a pet. There is no love like that of a bond between a person and their treasured animal companion.
  5. Plant a garden. Tending to a plant, especially one you can consume, promotes an appreciation and a deeper respect for Mother Earth.

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