Updated: Mar 31, 2020
What is joy? How do we find it? Does it come through searching or merely by letting go?
A patient once told me something that I will never forget. Quite simply, she said, "Jen, never postpone joy." I thought that was a pretty profound statement. I remember reading a book years ago and one of the questions the author asked was: "If you knew you were going to die of a heart attack in exactly one year, what would you do differently?" I have to admit this question sort of depressed me because I had no answer... I had no burning desire to travel, to see new places, to sky dive, to try new things. I could not for the life of me think of a freaking answer that felt true to my heart. The only thing I could think of was "eat" because after all I've always found comfort in food. Yet how depressing that made me feel.
This one little question made me really think about life and how I was living it. To think that if I knew I was going to die, I wouldn't make the most use of my time and really discover joy, then what was the point of living in the first place other than just being a soul trapped in a body?
5 Tips for finding joy in your life (that worked for me at least)
1. Doing one thing each day that makes you happy. Whether it's going outside in nature for 15 minutes, reading a good book, watching something on TV that makes you laugh, catching up with a friend. Whatever it is, make the time to just do it.
2. Meditation. Sitting in silence. Closing your eyes for five minutes and breathing.Finding quiet. Relaxing. Call it what you will, our body needs time to reflect and recharge and that involves turning within ourselves for a few minutes each day and really listening to our inner voice. This inner voice will guide us in the right direction in our lives. It knows everything we want and will grant our every wish. We just need to listen. This day and age we are distracted by everything under the sun from TV, to our phones, to noise everywhere we go, hustle and bustle. It's difficult to tune it all out sometimes, but make the conscious effort, and you will hear your inner voice speaking to you. So turn off the news, put down the phone and find your purpose.
3. Letting go.This one is (as Donald Trump would say) HUGE! I've found that when you go through your life trying to force things to happen, it lowers the chance of them actually happening. You'll start to amaze yourself once you learn to let go, breathe, and just live. I guarantee great things will start to happen. Years ago, I spent a great deal of time locked in my room trying to meditate, listening to hypnosis CDS, doing Reiki on myself, listening to binaural beats, giving myself acupuncture, reading self-help books, you name it. Then I realized that often times I would be forcing myself to relax which in turn made me more anxious. So sometimes, instead of worrying about what you "should do" it's better to let go, just sit, let your mind wander where it wants to wander and if any one thing, focus on just breathing and letting your control go...
4. Listen to music that uplifts you. There's nothing that raises our vibration more than a tune that we really feel in our hearts. Music acts as therapy many times whether we acknowledge it or not. All it takes is two minutes of a good song to really uplift us in our hearts.
5. Tune out the negative Nellie's in your life. Yes, that's right. The Debbie Downers that surround you on a daily basis. While it may be impossible to completely shut certain people out from our lives, we can limit how much time we spend with them or at least make the effort. Those who always complain or, worse yet, criticize us or put us down, do us no favors. Instead, find your friends, family, or coworkers who support you and give you that expanding lifting confident feeling in your heart (you'll know it when you feel it). Limit your time with those who give you that sinking feeling in your gut.