As the year draws to a close, I encourage my friends, family, and clients to cultivate joy. By purposely choosing to be joyful, you will reclaim peace, wonder, and gratitude in all aspects of your life.
“Joy is not in things … it is in us.” ~ Richard Wagner
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen
“Happiness is like rising bubbles — delightful and fleeting. Joy is the oxygen — ever present. “ ~ Danielle Laporte
Joy is a wonderful and life-changing state of being that impacts every aspect of our existence. The presence or absence of joy changes every experience, great and small.
So — how do you cultivate joy?
The good news is that we all have the choice to live joyfully. No one and no thing can make you joyful – you have to choose it and pursue it.
Unlike happiness, which surfaces when something good happens to us (a lunch date with friends, getting a raise or finding a good deal … things outside us) — joy is independent of circumstances, it flows from within. A state of joy is peaceful, grounded, and stable. It doesn’t fluctuate wildly based on what’s going on in our life — we create and sustain it.
One of the greatest practices to spark joy is gratitude. Consciously and consistently choosing to focus on the good — on your blessings, on what you have instead of what you don’t — brings great joy.
To cultivate joy, focus on the constants in your life that ground you. When you’re grateful for your freedom, the beauty of nature, loving relationships or faith in something larger than yourself, you dwell less on the things that bring you pain and more on what lifts your spirits.
Joy lights your life and your soul from within. It is greater than life’s trials, it continues when circumstances are bleak, and helps us persevere through illness, unemployment, or loss of a loved one. Be joyful always.
Tips to Cultivate Joy
- Smile and laugh. Remember the adage, “Your day usually follows the corners of your mouth.” To improve your outlook and mood, try smiling and laughing more. It’s easy to do and good for your soul.
- Move towards joy. Each moment offers us a choice. Take a look at your life. Are you choosing anger, frustration, resentment or what instills joy? Master the art of joyful living by making room in your life for what is positive, energizing, and affirming.
- Serve others. Each and every day, get beyond yourself — help, support and guide others.
- Practice self-compassion. Few things crush joy more quickly than self-judgment. Feelings of inadequacy can cause us to turn to external sources to find happiness. Acknowledge and appreciate your talents — the beauty in yourself — to create greater joy.
- Pray or meditate. Prayer or meditation allows you to focus on something greater than you or your circumstances. It can help you feel calm, centered, content — joyful.
Focus on the Future
At Leap Forward Coaching we have a process to help you be and achieve what you truly want and cultivate joy. Our thoughtful methods help you develop inner calm and confidence for success in every facet of your life.