What is joy? Most people want to live a life full of joy. While everyone has their own concept of what joy means to them, you can always rely joy to evoke feelings of contentment and inner peace.
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, joy is defined as the following:
- The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires
- The expression or exhibition of such emotion
- A state of happiness or felicity
- A source or cause of delight
Each of us has the power to live, breath, and enjoy a life full of joy. Below are 10 habits that help promote feelings of joy.
- Practice Gratitude
The first habit to learn to promote joy is the art of gratitude. According to Harvard Health, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” Ways to easily practice gratitude include the following:
- Keeping a gratitude journal. This allows you to keep an ongoing trackable list of everything you are thankful for
- Thank someone verbally, face-to-face or on a call.
- Write and send a thank you note or card
- Count your blessings. Pick a time each week to sit and reflect on what you are thankful for. You can use this time to write or review your gratitude journal.
The second habit to put into practice to promote joy is routine meditation.
Meditating on a regular basis helps to quiet overactive areas of the brain and activate the areas of the brain that are responsible for pleasure and joy.
The third habit to put into practice to promote joy is to unplug from technology. In a society built upon nonstop technology, it is so important to take a step back away from it all. All day long the average person is attached to technology. Whether it is work emails, at-home help gadgets, apps, or cell phones.
According to the Statistical Research Department, in 2020, US based adults spent an average of 470 minutes (seven hours and 50 minutes) with digital media each day. Choose to set aside certain times or days to be free of technology.
- Learn to Forgive
The fourth habit to put into practice to promote joy is to learn to forgive. Letting go of the pain of the past and forgiving those who have hurt you will take a weight off your shoulders which will allow you to feel more joy.
- Help Others (Donate / Volunteer)
The fifth habit to put into practice to promote joy is to help others. This can be done in a multitude of ways.
You can donate materialistic items, financial resources, or even your time by volunteering. Clean out your closets and basements and donate any items you have not used in 6+ months.
Contact a local shelter or soup kitchen and volunteer to help.
No matter what you give or help with, you will feel joy knowing you were able to make a difference in someone’s life.
- Set Realistic Goals
The sixth habit to put into practice to promote joy is to set realistic goals.
Setting goals offers hope, increases our sense of purpose, increases motivation levels, helps to map out things you’d like to accomplish in life, and can help you become the very best version of yourself.
Setting goals, working towards that goal, and then achieving that goal creates passion within ourselves and brings a feeling of joy and accomplishment.
- Go Outside and Enjoy Nature
The seventh habit to put into practice to promote joy is to go outside. Being in nature makes us remember the simple things in life. Connect to nature and enjoy the sights, sounds, and fragrances found in nature. Go for a hike, visit a new park, walk the beach at sunset, or run in the rain.
- Practice Self-Care
The eighth habit to put into practice to promote joy is to practice self-care. How are you supposed to care for others if you don’t first care for yourself? Take at least 15-30 minutes per day just for you. Drink a cup of tea, read your favorite book, do whatever you’d like in that time regardless of what others may think.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
The ninth habit to put into practice to promote joy is to ensure you get plenty of sleep. Research shows that less than adequate sleep decreases memory, happiness, and increases health risks and accidents. Establish a structured bedtime routine and do your best to follow it each night.
- Be Present
The tenth habit to put into place to promote joy is to live in the present. The past cannot be changed, and the future has not happened yet. Stay in the present to have awareness about the world around you, to understand what is currently happening in your life, and to connect with those around you. Enjoy the moment you are in.