I’m willing to bet most of us would do almost anything for joy. It’s an unmistakable feeling; heart open and full, warmth cascading through every cell. Aaahhhhh.
What if you could activate joy in the next 5 minutes? Would you sign on?
We often see joyfulness (like happiness) as an end result. We finally get to experience joy after enduring struggle and hardship. It’s that beautiful moment when all the ducks magically lock into place. A-Ha! Joy! But the down side is that it’s fleeting. One duck leans a little to the left and suddenly all are misaligned. Poof. The joy vanishes. Nice while it lasted. Back we go trying to make more. A lot of hard work is involved in creating joy.
Here’s another approach. Think of joy as a state and not a destination. A state we can continually be engaged in. There are thousands of small things guaranteed to fill the heart with joy instantly or at the very least 5 minutes! Here’s an easy 10.
- Breathe – Deep and purposeful breathing has an incredibly relaxing and deeply peaceful effect on the body and mind. Try this one. Breathe in (deep diaphragm breathing where you expand the stomach and chest cavity) for a count of 6—hold for 2 counts – release for 7. Repeat. The subtle whispers of joy are seen as corners of mouth unconsciously tilt upward.
- Learn something new – Learning makes up feel confident, feeds our creative soul, broadens our perspective and helps us evolve into our best selves. Doesn’t that rustle up joyful feelings? Start with perusing the list of more than 2,000 awe inspiring TED talks.
- Give a hug – Get a hug– Research shows that hugging is good for the soul, improves the mood and makes us feel good about ourselves. Hugs open the heart and let the joy flow. The daily prescription is 4 hugs for survival, 8 for maintenance and 12 for growth and BLISS.
- Get outside – Breathe in air and get a dose of Vitamin D. Better yet get into nature where the air is clear and take in the beauty. Nature = Joy
- Compliment others – Extending a compliment creates a bridge of trust between you and another. Their joy becomes your joy and everyone wins.
- Express gratitude – Nothing opens the heart more than expressing gratitude. It’s the single most joyful practice we can engage in. Reminding ourselves of all the awesome things in our lives can transform a hard heart into a soft one in minutes. Start with 3 things you’re grateful and work your way up. Gratitude changed my life. Check out these links for other ideas. Taming fear through gratitude. Gratitude when it’s hard. Make a gratitude call. Gratitude when its hard Two minutes to gratitude
- Declutter – You know the feeling. When you declutter your space it infuses you with vital energy and frees you up to appreciate what you have. It allows you to focus your attention on things that matter most. Clears a unrestricted path for joy to flow.
- Eat for JOY – There are foods that have been proven to improve mood and increase feelings of happiness. Bring on dark chocolate, fish, green leafy veggies, fruit, saffron and coconut. I personally love it that chocolate is finally referred to as the true ‘health food’ it is!
- Visualize – Spend a few minutes visualizing your perfect day and watch what happens. It generates good feelings, spirits lift, hearts open. Magically a joyful day unfolds from what was first created in the mind.
- Move – Walk, run, skip, hop, cycle, do yoga, pilates, barre, strength training, zumba, ballroom, pole dancing etc… Movement makes our bodies joyful and happy.
Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.