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Tools for Living an Amazingly Joyful Life www.simplyjoyfuljourney.com

Want to live a more joyful life? Want to truly experience all of the beauty in your life? Do you sometimes feel like time is passing you by, and at the same time you wonder when will your life really begin?

Here are the practices that have helped me to feel joy with every inch of my being. These are the tools I use to re-center myself when I feel disconnected.

1. Slow Down

We often rush through life. Trying to check everything off the list. Thinking that when we finally accomplish or acquire this or that, then we will find true happiness, just to find that our “happiness” is short lived. It is not long before we are off chasing our ever illusive happiness again. What if our happiness was closer than we thought? 

When we continuously look for our happiness outside ourselves, like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. We end up missing the magnificent rainbow right in front of us. When we live for tomorrow we end up missing today. 

When we see that our happiness is not in some far off event, or in the next shiny gadget, our next vacation, or in the approval of another. We begin to see that true happiness comes from within us. 

When we slow down and allow joy to bubble up from within us we also begin to see the beauty of the world all around us. We smell the roses more often. We begin to see the beautiful rainbow that is our path. We begin to enjoy our journey.

"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy." - Guillaume Apollinaire www.simplyjoyfuljourney.com

2. Identify Your Priorities

Take some time to make a list of all the things on your “to do” list for this week. Separate the items into two columns. What are the things that absolutely need to be done and what are the things that you choose to do either because you enjoy them or you feel you “need” to do them? Go through the “need to do” items and see if there are any items that you could ask for help with. Maybe your partner, your children, other family members or friends might be willing to help you.

Now look at your second column the things you choose to do. Mark the things that bring you joy. If there are things that you have said yes to that don’t bring you joy make a note of them, and consider whether those are things you truly want to continue doing.

As more opportunities come up for things to do, remember you don’t have to always say “yes” you don’t even have to answer right away. Let the other person or people know you will think about it or talk it over with your family and get back to them.

Consider that when you say yes to other people and opportunities you may be saying “no” to yourself. Tap into your inner wisdom. Notice your feelings. Choose your activities that bring more joy into your life. 

On the other hand there will always be things we need to do such as chores. The doing of these tasks can also bring joy into our lives. When we first settle our minds and tap into our inner joy we can then bring joy to everything we do!

"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere." - Vincent Van Gough www.simplyjoyfuljourney.com

3. Spend Time in Nature

Surrounding ourselves with the majesty of nature can be so calming and rejuvenating. Connecting with nature, reminds us that we are a part of nature. We may often feel disconnected with nature in our day to day lives. Many of us spend the majority of our time indoors, and may even spend several hours a day staring at a screen. 

Going for a walk in nature is a wonderful way to care for our body as well as for our spirit. Spending time in nature can help to refresh our spirit and help to bring more spaciousness and joy into our lives.

Start by making it a priority to spend at least a few minutes a day connecting with nature. As you practice enjoying nature you may find that you want to spend more time outdoors. Putting away our phones and other devices and simply being in nature can reduce stress and leave you feeling invigorated. You may even choose to have a potted plant indoors. This can be a beautiful way to care for and connect with nature in your home or workplace.

4. Show Yourself Love

So many of us have very negative self talk, whether we express it verbally, or just in our minds. Noticing this is one of the first steps to transforming this voice in the head from abusive to loving. This can make a huge difference in the joy you feel. 

"The ultimate lesson all of us have to learn is unconditional love, which includes not only others bu ourselves as well." - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross www.simplyjoyfuljourney.com

Let go of Comparison

Part of this negative self talk involves comparison. We compar ourselves and our lives to our perception of other people’s lives. This usually leaves feeling inadequate and disconnected from our true essence.

Accept All of Your Feelings

Loving ourselves unconditionally involves allowing for all of our feelings. One way to observe our feelings is to sit with ourselves through meditation. Sitting with yourself daily is essential. If you do not already have a meditation practice, begin with sitting for just a few minutes every day.

This daily prioritizing of your self speaks volumes. When you put yourself first in this way you are saying that you are worthy of this care. You are worthy of love and joy. And as a result you will see more love and joy enter into your life experience.

Here is a guided meditation to help you live a life filled with love and joy.

5. Practice Gratitude

There is always something to be grateful for. Even on our most challenging days we can be grateful for the life flowing through our body, for the very breath that we are taking.

If you enjoy journaling, incorporate writing down gratitudes in your journal. If journaling is not your thing, you may simply take some time to mentally note the things that you are grateful for as you brush your teeth at the end of the day or when you lay down to go to bed. It is a beautiful way to end our day and paves the way for the next day.

You may even want to make gratitude a family practice. Practicing gratitude over a meal with your family is another wonderful way to incorporate the habit of thankfulness and creates a ritual of giving thanks with your family. When everyone takes turns expressing thanks it may also be a great way to spark meaningful conversation over a meal together.

"It's not happiness that brings us gratitude. It's gratitude that brings us happiness." - Anonymous www.simplyjoyfuljourney.com

6. Meditate

When we take time to practice inner stillness we are more able to tap into that inner peace throughout the day.

There are so many benefits to practicing meditation. If you are looking to starting a meditation practice, here is a guide to get you started.

I have some free guided meditations for you. These are a great tool to use as you begin your meditation practice.



7. Create Healthy Sleep Habits

Getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis can have an incredible impact on your day. The perfect amount of sleep varies by individual, but studies note that most people need at least 7-8 hours a night.

One practice to help you get to sleep is to create a simple but soothing bedtime routine, helping you to wind-down preparing your body and mind for sleep. You may enjoy a warm bath or a warm cup of tea such as chamomile before bed.

Turn off the Blue Light

Studies have been done on the effect of blue light and sleep. Exposure to blue light after sunset can disrupt our circadian rhythms. Turning off devices such as televisions, cell phones, and tablets off a few hours before you go to bed can help prepare you for a restful night’s sleep.

Sweet Dreams!

8. Smile

Smiling can actually lift your spirits. Smiling is contagious. It can affect those around you as well.

Turn on your smile and see what happens. 🙂

"Music is the universal language of mankind." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow www.simplyjoyfuljourney.com

9. Listen to Music

Music speaks the language of the soul. Music can move, inspire, and uplift us. So put on some music and dance, if you feel so inspired.

10. Move Your Body

Our bodies are meant to move. Moving our bodies every day is very beneficial for our physical bodies as well as for our mental health. Exercise has been shown to have many benefits including reduced anxiety. Move your body in ways that feel good to you. Here are some yoga poses that may inspire you.

11. Nourish Your Body

The food we eat is transformed into the fuel for our physical bodies. When we listen to our bodies and choose foods that are whole, natural, delicious and nutritious our bodies thank us. When eat nourishing foods like fruits and vegetables in addition to improved physical health we may also experience higher levels of happiness.

12. Find a Creative Outlet

Allowing yourself to tap into your creativity can be a great way to express yourself through an activity that you enjoy. Allow the joy that you feel during your creative activity to flow into the rest of your life. If you are feeling stuck creatively here is the 5 step process I use to spark my creativity.

Here is a guided meditation to help you tap into your creativity

13. De-clutter

Our physical space and surroundings can have an effect on our mental state. Creating physical space can help to create mental space as well. Start by choosing one category or room in your home to declutter. You may like to follow the Marie Kondo method of keeping only the things that spark joy for you.


 


14. Detox Your Home and Body

There are many chemicals all around us. Our bodies do their best to help protect us from these toxins, but it can help to lower our exposure to unnecessary chemicals, in order to lower the burden on our bodies. Taking this load off of our bodies allows us to use the extra energy for things that bring us joy! One way we can do this is to use fewer toxic chemicals in our homes. Using essential oils and other natural products to clean our homes can help tremendously.

15. Digital Detox

Turning off your devices especially when you are with your spouse, children, or friends helps us connect more deeply with those we care about. It also speaks volumes to the people you spend your time with when they see you are giving them your undivided attention, and truly listening to them, or just being fully present with them. There are many benefits to digitally detoxifying. Our screens can have an addictive effect. Try to have one day a week where you don’t engage with screens. You may also have times of day where screens are turned off, such as dinner time. Try this, and see how you feel. Was it challenging? After doing this several times, did you feel a sense of relief? More connection with your loved ones?

16. Play

Add more play to your day! Don’t take yourself and life too seriously – sure we have responsibilities and obligations, but life is meant to be a fun adventure.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw www.simplyjoyfuljourney.com





17. Create New Habits

Repetition helps us to create new habits. Usually doing something one time does not miraculously transform our lives. There is a lot of research on creating new habits. If experiencing more joy in your life is important to you, then consistently practicing helpful habits will have a beneficial impact on your life. Choose a few of the tools on this list that you feel would most benefit you and apply them consistently and see more joy bloom in your life!

I hope some of these tools have inspired you. You don’t have to apply all of these tools at once to experience more joy in your life. Choose one or two that resonate with you. Here is a list of all of the tools:

  1. Slow Down
  2. Identify Your Priorities
  3. Spend Time in Nature
  4. Show Yourself Love
  5. Practice Gratitude
  6. Meditate
  7. Create Healthy Sleep Habits
  8. Smile
  9. Listen to Music
  10. Move Your Body
  11. Nourish Your Body
  12. Find a Creative Outlet
  13. De-Clutter
  14. Detox Your Home and Body
  15. Digital Detox
  16. Play
  17. Create New Habits

I hope these tools help you anytime you feel disconnected and need to reconnect with joy!

I would love to know which tools you love and how they help bring more joy into your life.

How to Live a Joyful Life www.simplyjoyfuljourney.com

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