Create More Joy
Five Days To A More Joy Filled Life!
One day in early June, I was looking out the window at the lush green trees outside my apartment and as I turned my head these beautiful rays of sun appeared, and the following words popped into my head: "Create more Joy!"
An intention was declared, and after several manipulations and incarnations, you are now looking at the manifested dream: this awesome hub!
This hub will guide you on a simple, short and doable journey towards creating more joy in your life.
I've set this up so you don't have to spend more than five minutes a day focusing on each step.
In it you will find seven easy steps, that can be slowly integrated into your life over seven days.
As each day goes by, you will feel more joy-filled. And when the five days are over, you will have five little tricks to help lift you up and fill you with joy - Whenever!
What's Your Current Joy Level?
Are You Satisfied With The Amount Of Joy You Experience In Your Life?
First Step: The Gratitude Journal
From experience, I can say that the best way to start implementing a grateful perspective is to keep a gratitude journal. Eventually, you won’t need the journal because you will find that you will take moments out of your day to mentally review all that you are grateful for, without even consciously thinking about it.
So, go get yourself a suitable notebook, that will work for you, and start by writing down at least five things everyday, which you are grateful for. You will soon leave the idea of only five things in the dust. All that you are grateful for will just start pouring out of you and you may find that you are unable to stop, even at twenty.
This practice will lead to a life filled with prosperity and Joy!
Day One: Actively Engage In Gratitude
"The enlightened give thanks for what most people take for granted." ~ Michael Beckwith
OK. Here's the skinny on gratitude. Being grateful for what has manifested in your life, even the lessons learned after a rough experience, will change your consciousness and change your life.
Changing your perspective automatically changes your thoughts. Coming from a perspective of gratitude will instantly alter your thoughts to positive uplifting thoughts. This will lead to living a more joy filled existence.
I even have some science for you on this one:
Research done by Miami University Dr. Micheal MC Collough and University of California Davis Dr. Robert Emmons discovered that grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress.
So, I'm addressing gratitude first because, as far as I'm concerned, it is the cornerstone to harnessing joy. The sooner you get started, the better.
Second Step: Listen To Music And Dance!
All right. This may be hard for some of you who stopped dancing when going to the “club” officially started making it hard to be a responsible adult.
Here’s what I have to say about that: “Get up off your duff, move to some music, feel your heart pump and your spirit lift!”
You know there are moments when no one is around, when you can embrace the uplifting power of good music and movement. Or even when you’re not alone.
I've been known to dance to my boyfriend's music in my office while he’s working out.
For me, the more drums the better. So, when he leaves to run an errand, you will often find me dancing around our living room, listening to Santana on my iPod.
When he comes home, I am a new woman, filled with energy and Joy!
Day Two: Turn On Your Favorite Music And Dance
"One good thing about music/ When it hits you feel no pain" ~ Bob Marley
I wasn’t exposed to popular music until I was seven. Before that, it was mostly classical music with some classic country (we watched Hee Haw! every Saturday night) and 50s rock (sung by my mother) mixed in. Even in these early years, I noticed a huge difference in my emotions when I would listen to music. The lighter classical would relax me. The grand and flourishing numbers would make me feel like royalty. The plucky numbers would make me feel like a fairy.
And, of course, who doesn't make it through teenaged angst without the lyrics and music of musicians and bands who “get you”, unlike your parents ;~D
In short, music affects you mood. And if you want to integrate more joy into your life, listening to uplifting music will change your mood, then change your perspective.
Third Step: Take Time To Stretch And Breathe
Have you ever watched a baby breathe? Babies take deep breaths into their bellies.
They rise on the inhale and fall on the exhale. Over time, life stress and negative habits
like smoking, train our lungs to only use about twenty percent of their capacity.
It’s time to consciously engage in these deep breaths.
What I find most beneficial is to take deep belly breaths throughout the day, combined with stretching my arms over my head. Breathe in and let the breath lift the arms as you stretch them over your head. Then, lower your arms as you exhale.
You can do this while sitting at your desk or you can make it even more powerful by standing up, lifting your arms over your head and inhaling, then exhaling as you bend at the waist.
Do this 2 or 3 times. It will help you to sustain a clear mind by building resiliency to negative thoughts. It will enable you to set adverse possibilities aside and think more clearly.
Ultimately making room for more Joy!
Day Three: Stretch And Breathe
"A healthier, happier, more energized life is just a few breaths away." ~ Dr. Susan Smith Jones
It only makes sense to share the gifts of after discovering the joy of music and movement, yesterday. The movement you experienced is known as an aerobic activity, which means it created oxygen. stretching and breath
Oxygen does amazing things for your body and, in return, your emotions. The endorphins in your brain are increased, creating a sense of well-being.
Same goes for stretching. It is important to keep that oxygenated blood pumping through your muscles. This relieves tension, tiredness and soreness.
After respecting yourself with movement, it is always good to allow yourself time
to adjust to the increased strength in your muscles and oxygen in your body. This sense of well-being can be easily tapped into throughout the day, by stretching as well as breathing.
And if you haven’t found the time to follow Step Two, it’s Ok. You can still experience increased levels of well-being by simply taking a moment to focus your breath and stretch your muscles.
Fourth Step: Watch Something Funny
There are all kinds of ways to create laughter during the day, one of the best ways is to sit down and watch a funny movie or television show.
I’m not ashamed to admit that my favorite movies are some of the most immature, potty-humored, inappropriate expressions ever put on film. If it’s made by Kevin Smith (side note: he does make films that are equally as dark, so read the labels carefully), Adam Sandler or Judd Apatow, I am there, no questions asked. Because, I know I am going to laugh myself silly, and will continue to do so for days afterwards, when scenes from the movie pop into my head
Get yourself comfy, pop in a DVD,or turn on Netflix, laugh yourself silly and create more Joy!
Day Four: Laugh Yourself Silly
"Laugh at yourself and at life, and nothing can touch you." ~ Louise L. Hay
It’s so true. Laughter is the best medicine. Over the years, I have found that one of my favorite things to do is to make people laugh. Not to the point of changing my career to stand-up comedy, but as a way to create interludes of joy throughout my day.
Laughter increases the endorphins in your brain. The same way the oxygen from aerobic activity does, only without all that moving around ;~D
Advertisers have caught on to this little fact. I've noticed, over the years, that commercials have become more humorous and entertaining than the TV shows I watch. This is a great marketing strategy. If I associate a product with a more uplifted perspective, I’ll be more apt to buy it. Of course, I’m aware of this fact, so, sorry Ad Men, it’s not going to work on me, but I will laugh myself silly at your commercials.
Finding the humor in an impossible situation is a great way to relieve stress and keep your bearings while trying to navigate your way through.
Where there is humor, there will be joy.
Fifth Step: Give Of Yourself
Today you will do for someone who can’t or schedule time to do so at a later date. Even if you can’t get around to it today, you will still feel uplifted at the thought of what you have scheduled to do.
Here’s some ideas:
•Contact your church to see if they may need volunteers for any upcoming
•Contact your child’s school to see if any volunteers are needed for anything.
•See if your parents need help with anything around the house.
•Contact your local homeless shelter to see what volunteers are needed.
•If you have time, Mobile Meals is a great way to give of your time and most of the people you deliver to really look forward to your company.
•See if your local Public Library needs some help.
I could go on forever. Now it’s time for you to give back and receive more Joy!
Day Five: Do Something For Someone Who Can't
"You haven't lived until you do for someone who can not do for themselves." ~ Kerry Keller
This is my absolute, most favorite way to create more joy in my life. By giving of yourself, you receive back way more than you give.
Seriously. It’s crazy.
You feel more joyful because you helped someone out. Then, because you are on this intense crazy “joy ride”, it’s easier to allow more joy, in general, into your life.
When you give of yourself on a regular basis, little pockets of amazement start popping up in your life, which fills your soul with even more joy. The more joy you feel, the more it becomes a natural part of your life experience.
You can do something as intense as say, helping to build a school in a third world country. Or keep it close to home by volunteering at a nursing home.
Even something as simple as helping someone who can’t reach a shelf at the grocery store (I’m 5’9”. I get this one a lot ;~D) can fill your joy cache.
Whatever it is you decide to do, when you give of yourself, with an open heart, you will invite in huge waves of joy.
All right! That’s it. You've just finished five days of joy and have a full list of joyful tips.
My hope is that you have discovered the empowerment of joyous living. You have experienced the lightness that conscious, joyous choices can make and you are also left with an arsenal of joyful actions.
Any time the realities of life get you down, just head over to this workshop and choose your best option to engage in Joy!