Are you moving too fast? Are you caught up in struggles that prevent joy in your life? Are you pressing forward on automatic, burning the candle at both ends? Burning candles is normally something I encourage, but not at both ends!!
This post is all about slowing down and finding the joy! I’m writing this to myself as much as to you.
Because it’s time to slow down! The holiday season is here, and we need to remember, as busy as it is, this is a time to enjoy. We need to not get too caught up in our Instagram-worthy decorations and tablescapes!
It’s easy to slip from being present and enjoying the moments to going through the motions while we plow through our to-do list. Our minds are caught in mental whirlwinds while we miss out on what's happening here and now. To feel joy, we need to be still and soak up the experience!
Joyful living takes commitment. It asks us to be awake and aware in the moments of our lives. It's skill that takes work. Do you want to master the art of joyful living? Me, too!
1. Breaking News: Laughing makes you feel good. OK, maybe this is no surprise. But try to think about the last time you really laughed—it may have been some time ago. Preoccupied with all of our grownup responsibilities, we adults just don’t giggle as often as we did when we were kids. Google "kids laughing" and try not to laugh. A really good kid belly-laugh may be the best thing in the world!
Find a way to laugh like that. Laugh until your stomach hurts. It's good for the soul! Laughing has been shown to reduce stress, enhance immunity, improve blood flow, and strengthen relationships. Go out with friends, watch a comedy, go see a comedian--find as many ways to laugh as you can!
2. Make a joy list. I have a list that I keep of things that bring me joy, I call it my joy list, and it's on my phone. I write down certain things that brought me joy. I even snap photos of things I like and put it on the list! I don’t know of any scientific research for this, but I think it's a great way to live with joy. My favorite thing on my list is a picture of a baby alpaca, they are the cutest! Whenever I need a giggle or cheering up, I refer to my list!
3. Make a Joy inducing Playlist. I have a music playlist that I don’t share with anyone. It's my pump-me-up playlist! I only use it when I really need a boost, and there are crazy songs on it (that's why it's private)! They make me happy, and I get all pumped up when I hear them. So, for me, music is a great, instant way to create joy!
4. Last but not least: spend time with people who bring you joy. Making time for loved ones is important for both you and them. Moments with the most important people in our lives bring us the most joy. Regularly schedule meaningful social time: commit to at least a weekly date with a friend or family member. Because time gets away from us, and we don't want to miss out on life's most joyful experiences!