Want to cultivate more joy?
Find a moment and have a pen and paper handy. Close your eyes and take a few, soft deep breaths. On the inhale expand into your heart. On the exhale, ground into your bones. From this place ask yourself, “What could I do for hours on end without getting paid that would fill me with joy?”
Write down five activities that make you really happy. Assess each one. Are they dependent on other people or are they things you enjoy doing on your own? You will have a challenging time igniting pleasure if it is externally dependent.
Self-motivated activities like yoga, gardening, bird watching, photography, etc. are driven from within. You want the locus of control to be in your hands, where it belongs, not at the mercy of others. It can involve others and is often more fun, but it needs to be something that already makes your heart sing. But if all your activities involve others, go back and change a few.
Try to do at least one a day
Consider it your emotional hygiene and make it a part of your daily routine, on par with eating breakfast and brushing your teeth before bed. If that sounds daunting, you may want to give your attitude a nudge. Joy is an essential ingredient of life. We lose our “oomph” without it. As you do more of what you love, you’ll begin to notice little shifts. Maybe you’re not as reactive or perhaps you feel an unexplainable burst of giddiness. Yeah you! You made that happen.
Being curious and open to trying new things is crucial when looking to resurrect your passion. People are creatures of habit. You’ll need to lean into discomfort to spark change. For those of you serious about increasing your joy quotient, do something fun, every day, for 30 days. It needn’t be big, just something that you find pleasurable. Research shows daily practice makes you three times more likely to establish a new routine. Do yourself a favor and make joy a habit.