Joy. It’s not a word we use much in our daily language, and that is incredibly sad to consider. Perhaps we put too much weight on the word “joy.” Maybe it’s so clearly definitive of bliss, unadulterated happiness, clear-cut jubilance. But why have we been qualifying the word happiness? Can’t we also feel joy, day in and day out? Rather than feeling bouts of happiness, let’s feel daily joy.
We don’t know who needs to hear this, but happiness is a choice. That’s right— for most of us, it’s as simple as choosing joy. Leaving angst in the rear view, taking awkward moments with a grain of salt, not dwelling on past mistakes, disabling the power of our insecurities, releasing ourselves from judgement… It’s all a daily choice we have the opportunity to make. Here are a few ways to incorporate your natural right to joy in your everyday life.
You may have heard us here at Amé mention this before, but nature has incredible healing powers. Many studies prove that being in nature reduces heart rate and anxiety, which are huge obstacles in the way of our ability to experience joy. Making time to get outside more often is an important practice in our overall wellness. Hiking, walking, or even simply laying on the grass gives us that grounded connection that makes us feel more peaceful and aligned.
This means forgiving both others and yourself. Holding onto grudges is not only detrimental to our ability to be genuinely happy, but it’s incredibly toxic; it’s like poison for the body and mind. Letting go of our own past regressions—after doing our best to atone for them or make necessary shifts—will feel like a physical weight has been lifted, and we like to think that in a very real way, it has.
Negative energetic weight is experienced by the body, and shows up in the way we carry ourselves, they way we digest food, the way our skin looks, and the way we experience love and relationships. Forgive past transgressions, and move forward.
While unsolicited oversharing isn’t always a great idea, being honest about our thoughts and emotions in a tactful way to friends, loved ones, and colleagues has the ability to keep your heart true, clear, and open. When we are honest with ourselves and others, we clear space to receive honesty and love back, instead of harboring resentment and secrets that create anxiety and pain.
As opposed to dwelling on the scarcity of our lives, i.e. what we don’t have, joy comes from the pleasure and recognition of all that we are blessed with. For some, it’s our radiant health. Maybe it’s our family or loved ones or friends, perhaps a passion turned career, a skill we’ve honed… the list goes on. Finding time in each and every day to be grateful for the positives in our lives rather than ruminating on what we’ve lost or don’t have takes up space in our hearts and fills us up with light instead of dark energy. It makes us more generous and kind when we honor the good that we have, rather than guarding our resources and acting miserly. We just may even notice others open up to us with gifts of love and opportunity when we behave this way.
Coming back to this notion, it sounds so simple. Oh, you don’t say? I just pick happy instead of sad? Oh, ok, done! Not so fast. It takes some serious mental rewiring to think differently, day in and day out. We are so used to waking up in a panic, thinking about our impending to-do list, our responsibilities, our shortcomings, our past failings, etc. Instead, Dr. Joe Dispenza suggests that we wake up and breathe in the moment. Think of what we can accomplish today, and be thrilled for what we have already accomplished. Believe in what we will do, and we manifest our own joy.
This psychological study revealed that people felt more connected to nature the better they cared for the earth: “The more pro-ecological, frugal, altruistic, and equitable the children are, the greater their perceived happiness will be.” This comes full circle to looking to nature for calm and joy. We must connect with nature benevolently, and love her as she loves us in order to reap the most from her. It’s a symbiotic relationship, not a one-sided take. It’s this care and compassion that drives our daily joy.