4 Steps in Joy

Dear reader,

I am writing this little guide with the hopes to help, those who need it, find some Joy. Now, while Joy can seem like this elusive thing that is running away from you tauntingly, the truth is that Joy is just a child. Joy is like a child who is too free to be tied down, it doesn’t want you to grasp it, it wants you to play with it, but if you try to approach it like some old person trying to maintain order, Joy will only seem like an annoyance. Instead, however old you may be, you must allow yourself to be free and play with Joy.

The reason that I say we play with Joy is because most times we want to try to fit fun time into our schedule and make it look a certain way. We want our fun to be cool or cool looking but then we’re surprised when we’re not having fun trying to be cool. Other times we get too self-conscious about what other people will think that we don’t allow ourselves to fully enjoy our moments and be happy. So instead of allowing all of that to happen don’t, don’t try to control what your joy looks like and don’t try to limit it, just let it be. Here are a few tips on how:

  1. Get out. – Get out of the house, out of your desk and move your body. Go take a walk, or just sit outside and soak up the sun. It may seem hard at first but I promise you the outdoors will not hurt you. Instead I promise you that your body will love the sun that it might not have seen in ages.
  2. Smile – Take a moment when you’re alone and smile to yourself. It may seem dumb, in fact it feels dumb at first, but that helps you smile some more. You don’t have to look in the mirror but just take a moment to relax, lean back, and smile to yourself. Do you know that the act of smiling itself can make you happier?
  3. Think of happy things. – If bad memories keep hounding you, think of those good memories you have. For every bad memory that tries to pop in, counter it with a sea of good memories. Memories of you smiling and laughing and having fun. Remind yourself of jokes that made you die of laughter, remind yourself of amazing people you met, and a “few of your favorite things”. Basically drown out the negative noise.
  4. Stop saying your life sucks. – I am a strong believer in self-fulfilling prophecies and you should be too. Although I haven’t researched this I beg you to ask yourself, how many people there are who are depressed and strongly believe that life is wonderful. In my mind I don’t think they exist at all. I am not looking down on those people or asking you to act like nothing is going wrong in your life, however I am saying that what you look for, you find and when you look for a sucky life you get it. So instead of allowing that to be your life, look for the good in each day.

These are just a few things I’ve found that help me be happy and I don’t know if they’ll work for you but if anything, giving it a shot won’t make you miserable so you might as well try them out. I hope they help you and that you are happy wherever you are.

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