How do you find joy in your life?
Do you spend time alone, with your family, do things that make you happy?
Or do you find that you worry too much about what is going on around you – in your own life and around the world?
We are currently living in unprecedented times of uncertainty. No one really knows how the pandemic will influence their lives in the months and years to come.
These stressors are causing chaos in our lives.
There are hidden stressors and obvious stressors, both taking their toll as we witness more and more people with outward displays of aggression, anxiety, and depression.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
It is possible to find joy amidst all of this uncertainty and chaos (you can learn more about how to do it here).
I know you may be thinking, “Easy for you to say. You are not in my situation, or in the predicament of many others.”
That is true, yes. But here is a great truth: no matter what situation we find ourselves in, there is an opportunity…a choice…to experience calm and joy.
So how do we do this seemingly impossible task?
Try these 7 practices daily. If you make them a habit, you will very quickly notice the difference in your well-being, your happiness, and your overall life.
7 Daily Practices to Find Joy in Your Life
1. Be witness to your thoughts
At my speaking events, I explain that in order to find joy in your life, you must become witness to your thoughts.
Avoid these types of fear-based thoughts:
- Withdrawal from life
- The need to be right and the need to get something from someone
The second you become aware of these types of thoughts, you must stop, acknowledge the thought, and release it down the river of thoughts that are not helpful.
Never hold onto negative thoughts. When you start to become aware of your thoughts, you will begin to realize that many of them are negative ones. They do you no good. Release them, and your journey to find joy will become an easier one.
2. Do not try to analyze your thoughts
Just as you should never hold on to negative thoughts, you should never try to analyze them either.
Simply let them go. Don’t aim for only positive thoughts or become frustrated because your thoughts are negative. Do not make any of it mean anything about you or anyone else! Simply let the thoughts go.
Don’t worry about what to do about your negative thoughts. Don’t become a chronic worrier. Learn how to stop them before they overtake you.
Resistance only creates more of what you don’t want. Let it go.
3. Move your body
The reason we get fixated on a thought is that we don’t have the discipline to move away from it. Moving your body makes this practice much easier.
As soon as you have the thought, reposition your body, get up, go and look at something completely different, and allow your thoughts to move on to another topic (your mind will follow your body if you let it).
This will distract you from dwelling on thoughts you shouldn’t be dwelling on. When your body moves, so will your mind.
Just as breathing helps us focus when we meditate, it can also help when we are moving and trying to rid ourselves of negative thoughts.
As you move, take full deep breaths and notice what is around you. Focus on something relatively neutral, like a favorite chair or plant.
Continue to fill your body with breath, reminding yourself to be present to your breath, feeling it come in and out of your body. Imagine breathing in all the goodness of life, and breathe out the process of letting go of thoughts and the stress that comes with those thoughts.
5. Take 10 minutes out of your day to connect with your inner child
Your inner child often holds onto the original wound that led you to live in your chaotic and stress-filled mind, with thoughts that are trying their best to protect you and keep you safe from unhelpful beliefs created in your formative years (usually around 5-7 years old).
Talk to your inner child. Get to know what it is that the child is asking for or needs. Find out why your inner child is asking for something.
Perhaps it’s for you to be gentle on yourself, love, and appreciate yourself more. Perhaps it’s that you are not standing up for what you really want in life, so the child is feeling angry or betrayed.
Perhaps it’s that you are living in a lie and want to come back to the truth of who you are, and your child is deeply hurt by your lack of action toward what you know to be your truth.
Whatever it is, assure the child that you the adult will take care of what is needed to come back to self and honour self. And then do some small or large action towards fulfilling that promise, as soon as possible.
6. Eat living, plant-based foods
Food gives us energy to live our daily lives in calm, peace, and joy. Eating a good diet is another way we can find joy in our lives.
The energy contained in living foods supports a joyful, calm being, while dead foods and/or excessive animal products, and highly processed foods often contribute to feelings of sadness and irritation.
When you grocery shop, try buying 80 percent fruits and vegetables. When you eat out, try choosing meals that are veggie-forward (not hiding in some corner of the plate).
7. Set yourself a 10-day challenge that solidifies your new, calm, and joyful state of being
It could be something as simple as:
- No complaining for 10 days
- Not blaming anyone or anything for 10 days
- Replace complaining and blaming with gratitude.
- Try a healthy risk challenge – for 10 days step outside your comfort zone, lean into your intuition, and take risks that move your life and business in a positive direction.
- Journal for 10 days, reflecting on insights and lessons learned.
Once you set a challenge or goal for yourself, and once you complete it, you will feel fulfilled. You can use this fulfillment to help you develop new, healthy habits that contribute to a positive and joyful mindset.
When you get serious about getting to a state of calm and joy, you will take every opportunity to do these 7 practices. Ignore your mind if it wants to keep you safe in your old ways that are based on fear.
Simply acknowledge the thoughts that resist the above practices, knowing that the more you release and let go, the closer you are to true freedom from the traps that keep you in stress and unhappiness.
You can also learn more about how to overcome negative and fearful thoughts by discovering your power archetype. Check out this blog post to learn more.
For more information and how to find joy and positivity in your life. please visit www.KarenMcGregor.com and pick up a copy of my latest book, The Tao of Influence: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Leaders and Entrepreneurs: https://karenmcgregor.com/taoofinfluence
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