If you took a poll asking people what they want most out of life, you’d probably hear such responses as, “I just want to be happy” and “I want to enjoy every single day.” Most of us want to live happy lives filled with joy. But for that to happen we have to get intentional about bringing those moments of joy into our lives – otherwise they might not happen.
Several years ago, in my quest to improve my life, I read a book that discussed the use of “joy jolts” to increase your happiness. The main idea of the book was that the big moments in life – the ones we all look forward to and that are celebrated – don’t happen frequently enough to sustain our happiness over our lifetimes. It suggested that we should instead work to infuse more joy into our lives by celebrating and enjoying the wonderful little moments in life.
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This shouldn’t have been a revelation to me but sometimes I’m a little dense. What a concept! That we can purposely and intentionally add more joy and happiness to our lives was something I hadn’t really considered. I’d been like a lot of people and was going through the motions of life, doing the things I had to do, and waiting for the next big life event or miracle to bring that happiness into my life.
The problem with that type of thinking is that you spend more of your life waiting to be happy than you actually spend being happy.
Create Joy In Your Own Life
I’ve never been content to just wait for life to happen – the desire to control my world is much too strong. So I decided on the spot that this was a suggestion I could immediately incorporate into my own life. The question was simply one of figuring out what it was that made me happy.
Being a compulsive list maker, I sat down to make a list of things that I could do to add joy to my life. The list was a mixture of big and little things and contained ideas that cost money as well as those that were cheap or free. Since I’m also a frugal girl at heart, I decided that cheap and free things appealed to me and could be added to my daily routine without breaking the bank.
Here are some of the items on my own list:
- Enjoy a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate on cold days.
- Sit by the fireplace and read a book.
- Enjoy nice smelling bath products in my daily shower.
- Pull out the nice crystal glasses when I had a glass of wine (no need for them to just collect dust!)
- Pull out the pretty jewelry I’d inherited and wear it.
- Go ahead and put on makeup and do my hair each day (stifling the urge to scream when I look in the mirror does NOT bring me joy!).
- Do something fun every week (the hubby and I are huge movie fans and we found a theater that ran cheap movies).
- Sit on the patio to read a book. Bask in the fresh air and sunshine.
The list continued, of course, and your list would look different from mine. What brings each of us joy is as unique as our fingerprints. But it’s worth taking a little time to figure out what makes you happy – consider it a happiness prescription. It’s good medicine when you can do something small to give yourself a big happiness boost. It’s certainly cheaper than therapy and it beats waiting for fate to decide to make an appearance.
What Brings You Joy?
So what are things that bring you joy? When was the last time you gave yourself permission to just enjoy something for no reason other than the fact that you deserve to be happy? If you’re like most of us, it’s time to do it again. To help you get started, here is a list of 25 Ways to Bring Happiness Into Your Life.
Several years ago I found a little plaque that said, “Do more of what you love”. Since it spoke to me, I bought it. I kept it by my desk at our old house and now it’s on the wall in my closet where I can see it each morning as I’m getting dressed. It’s just a simple reminder to be sure to make time each day for the things that make me happy. I’ve never regretted making that purchase.
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