Joy is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart; a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Although you can’t always be happy, you can be joyful and Dr. Seuss states it well: Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
Rather than complaining, whining and criticizing we can choose to rise above and bring light and joy to a sometimes dark and unfortunate situation or set of circumstances. Apply these fundamental guidelines for a joyful life.
1. Be Kind to Yourself and Others
No one is perfect. We’ve all made errors, whether it be in something we said or did or didn’t do. Remember that next time you find yourself frustrated at a co-worker, driver or even a family member. A powerful video on the power in positive actions: 3-minute Thai Good Stories.
2. Gratitude and Appreciation
Appreciate what is, appreciate yourself, appreciate your life, appreciate your friends and family, appreciate all the good and not so good, appreciate all your challenges, and know that everything is exactly the way it should be. The more you will do just that, the more you express your gratitude and appreciation, the happier you will feel, and the quality of your life will improve tremendously.
The song, HAPPY by Pharrell Williams has a website which plays 24 hours of people dancing to the music. My absolute favorite segment is the one featuring DOWN SYNDROME children and adults. Learn to dance in the rain, for without rain we wouldn’t have rainbows or flowers.
3. Lighten Up & Let Go
Are you a worry-wart? Worrying is negative goal setting and robs you of energy. Nothing positive comes from worrying so if you find yourself obsessing over something in this negative way, stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself…in a positive manner with affirmation to empower and be uplifting.
Forgiveness – holding on to anger, resentment, hatred and fear are toxic to your well-being. Jason Gray’s lyrics in his song “Fear is Easy, Love is Hard” provides insight into the power of letting go and letting love rule.
4. Serve Others
You may think you don’t have the time or energy to reach out and help others, but the truth is, when you do, you will become full of joy and energy. Practice doing RAK – Random Acts of Kindness (from holding a door open to given a compliment, smile or hug to someone). Homeless Lottery Winner is a video which demonstrates the power of serving and caring for others.
5. Laugh often
Laughter provides an immediate vacation. I saw a post on Facebook this week that cracked me up: “When you see someone wearing camouflage make sure to walk into so they know it’s working.” Life will give you plenty of things to chuckle at, if you choose to change your attitude and embrace it. Dogs and children give us a steady supply. Who made this mess?