8 Easy Ways To Bring Joy Into Your Life Every Day

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woman finding joy in life

Finding joy in life is a life goal for many of us.

The pursuit of happiness is practically built into our DNA.

But there's also sorrow, suffering, restriction, and adversity in our existence.

RELATED: 5 Easy Steps To Finding True Happiness & Joy

Happiness and joy are not the same as achievement, accomplishment, and success.

The latter is defined by external circumstances, while happiness and joy are internal attitudes and responses to both what happens to us and what we can create for ourselves.

Think of happiness as your general state of mind and spirit, and joy as to how you experience the moment.

What is the story you use to interpret your life?

We all have attitudes, interpretations, and limiting beliefs that we may unconsciously filter experiences, people, and events.

Do you feel you're not smart enough, attractive enough, misunderstood, and devalued? Our upbringing, culture, and environment instill "truths" that don't serve us well.

If you find yourself often in conflict with others or perhaps feeling inadequate, then maybe you should examine the story you tell yourself and become open to different ways of being.

Are you triggered to anger or victimhood by envy, self-doubt, and inadequacy?

Maybe you were raised by parents who used criticism and sarcasm to belittle you. Or maybe you were traumatized by an event or tragedy. Perhaps you had teachers, bosses, and friends who belittled and humiliated you.

We've all endured difficulties and difficult people. Our defense mechanisms may have served us to limit the damage.

But if we carry those into our future relationships, we can be stuck in an emotional cycle that inhibits us to engage joyfully with others.

Do you know what actually makes you happy?

Mine those golden moments in your life when you felt joy, contentment, and as though you were fully alive. Try to recall when, with whom, and what circumstances brought these feelings.

Record those times and see what recurring aspects are. I bet you'll see a repeating pattern that you can recognize in different occasions.

These are your guideposts to recreating circumstances for your own joy and happiness.

Can you give yourself permission to bring joy every day, as your intention? Build into your daily calendar those ways that are uniquely yours to create the space for conscious joy and spontaneous delight.

If you want to find more happiness and joy in your life every day, here are 8 easy ways to do it.

1. Practice gratitude.

If you are religious, you know of blessings and prayers that express gratitude.

But if religion and spiritual practice are not your thing, then you can just say, "Wow!" or, "Awesome!" out loud when you open your eyes to recognize both the miraculous and mundane.

A meal, a flower, a sunset, recovery from illness, news of a birth — the list is infinite for what we can express gratitude and awe towards.

What you may find is that you can brighten your day and improve your mood by just simple acknowledgment and awareness of what is already there. No need for a pilgrimage to find awe or to express gratitude in living.

RELATED: How To Reframe Fear And Allow Yourself To Embrace Joy

2. Have meaningful conversations daily with friends or colleagues.

Some of us resonate with people and embrace friendship. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, when we're on video conference calls all the time, it can seem so isolating, lonely, and frankly depressing with so many restrictions.

However, we can build meaningful and loving conversations into daily life by simply scheduling calls with those who bring us joy by just being together.

When possible, schedule a walk with a friend and enjoy each other while getting some fresh air and exercise.

3. Contact family or friends for fun.

During stressful times, people now seem to be more open to just checking in to see how loved ones are feeling.

Why not schedule a call a day to a loved one just to express caring and interest, and maybe to share a story about something that brightened your day?

4. Do an activity that feeds your wellness.

Even if you don't have a steady practice of meditation, yoga, or exercise, you can start by just taking time in your day to do something physical or mentally refreshing.

Stay away from the refrigerator, and find some quiet time to do whatever you feel will give some energy and invigoration.

5. Learn something that interests you.

Learning can bring you joy if you expand your interests. Reading, listening to a webinar, or taking an online course can feel energizing.

If you like, you can enroll in a language course or watch a video series for a destination you intend to travel to when you're able. Learning for learning's sake can be fun, but learning to better prepare for one of your bucket-list dream vacations can enhance your pleasure.

6. Watch, listen, and read for entertainment.

With so many streaming video series on Netflix, Apple, Amazon, and other platforms, we now have easy access to wonderful series. Don’t worry about not being productive — just enjoy!

7. Express love to someone by blessing, word, and action.

There is a simple spiritual message: "Make your life a blessing."

Just expressing appreciation, love, and doing small acts of kindness can make us feel deep joy and contentment.

8. Do something that brings joy to someone else.

In Hinduism, there is a word for feeling joy from someone else’s happiness: mudita. It is the opposite of feeling joy from someone else’s misfortune, called "schadenfreude" in German.

Knowing the difference between these two motivations allows you to accelerate your happiness and put a break on your despair.

While adversity and suffering are part of the human condition and seem to be more prevalent in this time, we need not be defined by it.

Joy can come naturally, but we can also prepare ourselves to experience it more frequently, so we can become more content and happy.

RELATED: 4 Ways To Embrace Every Day With Joy, Despite The Sadness Around You

Jeff Saperstein is a career transition coach. For more information, visit his website.