During the holidays, do you struggle with how to feel joy? This can be a challenge when you’re coping with problems. When you’re not very merry, what can you do to enjoy the holidays more?
Tips for How to Feel Joy
How to feel joy at this traditionally festive time isn’t always easy. Colorful lights and exquisite decorations signal a happy time of the year. Yet, Christmas and other winter holidays can also trigger sadness, depression, and loneliness. Some try to be happy, but it doesn’t ring true. These tips may help you be a bit more joyous.
Smile: It’s the Source of Joy
Smiling should be one of the easiest daily things, yet it’s often the hardest. Many of us get caught up in holiday projects and scramble to finish. This leaves little time to think about facial expressions or how we appear to others. Are we smiling or frowning? Or are our faces completely blank?
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”Thich Nhat Hanh
That’s a shame since smiling can both be a source of how to feel joy and indicate that you’re feeling joy. Try these tips:
- Glance in a mirror or store window. Look at what you see. Force yourself to smile. See how your smile transforms your appearance.
- Ask a family member or friend to give you a heads-up when you’ve been frowning. Perhaps a little nudge is what you need. The point isn’t to be annoying but to call your attention to what you show the outside world.
- Keep a list of things that make you happy or give you joy. Think about them during the day. This reminds you of something nice, which may cause you to smile automatically.
- Include joyous activities or pursuits in your daily schedule. Read a chapter of that book you’re saving or arrange a coffee with a friend. When you’re involved in doing something you enjoy, you’re more likely to smile.
- Remember that exercising your smile muscles is good for you. It’s also a healthy habit that you can learn.
How to Feel Joy: Connect to What Matters
Do you want to know how to feel joy but find daily distractions in the way? Perhaps the key isn’t so much the striving for what you don’t have but focusing on what you do have – and what matters.
“I define joy as a sustained sense of well-being and internal peace – a connection to what matters.”Oprah Winfrey
Consider that life is never static. It constantly changes. Whether you learn and grow from experiences or keep making the same mistakes is entirely up to you. Somewhere in the process is a vital step: connecting to what matters.
- Identify who and what matters to you the most.
- Learn to recognize these individuals and events when you encounter them.
- This way, you’ll better understand that they are crucial to your joy, well-being, and inner peace.
Maximize your joy in life through connection.
Looking Outward Is Helpful in How to Feel Joy
Dwelling on what isn’t going well is a self-perpetuating habit. It also robs the soul of joy. Instead of all this inner focus on negative events, try looking outward. What can you do to make a difference today in someone else’s life?
“There is no greater joy, nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.”Mary Rose McGeady
Try These Suggestions:
So, how can you look outward? These tips may help.
- Help a friend, family member, or neighbor without being asked. Your generosity will be uplifting in unexpected ways. Both of you will receive enjoyment from this selfless act.
- If you’ve struggled with unhappiness during the holidays, chances are others do as well. One of the best things you can do is listen to them. Truly listen. Allowing others to express their feelings provides a sense of release and comfort. This is a simple way you can learn how to feel joy.
- Share what you know. If you have expertise in something, others may benefit from your instruction. Take parents, for example. Share your knowledge with your children. It teaches the kids but also provides you joy.
To Feel Joy: Exercise More
One of the simplest ways to increase your joy is to get physically active. Exercise more to release endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. The benefits of exercise extend beyond muscle toning, weight loss, balance, and posture. Exercise also boosts clarity, improves outlook, helps overcome depression and anxiety, and increases joy.
“Around the world, people who are physically active are happier and more satisfied with their lives.”Kelly McGonigal
Try These Suggestions:
Are you getting ready to exercise more? Consider these easy ways to get moving.
- Start with cardiovascular or aerobic exercise. Both are excellent for increasing the intensity required to release the endorphins that make you feel good.
- Any exercise that gets your heart pumping and your heart rate up is good. These include jogging, running, swimming, using an elliptical, cycling, or walking briskly.
- Yoga and tai chi are other excellent exercise practices that can increase how to feel joy.