Rediscovering joy can be a challenge when life has zapped the joy from you.
Many of us get caught in daily routines and mundane To Do’s, and we end up feeling joyless and stuck.
As a seasoned life coach, I’ve helped thousands of people find joy again.
You’re searching for doable things to bring joy back into your life.
You want to enjoy life with a happy heart!
Whether you lost someone you love, a relationship has ended, or you’re just not finding joy in the regular places, here are 11 practical tips to help you have a happier heart.
How to find joy again
Here are 11 tips for a happy heart!
How to be happy again in everyday life: 11 Easy Tips…
Years ago, when my husband passed away, I worried I’d never find joy again.
Finding myself again took a few years, because the joy was GONE.
While I needed to grieve, I wondered: Will I feel joy again?
To help you find joy and be happy again, here are additional tips and activities that will help you .
1. Make a happy list
Look no further for joy than inside the word: enjoy! What do you enjoy? Write it down!
And even the very small stuff like I enjoy eating cereal.
Create a list and start with the words: I enjoy...
And write 50 things you enjoy. The big stuff, the small stuff… and everything in between.
Then, read the list each day! It’s a great reminder, that although your joy may not be where it used to be, or where you want it to be…. you have many things that bring joy to your life.
50 of them!
Make a list of what makes you happy
Create more happy moments by making a list of what brings you joy and happiness… then DO those things!
Write your happy list, coming up with about 50 items total on the list that make you happy and bring fulfillment.
Put this list on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror as a reminder!
Include the following on your happy list…
2. Be soulful
Being soulful is living with depth and meaning and making the needs of your soul a priority. As you do so, you find joy in simply being true to yourself.
Furthermore, caring for your soul is an important part of finding joy in life.
I write extensively about the soul, since it’s a passion of mine. Not from a religious point of view, but to help people live authentically and own their individuality.
3. Spend time with positive people
To be happier, it is important to limit negative thoughts, comments, and negative information. If you’ve spent too much time with a negative person, don’t you notice that your mood drops?
How can you find joy again hanging out around people who bum you out? You can’t!
According to researchers, spending time with happier people increases your happiness quotient.
It helps you because others are helping you concentrate on the positive side of things. And we know that what you focus on expands.
Surround yourself with good people who lift you up and bring out your best qualiies.
4. How to find joy again in the little things
This is different from the joy list above because here you’re focusing on intentionally enjoying little things that you may not already enjoy.
Like, watering the lawn… that’s kind of enjoyable!
Dusting! Some people don’t love dusting… but they can find joy in it.
People can find joy and positive feelings in completing small tasks with satisfaction.
Living in the present moment is where joy is found.
5. Self care is vital
Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish. Self-care is vital to your well-being.
Self-care ideas include: taking a break from social media, getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, spending time with loved ones, doing something you enjoy, such as reading, listening to music, or taking a walk.
In addition, practicing relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing; setting boundaries, and saying no to things that you don’t have time for or that don’t make you happy. Also, getting professional help if you need it is part of self-care.
Growing self-love is another part of self-care! Here are 200 affirmations for self love to help you.
It is important to find what works best for you and to make self-care a regular part of your life. Self-care can help you to reduce stress, improve your mood, and boost your overall well-being.
6. Explore your interests
Discovering your interests will hopefully unearth activities you find interesting, stimulating, and life-expanding.
Do things that help you feel alive!
Try activities that create a happy mood and give you energy.
Do things that activate and stimulate the brain!
You know the feeling of: This feels so fun. This feels so easy. I’m in the flow. That’s what you’re going for here!
7. Go outside of your comfort zone
Neale Donald Walsch, the author of Conversations with God, one of my favorite books, is quoted as saying: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
What does he mean?
I’ve challenged myself on this very idea. There are areas in my life where I am WAY out of my comfort zone and I’ll fight it.
I’ll resist it because it feels so uncomfortable.
But to challenge myself, I’ll lean into the challenge and remind myself that I am expanding and growing… and I can handle it. That’s a great affirmation by the way.
This mindset encourages me to do even more things that take me out of my comfort zone. Travel, new relationships, new horizons in my business, new spiritual goals, etc.
8. Make time for exercise—even if it’s just 9 minutes a day
In 2018 researchers found that those who workout for as much as 10 minutes a week were surprisingly happier compared with those with no exercise.
When you are happier, you probably feel joy:)
We all know that exercise is essential… but if we don’t prioritize it, it may not happen.
The New York Times says, “No matter your age or athletic ability, strength training is the key to flexibility, mobility, improved performance and lower injury risk. Anyone, at any fitness level, can and should strength train.”
And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Just 75 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity activity (running, HIIT, etc.) is enough to keep you healthy and fit.”
You can exercise only 10 minutes a day!
More is better, but this can help you see the benefit of doing 10 minutes.
9. Lots of laughter to find more joy
Laughter is healthy.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body.”
The article says there are short-term and long term effects. “Laughter isn’t just a quick pick-me-up, though. It’s also good for you over the long term.”
The article states that laughter may: improve your immune system, relieve pain, increase personal satisfaction, and improve your mood.
10. Find joy in nature
One of the advantages of nature, as long as other people aren’t around filling the quietude with their loud noises, is that it brings joy.
I feel joy when I’m in nature because it’s grounding… you can get out of your head.
Many people I work with have expressed that being in the fresh air, out in nature, and with birds singing, helps them feel joy.
They’re more relaxed, their blood pressure decreases (or feels like it does) and there’s an overall positive effect.
11. Bring joy to others
There’s a saying, It’s more important to give than receive. Actually, it’s equally as important that we’re able to receive.
It’s wonderful when we’re spending time with others when we’re both giving and receiving. That creates joyful moments, little moments that spark joy.
One study published by Harvard Business School about giving money to others, to see if it increased happiness. The study found that “participants who were randomly assigned to spend money on others experienced greater happiness than those assigned to spend money on themselves.”
The article goes on to say that it’s possible that charitable donations stimulate areas in the brain that are linked to satisfaction, social connection, and trust.
Surrounding your self with good people increases the likelihood of bringing more joy into your life.
Joy and a happy heart
Most of us do not enjoy leaning into our pain and heartache.
Personally, I don’t like it. But, I do it.
Because in my experience we can’t think our way out of emotional pain. We can USE OUR THINKING as a tool for healing and emotional wellbeing, but ultimately, we must lean into the emotion.
The saying: The only way past is through… is accurate.
And, there are MANY ways to do this.
Therapy, counseling, emotional support groups, and talking with a trusted friend are all invaluable. Plus, emotional release methods for feeling your feelings need to be in your toolbox.
Finding yourself involves dealing with your emotions on a regular basis.
Emotional release techniques
There are literally dozens of emotional release techniques that you can do on your own provided you feel safe enough to do so.
I’ve used most of the techniques on the list here and they can help you move heavy emotional energy out of the body.
We are all energy and that includes our thoughts and emotions.
If you’re not feeling joy in life, then consider that you’re carrying too much heavy emotional energy and it’s robbing you of the joy that’s possible in life.
An advanced technique
There’s a technique I teach to clients and healthcare practitioners that is simple, but not easy. While it’s a bit advanced, it just takes practice.
The objective is to feel whatever emotional energy comes up without telling yourself a negative story or thinking negatively.
To demonstrate, let’s say that you feel angry. Notice it. Then just notice how the energy feels. That’s it. Notice how it feels in the body. As you are noticing… avoid telling yourself why you feel that way.
Don’t go down the road of: Bob said this and I can’t stand that guy and he’s always doing that... etc. Now, ALL OF THAT MAY BE TRUE… or it may not be. So, don’t use your valuable energy being stuck in your head about what you perceive happened.
Instead, lean into the energy of the emotion directly.
As you practice this, you’re slowly breaking the conditioned mind pattern of being in your head and avoiding your emotions.
NOTE: If you’re feeling particularly vulnerable and not comfortable doing emotional work on your own, then seek the help of a professional to get you started and help you feel more comfortable.
When joy leaves
I’ve been coaching people for over 25 years… and life often gets in the way of us finding joy.
Yes, there’s loss, the ending of chapters, unsatisfying relationships, jobs, friendships, etc. And add to all of that… we’re busy and overwhelmed. Possibly, we have more anxiety than anyone else, etc.
We get hurt and rejected. We may fail more than we succeed.
These inevitable pitfalls of life drain our joy!
Using positive emotions to find joy in life
Hope, inner peace, and joy in life are all extremely positive. But, how do you feel those warm and uplifting emotions… when you don’t?
Of course, you must do the emotional work as a regular part of life. And second, it’s essential to keep your thinking positive.
It helps to be around positive people, because their energy is contagious.
An important part of self-care is to feel your emotions, while thinking with more joy.
One thing to be aware of is if self-doubt is having a bigger affect on your life than you realize.
The emotions beneath self doubt are fear, guilt, shame, insecurity and these emotions want your attention.
There are many ways to create more joy in your life and positive feelings, and one of the best is to care for your heart.
All of the emotions that come up for you want to felt and need expression in some form. Negative emotions will drain your energy, so it’s good for your mental health and physical health to feel.
As you help your body feel, you can literally change your physiology.
The body is designed to heal, so help it along by trying some of the suggestions in this article.