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Sprinkle a Little Joy into Your Life: 7 Simple Skills to Start Now

As a disclaimer, EnvisionCo Blog is reader-supported. Some links on this site are for additional informational purposes whereas some others are affiliate links (don't worry, these will be clearly marked as such). When you click through an affiliate link on our site and sign-up for a service or finalize a purchase, we may earn affiliate commissions. This of course is at no additional cost to you. Additionally, EnvisionCo Blog is for informational and educational purposes only and is in no way intended to be a substitute for therapy by a trained mental health professional.


I hope each of you found something unique and special to treasure from our happiness list challenge last article. I think that article's activity serves as a nice transition to this article's theme of finding joy. One of the most critical tasks of our human lives is to learn how to enjoy life, despite the adversities that we stumble upon along the way. We all come from different walks of life. Some of us had loving caregivers that taught us how to enjoy life by smiling, laughing, and playing with us. And then there are some others out there that did not have experience due to various situations and challenges. For those, I send to you my compassion and encouragement. Encouragement that you will find your joy, it just takes a little time. Hopefully some of the ideas in this article will give you both the strength and permission to reparent yourself and give yourself the grace as you teach yourself how to find and enjoy life's simple pleasures.



How Important is Practicing Joy?

Finding opportunities to sprinkle more joy into our lives helps us to counterbalance the effects of stress and adversity. For example, when we become stressed, our cerebral cortex (the thinking part of the brain) sends an alarm to the hypothalamus (the main switch for our stress response). The hypothalamus then stimulates or sympathetic nervous system (SNS).


A series of changes occur once our SNS is activated which includes: increase heart rate, increased breathing rate, increased muscle tension, slow down of our metabolism, and increase in our blood pressure. When we undergo chronic stress, the continual secretions of our adrenal glands of the hormones corticoids (adrenaline and norepinephrine) begins to inhibit our digestion, reproduction, growth, tissue repair, and our immune system and inflammatory systems-the very things responsible for helping keep our bodies healthy. Our sleep/wake cycles become impacted and overtime cortisol influences mood, behavior, and cognitive function. Chronically high levels of cortisol are associated with anxiety, depression, and memory impairment. When we make stress management a practice and sprinkle joy into our lives we reduce cortisol production and lift our mood. Here are 7 joy skills to get you started.



Remember the Good Times

Before we get into the exercise, I just want to go ahead and make this acknowledgement. For some of us this may be easy and for others it may take some deep digging. That's okay. Through trial and error you will find the mix that works for you. So don't get hard on yourself. Now there are certain words that can call up pleasant memories for us. These include but are not necessarily limited to the following: "Curiosity, delight, contentment, peace, calm, tenderness, wonder, pride, amusement, love, and gratitude." Now your job is to pick a cue word or phrase and recall in detail a specific memory related to it. Do this for sixty seconds. Track how this feels in your body to recall this memory. Now try to repeat this with two or three more cue words or phrases.



Relive Happy Moments

Now that we have identified key words or phrases that we can use to identify a memory and experience it in our bodies for at least sixty seconds, let's see if we can identify other memories relative to a specific time or place. You can look through photos in your photo album that captured happy moments in your life. Or scroll through your phone's photo gallery or your social media feed. Grab yourself a journal and write, describe what was happening in the picture. Write about what made it so special to you. If you don't have a journal, you can head on over to Amazon and order one. Make sure it is appealing to your eyes and unique to your personality to increase your enjoyment in grabbing it and writing in it. I am including an affiliate link to the Eccolo Large Lined Journal Notebook, Hardbound Cover, Writing Journal, with 256 Ruled Ivory Pages. I love the inspirational quote on the front of this one, "Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen." I think it fits with the topic at hand. When finding joy, and writing it in the pages, always believe that when you pick it up to reread your writings that something wonderful happened and can happen for you again.



Savor Gratitude

In my article, "7 Lessons Journaling Has Taught Me," I shared with you all how I began the practice of gratitude journaling on August 31, 2019. I further shared how regularly acknowledging what I'm grateful for has shifted my perspective and lead to a more optimistic outlook. Yes, I would even feel safe to say gratitude journaling it has increased my joy. I encourage you here that at the end of each day, write down at least two positive experiences that you noticed and appreciated. Briefly describe what happened, what you thought about it, and what you felt. Be sure the capture both the emotions and bodily sensations you felt. When hard days come, and as long as we are living and are human hard days will come, you will have something to look back on as a reminder that life is still beautiful and full of wonder. Even if it is something as simple as the rustling of the tree leaves in a gentle breeze. The radiance of the sun illuminating the green leaves and bathing your skin in radiant, warm light. The beautiful melody of songbirds. The infectious laughter of a baby. Gratitude doesn't have to be about the big miracles of life. It's the simplest of pleasures that make life rich.



Relive Your Favorite Action Memories

I wasn't particularly skilled at dance, swimming, or sports due to me having what seemed like two left feet and poor hand-eye coordination. But when I search my memory bank, I find that I do have fond memories that involved physical movement. Each day was a rush to get home and turn on Power Rangers. Then of course on the weekend, I'd get together with my cousins and we'd trapse around our backyard saving the day as our favorite power ranger. Not one for pink at that time, I was always the yellow ranger. We'd run around for what seemed like hours punching and kicking at the air (and sometimes at each other). Heeya!! What about you dear reader? What are some of your favorite action memories? It can be from your childhood or more recent times. Was it playing cops and robbers? Were you a member of the A-Team? Did you fight against Decepticons? Was it playing red light/green light? Or maybe hide-and-go-seek? Pick two of your favorite action memories and write about them. What images, sensations, thoughts, and emotions come to mind?



Expect Joy

Now that we have revisited the past and found the joy we can now shift to our tomorrow. It is so easy to imagine all the wrong that can happen tomorrow. Instead, today I challenge you to expect to unwrap joy. Think about the things (big or small) that you anticipate experiencing tomorrow. It can be the smile from your favorite Starbucks barista. It could be your lunch time chat with your friend. It can be that silly squirrel outside your office window. It could be the mouthwatering meal for dinner at your favorite restaurant. Maybe you'll treat yourself to ice-cream after work. It can even be that new candle being released at Bath & Body Works. Select two and envision for a few moments how it will feel emotionally and physically to experience these tomorrow.



Plan Joy

We use planners to schedule so many unpleasant events-work meetings, parent-teacher conferences, dentist appointments, doctors visits, etc. Time to put that planner to use and schedule us some joy. Make a list of things that you used to do for fun that might still be enjoyable. Then make a plan to do at least one thing each week for the next month. And like with each of the other activities so far, I want to you to pay special attention to and write about the sensations, thoughts, and emotions come to mind as you engage in the activity. Keeping track in this manner will help heighten the pleasure while building you a storehouse of pleasant memories to re-read about or envision later.



Track Your Joy

It is not cocky or vain to track your joy!

It is not cocky or vain to track your joy!

It is not cocky or vain to track your joy!

So please unlearn that. As your 7th skill for sprinkling a little joy into your life, I want you to keep track of which of the other six exercises you enjoyed the most. Then absolutely, positively do more of those things. The more you practice these joy skills, the more you will strengthen these new neural networks related to joy. The more these neural networks are reinforced, the easier it becomes to find joy in everyday simple things because your brain is now primed to look for the joy.



It has been an absolute pleasure bringing mindfulness skills to you over these last few months. Having the learned the healing skills of mindfulness first, it makes it easier to turn towards mastering joy and happiness in the here and now. Incorporating joy into your life isn't just about seeking pleasure; it's about fostering a deeper sense of well-being and fulfillment. By intentionally sprinkling moments of joy into your daily routine, you can enhance your health, strengthen your relationships, boost your creativity, and build a more resilient and positive mindset. Remember, joy isn't a luxury—it's a necessity for a vibrant and meaningful life. But please remember that wherever you are on this wellness journey, do not worry about getting it perfect; just get it going. Until next time. Happy reading!


Affiliate Links to Follow:

Just like I love helping others find their emotional balance and joy, I also love helping others find financial balance. Having an emergency savings fund is one way to help build a financial cushion in case of a financial pinch. That said, I am a huge proponent of "house money." I use this term when referring to opportunities to save and invest that did not come from my paycheck. SoFi has provided me with that opportunity and I'm here to share it with you. If you sign up for a new SoFi Checking and Savings account today using my referral link, SoFi will give you $25 bonus! 🎉You can then take that $25 bonus and use it towards week 25 of the 52-Week Money Challenge (for more on that click here). Now if you find savings a little boring and have studied up enough to jump into the world of investing, SoFi also has a SoFi Invest account offer. Whether you choose to save or invest each week, I just want you building a nest egg for yourself and your family. Please share your journey in the comment section below. We'd love to hear from you how things are going.


"Your success and happiness lie in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties." ~Helen Keller

 

Here at EnvisionCo Blog, we try to keep ads to a minimum making our blog entirely reader-supported. We may feature links on this site for additional informational purposes. From time to time, we may feature other links which are affiliate links (and these will be clearly marked). When you click through an affiliate link on our site and sign up for a service or finalize a purchase, we may earn affiliate commissions. This is of course at no additional cost to you. However, if you like what you see and would like to make a donation to help us keep ads to a minimum, we would greatly appreciate it! Nothing fancy. We accept the price of a cup coffee with as much gratitude as we would the price of a tank of gas!



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2件のコメント


Charli Dee
Charli Dee
11 hours ago

I really love these mindfulness skills! One of the words I picked was pride for the first exercise was pride. I haven’t been feeling so proud of myself lately. Doing the exercise however, helped me to really see that I do have accomplishments I should be proud of. For one, my blog is doing well, and people seem to like it. I’m proud of that. I was nervous when starting out my blog, because I was afraid of the reaction I would get to my posts, but I decided to move forward with blogging anyway. It’s really helped me come out of my shell and I’m very proud of that.

いいね!

I used to keep a gratitude journal. I enjoyed it. There’s many reasons I stopped but I should get back into it! I tried doing the 60 second cue words a few times. 60 seconds was tricky for some reason, but my brain is all over the place, I’ll have to keep trying it. I love the idea of finding joy. It is essential and we don’t do it enough. Valuable advice again!

いいね!
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