As we get closer to the end of the year and perhaps take some time off for the holidays, you might take some time to focus on finding joy. Joy may feel hard to find right now, but it is worth cultivating even in tough circumstances.
Lots of people confuse joy with happiness, and although they are closely related and often occur simultaneously, these feel-good emotions aren't synonymous. Happiness is an emotion that brings bursts of intense pleasure, excitement, and satisfaction, while joyfulness is a stronger, longer-term state that results in feelings of inner peace and contentment.
Take a few minutes during the coming holiday time to think about joy. What does it look like for you? What are some favorite moments that still bring you those same joyful feelings when you remember them? Look for ways to find joy now, even in the depths of winter and the pandemic. Here are some tips for finding joy right now.
Look for meaning: While the events of 2020 sure make it hard, think about what you can learn from tough circumstances. Understanding what quarantine has taught you can make the harder days more worthwhile. What were some happy times of the past year?
Be present: We're usually either thinking about the past or planning for the future—but neither mindset will bring you joy. If you can learn to exist in the now – what is happening now, in this precise moment – then you can live in a state of joy more often. Now that's a nice thought.
Make opportunities for laughter: When someone around you is belly laughing, there's a 90% chance it'll bring a smile to your face as well. Aside from being an obvious form of fun, there are so many health benefits to a good LOL. When we laugh, we release endorphins into our body that can offer natural pain relief. Laughter also reduces stress and boosts our immune system, which we need right now!