“Joy” can not be summed up in one easy sentence. To experience “joy” is to experience something deeper than a momentary sense of elation. “Joy” is deeply rooted and anchored and very much alive. “Joy” is internal and outlasts circumstantial shifts. “Joy” digs deep into something greater.
Joy is a feeling that can be difficult to describe, but it’s something that we all strive for. It’s a experience of happiness, contentment, and satisfaction that can be found in the simplest of things. The art of joy is about finding ways to cultivate this experience in our lives (regardless of external highs or lows) and to then share it with others.
If we dive into this notion of “cultivating”, one simple (yet powerfully effective) way to cultivate joy is through gratitude.
Give yourself time
Stop to pause in a moment and find what is that one thing that stirs a sense of well-being within. When we take the time to appreciate the things that sparks joy in our moment-to-moment experience, we can find joy in even the most difficult of circumstances.
Cultivating gratitude is a great way to bring more joy and positivity into your life. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Keep a gratitude journal: At the end of each day, write down three things that you are grateful for. This can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life and cultivate a sense of gratitude, seeding that space to growth.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment. Practising mindfulness can help you become more aware of the good things in your life and exercise acceptance and kindness towards yourself and others.
- Express your gratitude: Take the time to express your gratitude to the people in your life. This can be as simple as saying “thank you” or writing a note to someone who has made a positive impact on your life.
- Volunteer: Volunteering your time and energy to help others can be a great way to cultivate gratitude. When you help others, you gain a sense of perspective and appreciation for the good things in your own life.
- Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is an important part of cultivating gratitude. Make sure to take time for yourself each day to do something that makes you truly happy (no matter how small) whether it’s reading a book, taking a walk, or spending time in heart connection with yourself and others.
Freedom of creativity
“Creativity” is that space of limitlessness, that place of spilling out who you are into a place that gathers you up in a dance. Fully expressing our creativity is our way of fully expressing the complexities of being human. “Creativity” is that stirring within that fosters a lifestyle of cultivating joy. It’s expression takes us out of the mundane and releases us into areas of wonder. Another way to cultivate joy is certainly through creativity. Whether it’s painting, writing, or dancing, creative expression can bring us a deepened sense of joy and fulfilment.
Paying it forward
Research shows a sense of meaning, purpose and fulfilment comes from sharing what we have with others, and similarly, the art of joy is also about sharing our joy with others. When we spread joy to those around us, we create a positive ripple effect that can have a profound impact on the world. It’s important to remember that joy is contagious, and by sharing our joy with others, we can help to make the world a happier place.
Remember, cultivating gratitude is a practice that takes time and consistency, but that payoff is completely worth it. With patience and self-commitment, you absolutely can develop a greater sense of gratitude and joy in your life.