Finding Joy

Finding Joy
There are many sayings about how to find your happy. Sheryl Crow sings, "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad". The Bible encourages us to, "Make a joyful noise." Of course, we are talking long term happy and joy that makes you smile. If a night of partying makes you happy but the hangover and mystery bruises don't, then this is not an example of finding joy. Though it may make for a good story, much like my article, Don't be afraid to make a bad decision. If a drink with friends, however, followed by laughs and conversation makes you happy, then go for it. Ala The Partridge Family, "Come on get happy," by doing the following:

1. Get outside
Hike. Bike. Walk through your backyard. Garden. Do all the of these things with a friend and you experience the benefits with another person. It's a positive form of multi-tasking.

2. Be near water
Absorb the calm of a mirror-like lake. Experience the excitement of raging waves crashing on a rocky shore. Follow a leaf as it floats down a creek.

3. Live in the moment
Whether you choose meditation or not, just be there. Breathe. Live. Peeling potatoes or chopping veggies can be very relaxing. Feel the methodical in the movements of everyday life.

4. Listen
Music, people, outdoors. Use your ears and do more than hear. Listen to the world around you. There's a lot being said even when you are alone in your backyard. When you are talking - talk and listen. Don't just hear and watch. There's a huge difference between listening and hearing. Listening brings you into the conversation. Hearing means you are aware of a voice talking to you, but you are too busy looking at the person's hairstyle or eye shadow to even have a clue of what they are talking about.

5. Read
Information and inspiration are reasons for reading. If it bring you down, however, stop reading it.

6. Chose your companions wisely
Being in the company of people who love you, those who want to be with you, and cause you to feel good are the choicest of friends and family. Don't settle for anything less.

7. Watch for information and inspiration
Binge watching Empire or Homeland could very well cause you to never want to leave your house again. Opt for TV and movies that allow your imagination to soar. Discover something new. Stray from the mundane of reality TV and watch an old musical that will make your heart sing.

Finding joy in the little areas of our everyday life is a key to discovering true happiness. This type of happy doesn't depend on how your job is going, when your kids are behaving, if you have all the groceries you need, or when you are going to squeeze time into your already busy schedule to get a workout. These are joyful opportunities to discover in the moment. Grab all of them and enjoy.

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