Is it possible to experience daily joy despite circumstances and natural disposition? Can your brain, emotions, body and relationships be cultivated to naturally bring you more contentment and joy?
One formula goes something like this. Life circumstances influence our happiness 10% and our given DNA accounts for about 50%. But then there is the other 40%, which we have control over in order to become happier and cultivate joy. This includes our attitude, perspective, choices, gratitude and lifestyle.
Even if you are blessed with a more cheerful temperament, happier people are still intentional about their life choices and lifestyle habits to sustain genuine joy. This goes beyond just being happy due to ‘feel good’ experiences or ‘living the good life’ situations.
Cultivate ‘Daily Joy’
Another formula is that in order to have a healthier, happier and flourishing life, the tipping point is experiencing positive emotions in a 3 to 1 ratio with negative ones. It doesn’t have to be all good, all smiles, all the time. Life can be hard. You will have stress and challenges. However research has proven that it is possible to have daily joy and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of your circumstances.
Here are a few ways to start.
1. Love God and practice your faith
Those who practice their faith daily with an active spiritual life will have stronger immune systems, be more resilient in difficult times, feel more hopeful and even live longer.
Learn to live in awe and wonder. Be mindful of the present moment, of God’s amazing goodness to you in the here and now. Experience the mystery of God’s divine joy.
“You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11 NLT).
Having a quiet time with God allows you to get to know God and enjoy God. This is the secret to true joy.
Share your heart with Him. Listen for His voice and loving heart towards you. Meditate on the Word. Look for the verses about ‘joy’, those who are ‘blessed’ and ‘happy’. Daily consider how you can apply these to your life.
2. Love People and stay connected
In the end, love is all that really matters. Research is very clear on this one. The happiest people have the strongest, healthiest relationship connections. They are surrounded with a close network of meaningful relationships that they nurture regularly.
Daily connect with someone close to you. Who do you do life with? Who are your top 5 connections? Who needs your love?
3. Live fully alive in ‘Eucharisteo’
Daily recognize all God’s blessings.
The Glory of God is (a person) fully alive – St. Irenaeus.
In all circumstances, live fully alive in the daily pursuit of grace and joy, recognizing all that is beauty eternal. This is vibrant living.
God is always good and I am always loved and Eucharisteo renames all God’s children their truest name: Loved One. Ann Voskamp.
4. Be a grateful joy spreader
Gratitude leads to psychological and physical well-being and a joy that spreads like the flu. Grateful people have more positive emotion, report higher life satisfaction and less depression and stress.
Throughout the day, think of what you can be grateful for. Actually feel appreciation in your heart. Before going to bed at night, write down at least three things you were grateful for that day.
5. Don’t worry, think great thoughts
What are the joy busters in your life? Often it is stress, fear and worry. If you want to keep daily joy, don’t believe everything you think or dwell on or what you can’t control. Worry for about 10 minutes, then give it to God in prayer, and let it go. Focus on what you can control and what you are grateful for. Think great thoughts and on making good choices in the here and now.
6. Set goals with passion and purpose
When you have a sense of purpose and a specific goal to move towards – short and long term – you will have more joy. The brain needs to daily get organized and focused around a timeline. When you know where you are going, have direction, some purpose and hope to get up for in the morning – it brings joy. What is your heart’s desire and purpose?
7. Automate intentional daily living
What is the healthiest, most productive way to live fully alive each day? For the most part, we know the basics. It doesn’t have to be perfect. But the challenge is to ‘Just Do It’ – consistently. So, create new habits. Establish daily rhythms that result in the fruit of holiness, well-being and joy.
8. Boost natural daily joy
Live fully alive in each moment – recognizing God’s blessings. Be open to receive divine joy. Reach out and make a difference by giving, serving, volunteering. Listen to enjoyable music. Sing. Eat well. Exercise. Go for a walk outside. Get 10 minutes of sunlight. Spend some time in the beauty of nature. Meditate. Breathe deeply. Laugh a lot. Journal. Forgive – yourself and others. Let God love you. Do something creative. Be enthusiastic about something. Spend time with a ‘joy spreader’. Reminisce on good memories. Discover your strengths – and use them daily. Give a card and small gift to someone. Spend time with a pet. Buy some fresh flowers.
Okay, have a little dark chocolate too.
Question: How do you naturally discover daily joy and vibrant living? You can leave a comment below.