When thinking about your own daily lifestyle design it’s obvious to address issues with your diet, hydration, sleep and schedule, but there is an important factor that often goes unattended.

Joy.

I consider joy to be a key to well lived days. Without joy what is all the rest of it for? Joy gives you energy, brings in fresh ideas, helps you work efficiently, handle stress with ease and makes everything more enjoyable. It puts you in a good place to react to everything that comes your way.

In short;

Joy helps you make good decisions.

 

Everyone says the goal in life is to be happy, but I say that being happy is not the end goal, it’s part of the journey. It’s a tool to help you achieve everything else. Experiencing joy on a regular basis leads you to the life you want.

The problem is that we live in a culture that says happiness comes when… We’re allowed and even encouraged to struggle, complain, bicker, rush and stress all day long because it’s all on the way to feeling happy when…

we get that job,

buy that house,

go on that vacation,

get married,

get a raise,

retire.

 

But guess what? If you’re stressed, frustrated, angry, bitter or overwhelmed 90% of the time. You won’t feel much different when you’re on vacation or when you retire. In fact it will be really hard to enjoy the bigger good things when you’re out of practice enjoying the smaller good things that happen every day.

And guess what else?

When you’re in a constant state of negative emotions, it’s really difficult to make choices that will help you design your ideal life.

I think that sucks!

I want you to both amplify the joy you feel on a regular basis so you can practice experiencing it AND seek joy in your everyday life to help you make the right daily decisions for YOU. When you’re seeking joy, you make decisions that are in alignment with your ideal day and not what society, your boss or your mother tell you is right.

When you make decisions that are right for YOU, you’re able to experience joy now.

This is IMPORTANT. This is your whole life. You’re entire life is filled with moments just like this one.

Joy affects every aspect of your life via the decisions you make. When you’re existing in a joyful place you make healthy choices, react to negativity in a positive way, and take action towards your best life. To get to that place you must practice.

Joy is a practice.

 

There are 3 steps to practicing joy in your everyday life.

 

1. Recognize it.

We live in a fast-paced, stressful, and stimulated world. That makes it harder to recognize the little bits of joy that occur regularly. Most of us have the bad habit of brushing past it when it does occur (which I’ll get to in #2). So first you need to recognize happiness when it happens. This can be as small as a look your spouse gives you, the feeling of the warm sun hitting your face or watching your favorite TV show.

They’re not huge moments of all out bliss. They’re the little things that give you hits of joy throughout your day. The first step is to become aware of the little things that bring you just a twinge of happiness. Just enough to make the corners of your mouth curl up slightly.

 

2. Sit with it.

This step is the most important and the hardest. We ALL have the terrible habit of rushing through happiness. It comes and we let it fly past us because we’re busy. Or worse we’re too worried it will leave to enjoy it. We’re preoccupied and not fully present so when joy arrives we’re not welcoming to it.

If you do anything to experience more joy in your life do this!

Sit with joy and don’t push it away. When it comes to you, let it wash through you and don’t change the subject in your mind. Don’t check your Instagram feed or try to capture it in a photo. Just be with it.

Tell your brain you’ll worry later, because you’re focused on joy right now.

 

3. Amplify it.

Once you’re able to sit with your joy – even for a minute – now you can start practicing how to amplify it. For me the easiest way to practice this is to smile with my teeth. It doesn’t matter if I’m home alone with my dog. When I feel happiness, I give it a big toothy grin. I don’t just think aw that’s nice I stop what I’m doing, feel the joy and smile fully. Every time I do that the feeling gets bigger.

Other ways to amplify joy are to extend the time. Hug longer or stay a few extra minutes in that moment.

Amplifying joy is the way to bottle it up and multiply your happiness.

It means giving the good things in life the credit they deserve. We’re able to give negative emotions so much energy it’s time to devote some of that to joy. You can amplify your joy by declaring it out loud. You can seek to repeat it and you can make it a priority.

Amplifying joy is the way to bottle it up and multiply your happiness. Click To Tweet

These three steps are little moments that may be an unnoticeable change to anyone else, but inside you feel worlds brighter. Since it’s so simple most people won’t do it so then instead of feeling joy they feel like shit throughout the day.

The best part about amplifying your joy is that it’s always an option and it spreads. It gets easier and easier to do and the more you do it the more opportunities you have to do it.

Happiness doesn’t come from one big bang moment or magic serum.

Start taking advantage of every little joyful moment in your life. Give yourself the chance to be happy and make choices that lead to your best life.

It all leads back to Joy.

Hey, I'm Katie! I'm an author and daily life designer who teaches millennial women how to approach their daily lives in a way that is sustainable, effective and filled with ease. When I'm not hanging out with my dog Watson, traveling or chilling out with a rerun of Mad Men you can find me interacting with my Break Free From Busy Bootcamp students or sharing daily life strategies for the driven, but busy. Connect with me over on Facebook and Instagram.
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