Habits are powerful things. They shape our lives and determine whether we succeed or fail at achieving goals. This article will teach you how to develop habits that will bring you joy and happiness every day.
A Mindset of Joy
In an earlier article, I wrote about the need to choose a joyful mindset to live each day in expectant hope of being joyful. Having a constructive mindset about joyful living empowers us to see possibilities, including a deliberate cultivation of joy as a habit. I explained about how mindset matters in 'Change Your Mindset, Change Your Life', and I am a believer in this.
Positive Mindsets About Joy
Here's a summary of the positive mindsets that we can cultivate to live joyfully.
Joy is my choice
Joy can coexist in spite of suffering
Joy is an expression of me being fully aligned and consistent
I reinforce these mindsets through affirmations, meditation, contemplating events in my past which validates these mindsets to be true. I further reward myself by journaling situations where I chose joy and was able to experience it.
The process of choosing joy, experiencing it, reinforcing the mindset of joy and then building up a cache of successes is a journey which requires a practice of mindfulness.
The moment that you are living in is the only moment that exists. There is no past, no future, there is only now. When you live in the moment, you can be fully aware of what is happening around you and you can be fully aware of what is happening inside of you. When you are present, you are able to enjoy yourself and all the things that you have going on in your life.
Living in the present moment does not mean we do not experience pain and suffering. Rather it means that we do not associate our identity and our being with the pain. I can feel sad, distraught, traumatized, but I am not my emotion. This is a fundamental rule in my life, which I wrote about in My Guest House book as well.
This belief allows me to find ways to see if there are positive feeling of consolation amidst a difficult situation.
Focus on the Positives
If you want to make changes in your life, you need to start with yourself. It’s easy to blame others for what happens in your life, but the truth is that you are responsible for your own actions. So, take responsibility for your choices and decisions and an important decision to cultivate the habit of living joyfully every moment is to choose to be present.
In the harshest environment, William Glasser, MD explains in his book Choice Theory, that we have the ability to choose how we react or how we think about the situation. I can choose to focus on the positive aspects of my life, rather than dwell on negative ones. This is my choice, which empowers me to feel better in spite of the situation.
One of the easiest ways to start feeling more joyful is by practicing gratitude. It’s easy to forget what we have when we’re focused on what we don’t have. Make a list of things you appreciate about your life, and then share it with others.
On days when you have had a lot of struggles, it can be easy to feel like there is no good in the world. It's important to practice gratitude and journal the blessings received. Journaling the blessings will help you remember all the good things that have happened that day. Journaling these things will also help you make sense of the difficult times, and remind you that they are just temporary.
I journal my consolations daily to reinforce the positives in my life. This is a great way for me to build evidence and gather facts to justify having a positive belief system that there are things to appreciate and be grateful for in good times and bad. I have also written notable journals in my blog post on seeking moments of consolation.
If you want to feel better, you need to find meaning in your life. You also need to live with purpose. This means finding something bigger than yourself that gives you direction and focus.
It is important to emphasize we are not talking about saving the world! At least not for a start. The first step to a meaningful endeavor is to ask who am I doing this for, what benefit and merit does this bring and how may I do this purposefully?
In all things, seek first to understand and connect with the purpose before starting a task. Over time this practice of being purpose-driven will anchor our doing to our being. We can then review and align our core virtues and values system to forge a greater sense of purpose in our lives.
It’s not enough to just do things; we must also make them meaningful. We must find ways to give our lives purpose and meaning.
This is perhaps the most important habit to have to build resilience and positive mindsets, not just about being joyful. I try to be aware of the little choices to make each day, why I am doing this, who am I impacting positively and negatively by my choices, and how may I do this better.
This habit of working with intention is unnatural for me because most of my decisions are subconscious. When I do have the opportunity to be more aware, I do try to catch myself before the decision, or even after, to review and make a decision to choose a better path.
In most situations, I find it useful to have tools to guide me as I start. This Feeling Human has a playlist of contemplations about joy, to help kickstart your journey inward, to stack up joys and reframe an empowering belief about the joy of being you.
I hope that I will be able journey with you, together on this path of betterment and to live life joyfully. More importantly, just having this desire to be joyful is in itself a good decision you and I have chosen for ourselves.
Let's appreciate this moment for what it truly is, in itself a perfect gift from our inner wisdom. Thank you for your gift of being present to this blog post, have a joyful day.