How to intentionally create joy in your day
Joy is often a pleasant surprise. You’re walking down the street and you spot a bright flower in the garden, or your friends do something that makes you laugh. But joy isn’t always spontaneous—it can be intentional as well. This isn’t about being happy all the time (that’s not realistic) but it is about creating more opportunities for joy in your life. Here are some tips to help you intentionally create joyful moments:
Joy is great, but it’s not enough to just wait for it.
Joy is a feeling that is good for your health, mental health, and emotional well-being. In fact, joy can even help improve your cognitive performance! And when you’re happy, you are more likely to think positively and focus on the good things in life.
This means that it’s easy to see how joy can be an important tool in our happiness toolbox: When we’re feeling joyful we tend to feel better about ourselves, our lives, and the world around us—and this makes it easier for us to be happy in other areas of our day-to-day existence. But if joy isn’t always readily available (or if you don’t take advantage of its potential), then it might not be part of your happiness arsenal at all times.
Joy often depends on what you do with your time.
Are you taking time to intentionally create joy in your day? Joy often depends on what you do with your time. Are you spending it wisely? Here are some ways to start:
- Make time for joy. Have a schedule that includes things that bring you happiness—whether it’s cooking, reading, or taking a long walk. This is an active choice, not something that happens to you passively.
- Joy isn’t something that happens to us; we have to choose joy every day. It takes practice and intentionality—but it’s worth it!
- Joy is not just one specific thing (like ice cream or laughter) but rather an attitude toward life itself—it’s a habit of mind and heart!
Think about joy in the big picture and the small details.
You can intentionally create joy in your day by thinking about what makes you happy. To start, take time to think about the big picture and the small details.
What makes me happy? I’m happiest when I’m with my family and friends, enjoying time outdoors or reading a good book. When I spend time with people who make me feel like myself, it creates happiness even when things aren’t perfect.
Why am I not creating more joy in my life? Sometimes we don’t pay attention to our own happiness because everything feels chaotic or stressful—we’re busy trying to accomplish other goals. We also tend to overfocus on negative emotions like anger or frustration instead of focusing on positive ones like peace, calmness, acceptance, and hope for the future.
Plan ahead to make room for fun.
The first step to enjoying your day is to plan ahead. You can’t create joy in a moment if you don’t spend time thinking about how you want that moment to be.
If you’re like me, your days often start out with a rush of running around and getting things done (or trying to), which means that there’s little room for much else besides the bare minimum—and even then, sometimes there’s not enough time for even that. This is why planning ahead is so important: it helps us feel more in control of our lives and less rushed all the time. It also provides a sense of direction and purpose, which helps keep stress levels low when we’re faced with difficult decisions or challenges on our day-to-day journeys through life.
Do something that makes you laugh every day.
Laughter is the best medicine, and laughter is a great way to relieve stress. When you are stressed out, it’s easy to let things start to get you down. Laughter is a great way of expressing joy and connecting with other people. It also makes us feel better about ourselves and our day in general.
In today’s world, we all have so much going on that sometimes we forget how important laughter really is for our well-being. There are many different ways that you can incorporate laughter into your life every day:
- Watch funny videos on YouTube
- Watch stand-up comedy specials on Netflix or Hulu or Pureflix
- Play with your siblings, friends, or family
Look for the signs of joy that are already there.
If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to change your life. You may have even read books about it or listening to people talk about changing their lives.
But here’s the thing: if you’re looking for joy in your day, you’ve probably already found it. It’s just waiting for you to notice it.
I’d like to suggest that instead of trying so hard to create new things that bring joy into your life you look for the signs of joy that are already there. There are plenty! You just need to train yourself how to see them and use them as opportunities instead of problems waiting to be solved or things worth acquiring (or losing).
Keep a list of what makes you happy and refer to it regularly.
- Keep a list of things that make you happy. Write them down in a notebook or similar, and refer to them regularly.
- Add new things to your list when you find them, so it grows with time.
- Share the list with others by emailing it or sharing it on social media. Sharing helps remind yourself and others of the many wonderful things in life!
- Use the list as inspiration for planning your day; if possible, plan some time for each item on the list (for example: “meditate for 15 minutes”; “walk around the block”).
There are lots of ways to intentionally increase your joy, even when life is hard.
When you wake up in the morning, you can choose to be happy. You can train your brain to look for the joy that’s right in front of you. Every single day, there are small reasons to be grateful and celebrate: a nice cup of tea, a sweet moment with your kids, or even just a really good workout.
The next time you’re feeling down, try these steps:
- Start by thinking about something that makes you happy (assuming it’s not something you know you’re not supposed to be doing). Write down everything that comes to mind—the smallest details will help spark more ideas! This list might include things like petting your dog or watching Netflix shows with friends on lazy Sundays—and then ask yourself how those activities make me feel? Do they make me feel happy? Satisfied? Inspired? Excited about life itself? Those feelings should inspire more actions toward happiness within yourself; if not, then maybe those actions aren’t actually meant for increasing joy at all…
Taking a few minutes every day to look for the joy in your life can make it easier to find. When you realize that everything is not working out perfectly, but there are still things you can do to create a happier and more joyful experience, then life can feel less stressful.
One thought on “How to intentionally create joy in your day”
Thank you! This is an excellent article that is very much needed, especially during this season of COVID. I often you hear others say, “I want someone to make me happy.” Not realizing that “we” are responsible for our own happiness. As I often explain to my students, when the person you have put in charge of your happiness leaves your life or presence, do you become sad until someone else comes along. What if it’s days, weeks, months, or years? Their light bulb immediately glows and the “ah-ha moment” occurs. It is at that moment that they realize, they are the keeper of their joy.