Use these quick tips to find joy in the little things.
“Let your joy be in your journey—not in some distant goal.” —Tim Cook
Life can be draining.
Let’s face it. Life as an adult is challenging, and there are certainly plenty of responsibilities that just aren’t fun. Perhaps the part that drains us most is the monotony of taking care of those same responsibilities over and over,
But we weren’t created to simply exist, running on that treadmill of responsibilities. We were created to enjoy life and experience it fully.
So in our SHIFT Challenge, our third shift is to Find Joy. Let’s begin by defining joy.
What is Joy?
Both joy and happiness are enjoyable states of the human experience, but they’re actually very different.
Happiness is a temporary emotion triggered by external circumstances, like the pleasure we receive when a loved one gives us a gift, or the feeling of finding a $20 bill in our pocket on laundry day.
Joy, on the other hand, is a deep spiritual state.
We find joy as we experience God’s love in both emotional and material ways, as we connect spiritually to God and stay in relationship with Him. Joy is the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit and tuning into God as we go about our day.
We need both temporary happiness and long-term joy in our lives.
Why You Need Joy
So why should we care about joy? Well, we were created to experience joy and the lack of joy in our lives can lead to losing hope, and even to depression.
Joy gives us strength to face the difficulties in life without being overcome. Joy enables us to laugh, play and have fun in the midst of the sameness of our everyday responsibilities.
There’s even research to back up our need for joy and laughter. Laughter lowers stress hormones, relaxes our nervous system and actually boosts our immune system. Joy heals us.
How to Find Joy Every Day
If you’re like me you can easily become weighed down by the “have-to’s” and “should’s”, and completely forget to enjoy the ordinary, everyday blessings.
But when we take time to acknowledge God and His gifts to us throughout the day, we can experience true joy which makes us healthier and helps us to be a better mom, spouse, friend, and employee.
Being the Type A, “check-it-off-the-list” kind of person that I am, I have to remind myself to stop and enjoy those little God gifts like:
- slowly sipping a cup of hot tea;
- crushing a leaf of fresh mint between my fingers to enjoy the fragrance;
- enjoying a meal together with my family;
- watching a funny video with my husband;
- laughing with my kids;
- taking a walk every morning just as the dawn is breaking;
- rubbing my little dog’s soft ears.
None of these little pleasures cost money and they make me so happy!
Experiencing these times with God, acknowledging that they come from Him and thanking Him for them, creates a deep sense of joy and peace throughout my day.
This Week’s SHIFTs
This week let’s focus on bringing those little bits of joy back into our lives and savoring every one of them.
Think about a short or long-term goal/dream that will bring you joy. Start saving $5 a week in an envelope at home toward your passion or open a separate savings account just for that goal.
What would make you love your home? Envision what you want it to look like and how you want it to feel. Take one tiny step this week to move toward your vision, like creating a little reading corner with a plant and a cozy throw, or purchasing fresh flowers for your kitchen table.
You were created for joy, and you are worthy of experiencing joy. Begin to connect with God throughout your day and thank Him for those tiny blessings, both material and experiential.
An important aspect of creating joy in your life is enjoying relationships. Take time this week to spend intentional time with your family doing an enjoyable activity together.
Make finding joy a priority every single day by scheduling a specific time, whether it’s first thing in the morning or a few minutes after dinner, to do something you love.
Remember, SHIFT is about refocusing on our top priorities and realigning ourselves with our values, not about stress.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, choose ONE tiny shift to make this week in the area that needs the most attention, and trust that you will be able to make more positive changes in the weeks and months to come. Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?
Time – I will be scheduling daily “happy” time when I do something refreshing like artwork, talking or playing a game with a family member or simply playing with my dog. Scheduling it in my planner will ensure that I get it done. 🙂
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See all the SHIFT Challenge posts HERE.
I would love to hear which SHIFTs you will be making so leave a comment!
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