With everything going on in the world today, is it possible to live a life of joy?
The short answer is yes. However, you need to choose joy every day. It’s so easy to get caught up in pain and negativity that we forget that we have a choice. We can choose to be brought down or we can choose to approach every situation with a joyful heart – even when those situations are painful or negative.
Living a life of joy takes practice. Here are some suggestions:
- Practice gratitude every day – for the big stuff, but even more for the everyday small stuff that we take for granted. When was the last time you expressed your gratitude for your ability to see or hear or breathe or dream?
- Laugh – as often as you can. Laughter lifts the soul and brings joy to not only you but those around you.
- Spend time in nature. Not only is nature healing, it also brings peace, wonder and beauty into your life.
- Do what you love every day. Find time – even if it is only 10 minutes – to do something that makes your heart sing and causes you to forget about the clock.
- Release what you cannot change with love. Watching the news can be disheartening, between the poverty, war, crime and terrorism that is shown. It can feel overwhelming and make you wonder what you could do to improve the situation. One thing you can do is send your love, prayers and blessings to those impacted.
- Recognize the beauty around you – in nature, in your family and friends, etc. – and capture it in your heart.
- Release past hurts and grudges. Let them go and replace the negative feelings with love and forgiveness for yourself and the others involved in the situation.
- Develop inner peace and tranquility so that when life’s bumps come along you have a strong foundation to draw from.
- Greet each day and each person you meet with a smile. Smiles are contagious…and can often lead to laughter!
Sri Chinmoy, an Indian spiritual master who moved to the United States in the 1960s and taught meditation, sums up joyful living beautifully:
True inner joy is self – created.
It does not depend on outer circumstances.
A river is flowing in and through you carrying the message of joy.
This divine joy is the sole purpose of life.
– Sri Chinmoy