It’s that fleeting feeling of everything being wonderful and just the way you would chose it to be.
That feeling that if anything were any better, you would just pop!
Have you felt it today?
The tricky part of joy is that unlike some other feelings, it arrives and departs suddenly. Joy has intensity and it has brevity. It always leaves us wanting it back – like a great lover.
So let me give you some sure-fired ways to conjure up some joy in your life.
The easiest and quickest route to joy is through the use of your five senses. Let’s do a little exploration together. I live in the mountains of North Carolina and find that as I drive around town, there are some spots where there is a beautiful vista in the distance. It’s instant joy when I notice them.
Use your eyes and drink in the sights of your world. Find the ones that make your heart stop and make you go “Ahh”. Be attentive to what you see that creates joy for you and work to keep those things in your environment.
Use your hearing. The two sounds that always fill me with joy are the sounds of laughter and of children playing. What works for you?
Is it –
the sound of voices singing,
the whirr of your powerful car engine,
the footsteps of your partner arriving home?
When you find your special sounds, practice noticing them as you go through your day. Notice the fleeting feelings of joy that you create.
Tastes and smells often bring joy. The taste of cool, delicious ice cream or sharp, salty pickles. Which flavors are your favorites? Try to savor them when you eat them and let the feeling of joy arrive.
Aromas are one of the most powerful ways to impact mood. Think about the ones that hit you most powerfully and add them consciously into your life. I’m not a caffeine person, but sometimes I go into the coffee shop just to get that delicious smell. Today with the many fragrances available in beauty products, it is easy to find one that is right for you. Try gardenia!
Our sense of touch is also an important source of joy. Human touch is needed for each of us to feel our best. Give hugs, pat a shoulder, shake hands, get a massage. Notice the connection with that person as you do it and the joy is just a reach away.
Or try using your sense of touch to pat your cat or dog. Doing it with attention will bring the joy. Touch soft or interesting things in your environment – sink into the couch or notice the feel of bare feet on a cool floor, the lawn or the beach.
Another way to use our sense of touch to create joy is through movement. Remember holding hands and swinging arms as a kid? We did that because the movement brought joy. Try it again. Rocking chairs, swings and bicycles all are popular because the movement helps us connect with the fleeting burst of joy.
Even walking can be a path to joy. Find a smooth, level place and just let yourself get into a gentle walking rhythm. Notice the tiny breeze you create for yourself with your movement, notice the way your legs can just effortlessly walk and experience some joy!
What are some ways of using your senses that always bring you joy? Please share with us your ideas below in the comments. Let’s spread more joy together!