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25 Ways to Stay in Joy

DEFINITION OF JOY: (NOUN) A SETTLED STATE OF CONTENTENTMENT, CONFIDENCE, AND HOPE

Your kids are arguing, the house is a mess, and you have to get everyone fed and make sure homework is finished before heading to evening extracurricular activities. Oh, and don’t forget to get that laundry out of the dryer before it wrinkles. If you’re like most Katy families, life can get so busy, it’s sometimes a struggle to and joy in everyday things. Here are 25 ways to practice seeking joy in every little moment and become a happier and healthier you.

1. Practice Daily Gratitude
From your first thought in the morning to your last one in the evening, always look for things you’re grateful for.

2. Redirect Your thoughts
Our moods go where our thoughts lead so each time your mind starts heading in a negative direction, practice redirecting it to something positive.

3. Spend Time Outdoors
Studies show that being in nature revives us and positively aspects our minds. Plus, it gives us a healthy dose of oxygen and vitamin D.

4. Crank up the Music
Listening to your favorite music lifts your mood and relieves stress because it releases serotonin (one of the hormones that contribute to happiness).

5. Accept Yourself
There will always be someone smarter, richer, more attractive, or with more accomplished children than yours. Make a decision to stop comparing and just accept and love yourself.

6. Choose a Good Attitude
 If you’re in a bad mood, it’s most likely because you are dwelling on something that upset or hurt you. Refocus on something else and let it go.

7. Be Tolerant of Others
Whether it’s the purple-haired check-out clerk, a street person, or your bragging neighbor, understand that every person is on their own life journey which is always different from yours.

8. Get Inspired
Read books or go to seminars on something that really interests you. Whether you want to be a better parent, learn a new skill, or grow spiritually, there are a lot of ways to self-improve.

9. Come from Love
In all difficult interactions you have with your spouse, children, their teachers, or even a fast food worker, make sure you are coming from a place of love in the way that you treat them.

10. Help Someone
Getting out of your own head and helping someone else is a great mood booster. Bring soup to your sick neighbor, give a blanket to a homeless person, or just visit a friend who is hurting.

11. Let Go of Grudges
If you are hurt, let the person know in a calm way so they have an opportunity to apologize or gain an understanding. Then let it go. Grudges and unwillingness to forgive are always barriers to joy.

12. Energy Creates Energy
Do some kind of physical activity for 20 to 30 minutes a day. Not only does exercise create those happy endorphins, it can really boost your confidence.

13. Have Quiet Time
If you can take even 10 to 15 minutes to meditate, pray, or even just sit quietly, studies show this helps you be more at peace and lowers stress. Even if you have to go in the bathroom or closet, do it.

14. Stay in Peace
Instead of screaming at the driver who cut you off, just take a deep breath and say nothing. In all stressful circumstances, you can choose to remain calm.

15. Live in the Moment
Put down the technology or remote and savor the moment. Enjoy your child’s laughter, listen fully to your spouse, or stop to stare at a beautiful sunset.

16. Let Go of Toxic People
Love those bitter or angry family members from a distance or they could infect you with negativity and hate.

17. Be a Visionary
Write down or create a poster with everything you wish to accomplish in life and look at it daily or weekly. Dream big and put down that beautiful house, car, and vacation. You have to see it to achieve it!

18. Simplify Your Home
Clutter adds stress to your life and costs you more time searching for items. If you haven’t used something in a year, it’s time to give it away.

19. Have Me Time
Find time to be alone. Solitude actually energizes your soul and helps you be a better parent and spouse.

20. Use Encouraging Words
Words are powerful and can be used to help or harm someone. Are you speaking words of love to your family and friends or causing pain and worry? Don’t say anything out loud that you don’t want to come true.

21. Stop Worrying
Most strife is brought on by worry and fear. Quit freting and obsessing about all those little things you have absolutely no control over and just enjoy today.

22. Give Three Compliments
When was the last time you told your child’s teacher what a great job she is doing? Never be too busy to let people know how awesome they are.

23. Put Things in Perspective When something disappointing happens, don’t overreact. So what if your son got a B on his science project – at least he’s not in the hospital.

24. Keep Growing
You are never too old to try a new hobby, learn a new technology, or admit you’ve made a mistake and self-correct.

25. Reach out for Help
When you feel down, see a counselor or talk to a pastor or loved one. Whether it’s your marriage, parenting struggles, an addiction, or depression, there is never shame in getting help. KM

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