Happiness is a state of mind but joy is an event. For instance, even when I’m not experiencing happiness, when I spend time with this guy, it’s all joy.
Joy is here for you, but when your calendar is all booked up and your to-do list looks more like a novel, you will not be here for joy. If you want more joy and delight in your life, do these two things:
1. Notice joy. When you are in joy; when you see it and feel it, notice it. Give joy your time and attention and it will fill your heart.
2. Let go of the things that stand between you and joy. These might be things that drag you down, hurt your heart or keep you distracted and exhausted.
Instead of holding on to things you don’t care about and projects that exhaust you, grab on to intuition, love and gratitude. Instead of keeping a tight grip on negative (but useless) emotions like guilt, regret and resentment, really think about how you want to invest your limited time and energy.
Sometimes we hold on to things that don’t serve us because we want to be “good” and we’ve been taught that quitting or giving up is “bad” — but what would it look like if we stopped judging and started trusting ourselves to know what’s best for us?
What’s so good about being good anyway?
7 Things Standing Between You and Joy
Instead of focusing on clearing the clutter from your entire house, work on one drawer, one closet, one room, or one surface at time. Being free from clutter allows you to see what’s important in your drawers, and in your life. Make room for joy.
2. A toxic relationship
Holding on to someone who always brings you down may be good for them, but not for you. The time you spend with others should inspire you, not depress you. Remember there is a difference between helping someone who is going through a tough time and a toxic relationship. Once a relationship becomes damaging to the way you act, feel or think, it is time to let go or rethink your rules of engagement.
3. Unhealthy measurement systems
Using numbers on the scale or numbers of likes, comments and followers on your social feeds is no way to measure your self worth. Not even for a second. If you notice that any of these numbers change the way you feel about yourself or affect your mood, stop. Give your scale away and/or take a social media break.
4. Concern with what other people think
What they think has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Knowing that, the next time you share something that brings you incredible joy, and someone shoots it down (and attempts to steal your joy) say, “thank you for your thoughtful feedback,” and walk away in joy.
Usually it’s not what people say, but what we think they will say that keeps us doing what we should, attempting to be good and loved. All that shoulding is a big wall standing between you and joy.
5. Doing it all
If you are overextended, exhausted and too busy to do anything for yourself, you will never have time for joy. You’ll never know what really lights you up, or what matters to you. If you want to change, but don’t know how, try the Busy Boycott.
6. Resistance to change
Like it or not, everything is changing all the time. Change brings both opportunity and uncertainty. Your propensity for both joy and happiness is directly connected to your willingness to be open to change.
7. Goals that don’t fit anymore
Letting go of goals and dreams in the name of joy can be the most challenging of all. As our lives change, we change, and things that seemed so important years ago may slowly fade away. Instead of beating yourself up for not achieving your old goals, focus on your new dreams and develop goals or bucket lists that reflect who you are right now.
When you read the title of this article, 7 Things Standing Between You and Joy, you may have thought of a few things in your life. If you are paying attention, you can identify the things standing between you and joy and let them go. It won’t always be easy, but the joy that is waiting for you is worth it.