7 Easy Steps To More Joy During The Holiday Season
The Winter season isn’t an easy time of year for many, and can really benefit from some simple steps to more joy, in those colder darker days. However being joyful doesn’t mean that you’re permanently walking around ecstatic. It means feeling happy, content and satisfied with the situation, even if just for a few moments. By making an effort to put the following steps into practice, you can increase the duration and frequency of these joyful moments, and feel more joy more often and for longer.
Joy tip #1: MINDFULNESS
Most of the steps below rely on you being more mindful. If we’re going about our days rushing through tasks, thinking of several things at once, worrying about the future or the past, it’s going to be extremely difficult to implement any steps to more joy. We need to find moments to slow down and be in the present, especially for the suggestions below. You won’t be able to be mindful all the time but being in the here and now, conscious of your senses, surroundings and breath, will help you implement these steps to more joy, and help you feel and appreciate the difference.
Joy tip #2: BEING SOCIAL
If you’re an introvert like me, this suggestion might seem off-putting, but being social is a proven step to more joy. We all have a handful of people we enjoy the company of. Take awareness of the people that make you laugh the most, or make you feel the best about yourself. Make a point of either seeing them or speaking to them, even if just for a short time, every day this holiday season. If this isn’t possible then take a couple of minutes to think about them, and recall a funny or meaningful conversation or time you enjoyed together. It is sure to put a joyful smile on your face without you even realizing it.
Joy tip #3: HOBBIES
Put a bit of time each week into doing things that you enjoy. This might be playing football with friends, watching a movie, having a long bath, going for a walk in nature etc. We spend so much of our week doing things that we have to do, that one of the important steps to more joy, is doing things we actually want to do. Write a list of the 3 things you enjoy doing; if one of them isn’t possible, there’s no excuse as you’ll have a back up option. And having other people involved in these hobbies will be killing two birds with one stone!
Joy tip #4: BEING GRATEFUL
There is always something we can be grateful for, even if it’s just the ability to breathe. We become complacent and take all the little and wonderful things in our lives for granted. If you’re struggling to come up with something then you can imagine someone in a much worse off situation than yourself, or someone living below the poverty line. This should make you grateful for the fact you have a pillow to sleep on, running water, a loaf of bread, the ability to read etc. Try to write down something different each day this season, and hopefully the appreciation you begin to accumulate by doing this, will become a regular step to more joy.
Joy tip #5: HELP OTHERS
Helping others and being kind has been proven to bring us happiness and joy. Try to look out for situations where you can help someone else at least once a day. This could be opening a door for someone, letting someone cut in when you’re in traffic, helping someone with heavy bags or perhaps simply smiling at someone who looks sad. I’m sure you’ll encounter endless different ways you can lend a hand or be kind to someone every day. If you’re at home all day then why not send someone a kind text. Taking a moment to give a bit of your time and energy to someone else, is an easy step to more joy this season.
Bonus #6: SMILE
Smiling is a simple way of tricking your brain and body into feeling happy. So when you’re feeling down, try to make a habit of smiling even if it’s fake. It might feel a bit silly to begin with, but very often the ridiculousness of it actually softens your mood and can make you laugh at yourself, or your situation. Often you’ll realise that things are not as serious or important as you thought. So smiling is an easy and free step to more joy, that you can call upon instantly when you need it the most, especially if the holiday season is weighing on you.
Joy tip #7: MORNING ROUTINE
How you start your morning, from the moment you wake up, can have a positive or negative impact on the rest of your day. If your morning starts with reading emails or the news, stressing about the possible things to come, or things that have happened, you’re laying down the foundation for your mindset for the rest of the day.
This season build a morning routine that includes some of the above steps to more joy. You can consider engaging your senses in a positive way, writing down one thing you’re grateful for, thinking about an opportunity you might have to help someone. You can think about a time that day or week that you’ll be socialising with people you enjoy being with, and about indulging in a hobby or pastime that makes you happy. Ultimately you need to become more mindful of you personal daily steps to more joy, and of course remember to smile.
Read 7 Common Myths About Meditation to understand what meditation really is, how you can easily start practicing it, and how it can bring more joy into your life.