What if you could have more joy regardless of your current situation? Because as we all know, we all would like to have more joy.
But what happens when the tough times feel like they’re never ending? When you feel hopeless and those dark times seem to take over?
How can we have joy and create joy from the pain and suffering we experience?
This post is all about giving you small moments of relief to prevent you from digging yourself into a hole.
I’ve dealt with my fair share of depression and hopelessness. However, the small things really are the things that help me to slowly crawl out of my hole of self-loathing.
Here are some simple tips to create joy when life feels like too much to bear. Because I assure you, this will pass.
Realize your inner strength
When shit hits the fan and life is just kicking your butt it’s easy to focus on the problem and to forget how strong you really are.
Think about some bad ish that went down in the past, the stuff that you thought you would never get through. The stuff that you look at now and think, “ Phew, I’m glad that’s over”.
You got through that! Although it didn’t feel like it at the time, you are stronger than you give yourself credit for.
Realize how strong you REALLY are, because you are. And know that this will be one of those things that you look back on and see that you were able to get through it.
I don’t think we talk as much as we should about gratitude. This simple practice can completely change your day around.
Life can be tough. When you’re going through it it can be awful and the only thing that surrounds you is sorrow. But, if you look closely you can begin to learn to recognize that there are things to be grateful for.
This is more powerful than we give credit. The simple practice of having a daily gratitude journal have made a huge shift in my life, my thinking and focus.
Because to be honest when we’re suffering we’re just thinking about the problem and how awful it feels. We’re not thinking about the birds chirping or the sunshine outside.
We are caught in a cycle of negative thinking.
To combat this, simply think of one thing each day that you are grateful for, something that made you smile or something surprising that happened that day.
Our brain will naturally try to find the positive and the more we train it to see the positive and be grateful, the more we will naturally begin to see it ourselves.
Hobbies can be a quick escape from the “real world”. When you’re immersed in something you love or something that requires your full focus you naturally don’t focus on the issues of the now.
Because you can’t fully focus on two things at once, we all know the brain doesn’t like to multitask.
So dust off those knitting needles, pull out that journal or whatever hobby you enjoy. Don’t focus on being perfect, just the process of creating and learning.
I know, I know you may be saying you don’t have time or XYZ is the last thing that you would like to do, but I urged you to just get started. You can do 5 minutes and see if its something you want to continue.
According to an article written by The Aesthetics of Joy the best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer someone else up.
We naturally feel more joy helping someone else. When I’m really feeling low something as simple as a phone call to a friend or dinner with my family is one of the easiest ways to help turn my mood around.
Not only do I get out off my own stuff for a minute but they are a blast to be around.
We are all going through life with challenges and striving to have more joy and happiness in our lives.
Taking the time to spend time around people that bring you joy and lift you up is one of the easiest ways to have more joy during a tough time.
Music is like therapy. However sometimes when we’re in a funk we play the saddest music and wallow in it.
Try this instead..play some of your favorite tunes. And watch the music do its magic. Over time it will slowly start to pull you out of your funk. Maybe even have a dance fest!
Go on an adventure
O nature, it has so many benefits. I love nature and when I want to have more joy I find a short walk is just what I need.
The fresh air, sunshine, and trees are natural medicine and also helps me to get my body moving.
Try this out for yourself, maybe bring along a friend. When I find myself in a TV binge to distract or numb myself from what’s going on, a short walk can be something simple to get out of the funk.
Mindfulness and Positive Thinking
Usually, when you are going through a tough time it can be pretty darn difficult to think on the bright side.
Sometimes you might feel like things will never get better and that what is going on is never-ending. It can be easy to drag yourself in a hole of hopelessness.
One of the most powerful and effective things you can do is practice mindfulness and positive thinking.
I’m not saying what you’re going through isn’t terrible but I challenge you to think of what you might be gaining from this situation, what are you learning, how are you growing?
No matter how small, what is the silver lining?
Practice meditating for a few minutes and see if that is helpful for you. Usually, when we worry and are in a funk we are focused on the past or the future.
Being mindful of the present not only will help ground you but also help to calm your anxious mind.
When we usually think of having joy we think it has to be this complicated thing when in reality the small things are what build the most joy.
During the tough times and when life gets hard, use these simple tips to help keep you afloat. Know that this is a small moment in time, see the big picture and how this affects the larger scheme of your life.
What brings you joy in the hard times?