It’s not always easy to focus on the good in life, especially when you are constantly feeling stressed by the burdens of everyday life. In fact, I don’t want to lie to you at all – sometimes trying to find joy in life can seem like an impossible task.
One of the hardest things that I have done recently has been quitting my job and moving to a different company. That’s something that’s supposed to feel good and rewarding, right? At least I thought so.
But I would be lying if I say that I didn’t hold some feelings towards my old job. While I don’t miss the role itself, I found myself constantly reminiscing on the relationships that I had grown and how passionate I was about the company that I worked for.
Whether it was because of fear or because of my feelings, it kind of took away some of the joy and excitement of starting my new job. The more I reminisced about my old one, the more fearful I became that I had made the wrong decision in accepting the new one.
What if I wasn’t going to excel in this position as much as I had in my previous one?
What if the people that I worked with didn’t like me?
Why did I give up a secure job to move into a position that I have little knowledge of?
What would happen if I failed? Would I get fired?
All of these questions were ones that I asked myself – and I asked myself these questions pretty much every day.
I felt as if I had thrown away everything that was secure in my life and was now living on the edge waiting to tip over at any moment.
Do you want to know what happened? At least what’s happened so far? Nothing!
All of those fears that I had allowed to steal the joy of starting a new job – a new adventure – had just been thoughts that I had drawn up in my mind.
I’m actually performing well for being relatively new. I have already grown friendships with basically every person on my team. And while I may have moved to a less secure job, it’s a chance that I had to take. Not just because it will lead to greater opportunities, but to prove to myself that I actually could take that chance.
When it comes to happiness, joy, motivation, and all of the other emotions that we all strive for, you aren’t going to always feel them. There are going to be times where you are going to feel down and out, but that’s what makes joy so rewarding. Without the negatives, the positives would just emotions that we expect to feel. They wouldn’t hold the same value and meaning.
Now, sure. There are some things that you can do to spark joy in your life. When I was going through this stressful time, I was on the hunt for anything and everything that would give me that little spark of joy. What I learned, though, is that joy is internal. You can look elsewhere to find joy, but until you look within, you will never find it.
Here are 4 of mindful ways to spark joy in your life.
1. Soothe your inner critic
You are your own worst critic. While all of these negative thoughts may be stirring around in your mind, how many of them have ever come true before?
As humans, we are great at determining how our reality is going to shape out, but only when that reality consists of us failing. Flip it around. Have you ever determined what your reality will look like when you do succeed? Don’t look at yourself as a failure before you even get started. If you do, you won’t even be giving yourself an adequate chance to succeed.
2. Choose joy
Every emotion that we feel is a choice. Maybe you disagree with me on this one, but that’s truly what I believe. While you may not be able to control every event that happens over the course of your life, you do always have the power of perception.
If you are feeling down, reflect on a time that you went through a similar hardship and ask yourself how you found joy in your life afterwards. If you are feeling down, do your best to focus on all of the good that fills your life. And if you are feeling down, make an effort to do more of the things that to enjoy doing if you want to spark joy in your life.
3. Focus on the present moment
When I was telling you about my story above, notice what I wasn’t doing. I was looking back on the past, I then became fearful of the future, and because of that, I was completely disregarding the present.
The past is the past. As hard as it is to grasp, you don’t have the ability to go back in time and reshape what has already transpired. As far as the present goes, well who knows if you will even be alive tomorrow. Why waste the gift of today for the hope of tomorrow?
As difficult as it may be, do your best to slow down, really focus on the space that you are in right now, and learn to be grateful exactly for where it is that you are. You are here today for a reason, so make that reason count.
4. Listen to your heart
In looking back, it was my heart that was telling me to take that leap to a new job in the first place. And in looking back, it was my heart that was giving me the strength to put a smile on my face when I walked into my new office. Fear, on the other hand, was what was ripping that smile away, but only because I had allowed it to.
Your heart and your intuition are some of your strongest senses. Have they ever let you down before? No. Only your fears have. Your heart and your intuition are what has got you to where you are today. Learn to trust them.
As challenging as it might be, listen to what your heart is telling you to do, listen to that gut feeling that you have, and listen to what you want to achieve in your life. Your life is yours to live, nobody else’s.
Joy is something that we all seek, but few of us actually know what it means to find joy on a consistent basis. As cliche as it may sound, life is meant to be enjoyed. But at the same time, only you can control the amount of joy that you find in life.
If you are looking for more ways to spark joy in your life, use these tips and see if they help you. Remove the negatives from your life, focus on all of the positives, and find the joy in the one life that you get to live.