I know it is cliché but ‘happiness’ really is an inside job.
So many of us look to external people, situations, experiences, the achievement of goals, the attainment of ‘things’, to make us happy. Often thinking, “I will be happy when…”. But once we get to these desired destinations, we may find that we feel good, happy, excited, all the good feels, for only a short period, and then it passes. Only for us to look for the next ‘thing’ to give us that feeling. That buzz.
What we really want to be seeking, is not happiness, but joy. Contentment. A sense of peace. A sense of acceptance for who we are and what our life is in each given moment. Yes, even the rubbish parts of life, and being able to see that they can all teach us something and support us to find who we truly are. To build our resiliency to life’s inevitable challenges. This my friends, is true growth! When we can view our challenging experiences, through a lens of learning.
We are not meant to feel happy all the time and if we did, would we even know that this even was ‘happy’? How can we know what happiness really feels like unless we experience something vastly different?
We are meant to feel anxious, sad, anger, envy, guilt…all the emotions. Happiness is only one emotional experience that is part of the rich tapestry of life. All emotions are designed to teach us something.
My view is. Aim for joy, acceptance, and contentment with the present. Not happiness.
How to Find Your Joy
If I were to comment on what creates a sense of ‘happiness’ or ‘joy’, I would say seeing the ‘joy’ in the smallest of moments and experiences each day. Feeling grateful for the joy you feel at drinking your first morning coffee. Hearing your children laugh. Experiencing the total presence that is felt when something makes us laugh until we cry. Watching a sunrise or sunset. Hearing the first sign of spring by noticing the birdsong in the morning. Feeling the sun, or wind, on your skin. We can only truly embrace and enjoy these simple everyday moments, by being present. Rather than thinking about all the things we need to do or all the things that have already been.
End or begin each day with a reflection on, in that moment, what you are truly grateful for.
- Your hot morning coffee
- The soft bed in which you are writing this list
- The water that runs quickly through your taps to clean you and hydrate you
- The local walk on your doorstep
- The neighbour that smiles at you. That offered to help water your plans whilst you are away
- The ground under your feet
- Landing that new job or promotion you have been wanting
What you put on your list does not need to be big, it does not need to be grand, but I want you to write it and really drop into how it makes you FEEL to connect with that experience. The emotions and physical sensations it brings up when you connect with that part of your current life. Your current reality.
Honestly, watch the smile spread across your face, feel the joy.
Joy really does feel like a warm embrace. It can bring tears to your eyes as you truly recognise how grateful you are for your life. For that present moment. It is like real life magic 😊
Identify your values and move towards a balanced valued life
My other tip for ‘joy finding’ is to ask yourself, what is truly important to you. What are your values? Your personal values of kindness, respect, helping others, love, connection. Also, your bigger values like family, physical fitness and wellbeing, friends, career, self-love. Be careful to answer with what actually IS important to you. Not what you feel should be, based on what significant others or the media tell you should be.
It might take you a little bit of experimenting as you seek the answer to this question, and that is ok, self-discovery is a long game. Taking off the layers of living a life that we feel we should live to find how we want to live can take a bit of peeling. Take a bit of time. I promise you; the time and energy are worth it though.
Moving towards living a balance of your true values in life and letting go of living a life that you feel you should live, really is a place of pure joy, peace, and contentment. A place of knowing who you are and feeling assured in that, regardless of what other people think.
So, these are my key ‘joy finding’ tips.
I would absolutely love to hear about your 'joy finding' moments! Feel free to send me an email or message with them on. Tag me on social media in your moments. I can guarantee you they will add to my gratitude list that day. Supporting others to find their joy and true self really is something I am immensely grateful to be able to do daily.
Enjoy the journey my friends.