Your Best MusicFebruary 20, 2020
We live in a strange time. Constantly, we are inundated with pings from our electronic devices, which are often more distracting and harmful than they are useful. If you ever thought that addictions were confined to drugs and sex, think again. These days, the information overload that is common to practically every person in America is causing increasing rates of anxiety disorders, depression diagnoses, and countless other mental health issues.
Truthfully, there is nothing wrong with any of us. There are things in our world that make it harder to feel healthy, and sometimes it is difficult to understand where we should be headed considering our infinite options. But, in the end, we are exactly where we should be. There are parts of our lives that we all need to work on, and if infused with more joy, then our interpretation of our lives and views of ourselves becomes more positive.
One of the best ways to attract more joy into your life is simply by reflecting on and discussing with others, the positive things that have happened to you. How many times in your life has something great happened to you, but you hardly acknowledge it after it has passed? It may brighten your day briefly, but once the initial thrill is over, what becomes of the experience? Instead of letting go of the memory, purposely bring it into your mind, and express it to others. It is a wonderful way to relive that previous joy AND share the feeling to others.
Often times, we let negative experiences ruin the good. This is just a part of human psychology, known as negativity bias. The bad news is always more provocative than good news. Pain is more memorable than pleasure. One stubbed toe can send your otherwise good day into a tailspin. But never forget that you have an untapped treasure trove of joyful experiences! This joy lays dormant within you until you take the agency to express it.
Take a minute and think about something good that happened to you. Something that made you smile, or laugh, or fill up with love.
Simply thinking of an experience is enough to evoke joy. It can be very rewarding to reflect on your day and recall its positive moments— no matter how large or small.
Even things that are commonplace in your life can be sources of joy. For instance, you are probably quite used to eating meals and drinking water. But when is the last time you felt grateful for the meal you had yesterday? Even if the meal was particularly good after it is over you forget about it.
Becoming accustomed to certain aspects of your life usually means that you will not be completely mindful of their presence. But feeling joy even in your most worn-in habits is a way to discover everlasting springs of joy. It is natural to gradually become unaware of the positive and negative consequences of our habits, but the joy we can revitalize in them is as real as when we first started those habits.
Beyond your habits, and things you are aware of, there are so many wonderful things that happen to you everyday that go unnoticed. Ultimately, your perspective on life determines whether you believe that things that happen around you are good or bad. It’s one thing to recall the things which you automatically accept as positive, and it’s another thing to reconsider your interpretation on the day to day happenings. Just by remembering and changing your mind about something, you can turn that ugly memory into a beautiful one.
Your joy is your passion, your dreams, and your life goals. Ultimately, your joy is what makes you feel the most fulfilled and natural. Both introspect and go out into the world to discover what specifically makes you joyful. You can read more about finding your joy here.
Every day, strive to do things that make you feel happy. If you like cooking, then cook! If you are passionate about your community, start a community garden. On your personal journey, it is important to have a joyful practice where you intend to fully enjoy the moment. It’s just having fun and playing!
For instance, setting an intention at the beginning of the day to have positive experiences can make a world of a difference in your life. Just deciding to be joyful can change how you experience things around you.
I like to start my days off with positivity; I decide that the day will be good, and I visualize beneficial things happening. Then I do something that makes me happy, like reading, or writing in a journal, or playing my guitar. By keeping this consistent practice, I stack the odds in my favor for having a good day, and—at the very least—begin the day in joy.
Cultivating immediateness in your life is very important to your joy. There is a correlation between the rise of nationwide anxiety and the spread of smartphones. These devices can be very helpful for some parts of your life, but more often than not take you out of the moment by becoming addictive and anxiety-inducing.
When you are less present, it is more difficult to fully experience the joy that is in your life. Is it any wonder that smartphones are so maligned in the mental health community? Instead of spending time searching for quick hits of dopamine on your phone, share your joy with others. Ultimately, it is better for your mood, and for those around you.
Great experiences come, and then they go. But you can always bring them back. Reflecting on positive events in your life can be invaluable in feeling joyful. Writing about these events, or simply recalling them can supply you with a great deal of positivity. But, do you know what can be even more positive than those actions? Sharing your positive experiences with others.
A recent study showed that “discussing positive experiences leads to heightened well-being, increased overall life satisfaction and even more energy.” I am certain that you have told someone a story about something wonderful that happened to you, like getting a new job, or having a child, or simply seeing a rainbow, and a wave of joy washed over you. When we talk about our joy, it’s like we get to re-experience it while undoubtedly spreading some joy to another.
Talking about good times with another brings it into reality for yourself. It also means that the person can ask you questions which you would have otherwise never asked yourself if you were to reflect on it alone. By sharing, you can get another perspective on the joy, and enhance the experience. With a friend, family member, someone in a group of yours— anyone who would be supportive— share your positive stories and spread the joy!
If you are hesitant to share your story because you think it could be misconstrued as bragging, or showing off, or even uninteresting, don’t be! Your sincerity in telling your story is easily picked up by those supportive of you. If you aren’t used to sharing positive stories, it may feel unnatural at first, but once you get in the habit, the smile on your own face and the happiness reflected from others will be a hard thing to turn away from. The Joyely community would always love to hear about your joy!
In the spirit of sharing what makes us happy, here is a story that makes me smile. I’m excited to share it with you, and I hope it brightens your day!
Two summers ago I bought a piece of art at an antique shop that really spoke to me. It’s like the artist had painted something from my imagination. After I took the painting home, I searched all of its surfaces for a signature from the artist, but I couldn’t find anything. So, I hung the painting up on a wall and moved on. For months, I looked at the painting practically every day, and I just wish I could solve the mystery of the artist’s identity.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw some art that I really loved at a restaurant. I spied the artist’s name on some of the pieces, and afterward, I found the artist online. Scrolling through images of his work, I found the exact same piece that was hanging on my wall at home!
I was ecstatic. Finally, I discovered who the artist was! So, I reached out to the artist, and a few days later I visited him in his studio where he had dozens of other works of art. He let me watch him work, and we talked and laughed. This was a dream come true, and I couldn’t believe that I was around the inspiring artist who made the beloved painting I’ve had in my home for so long.
And that’s the story! Wow! It really felt great thinking about this again, and I had a lot of fun sharing it with you. I hope you enjoyed hearing about it.
Wherever you are along your life’s journey, know that you are right where you should be. Even if you feel like you are on a flimsy boat in turbulent waters, that’s okay. There is such a powerfully negative stigma on mental health; we are constantly led to believe that we are not okay and that we should change ourselves. That the anxiety or negativity that we feel from day to day are flaws in our personalities. But, that is just one way of looking at things.
It is fine to be different, and as long as you make progress toward your joy, you are winning. All that matters is how you see yourself. A lot of what we can meaningfully do in our lifetimes is a process of realizing that we are okay. Joyely is a wonderful place to start.
Jordan set out at a young age to FIND his life path. He discovered that his best joy was in creating all kinds of art. From poetry to stories to music to paintings! And now Jordan is BEING his joy, by writing songs, teaching others, and studying visual art.
Jordan strives to create the best art he can every day. Now, he SHARES his process with you, to help you understand yourself, discover your passion, and live your dream.
Some simple tools to get started can be found in our online programs, the 30-day mediation is a strong way to start. That’s a really good one. Do you feel like a morning reminder about joy? Just OPT-IN here for free JOY Coaching. See you on this side of joy!