Living a Life with Joy is Intentional Living.
What does it mean to live a joyful life? How is it different than feeling happy?
How can we achieve this during COVID-19?
I’ve been pondering this question lately. Why? Because my coaching style focuses on living life your way and bringing happiness to your every day life. I also want to include joy as I believe without it, true happiness will be more difficult to achieve and/or sustain in our lives. So, this past week, I focused my research on better understanding the differences and how they work together.
Joy and happiness can be found in every day living during COVID-19.
What is Happiness?
Happiness is not a goal in itself. It happens when you are living your life – making the choices – that are aligned with your values.
For example, completing a marathon in of itself does not make us happy. It’s what was required for us to do it – the self-discipline and habits we needed to bring into our life that facilitated us completing the marathon – that creates the happiness.
Happiness is not the same as positivity. You might know someone who appears to be always happy regardless of the situation they’re living. That’s not normal.
Denying negative emotions actually can lead to deeper and more prolonged negation emotions and emotional dysfunction (i.e. toxic positivity). Negative emotions are necessary and healthy for living a healthy life. It means you’re human.
What is Joy?
Joy is a step beyond happiness. Living in joy acknowledges that not everything goes well all the time but still feeling hope with the situation at hand.
Joy consists of spiritual experiences, feeling gratitude, serving others, inward peace and contentment.
Joy is imperative for boosting our resilience and wellbeing. It gives us the strength and energy we need to do our important work in the world.
Happiness versus Joy
While happiness comes from outside things, joy is about inner self.
Example: If a person wins a lottery of $10,000, they would be very happy. If that person works hard and sets up their business and earns $10,000, they too would feel happy, but they would also feel joy.
Make JOY your GPS and see where it takes you.
When do you feel Joy?
Think of a moment in your life where you experienced true Joy? Maybe it was at your wedding or the birth of a child? Or, even something that happens in your every day living? How does it make you feel?
How Can I Bring Joy into my Life?
First thing is, get to know yourself. You are the only one who can truly know the answer. What makes you happy? What are you passionate about? Do those things and see where it takes you next in your life.
In the meantime, here are suggestions for your consideration. They can act as a starting point as you start figuring it out.
5 Ways to Live a Joyful Life
- Be authentic. Be who you are, not who you think you should be.
- Self-care. Take care of yourself physically and mentally. It’s not optional.
- Mindfulness. Learn to live in the now. Leave the past in the past where it belongs.
- Appreciation. Be grateful for what you have today.
- Self-empowerment. Trust yourself to know what you should do next in your life.
5 Ways to Bring Joy into Your Home
- Buy fresh flowers (yes, it’s worth it!)
- Clear the clutter to make space for items you love.
- Decorate your home with items that inspire you.
- Light a scented candle or diffuse essential oil in a scent that inspires you.
- Paint your walls in a welcoming colour (you don’t need to follow trends).
We need to embrace this new reality – we have to learn to live with and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 to ourselves and our loved ones. It doesn’t mean that we can’t find happiness and joy. It just means it might require a bit more effort to bring it forward in our lives but, it’s there.
As I see it, we have been given a gift of time to stop and reflect on what really matters to each one of us.
I hope this post has inspired you to invite joy into your life.