This year has tested us in ways we never expected. It’s easy to become jaded, cynical, or withdrawn. But humans are remarkable in their ability to change and adopt a healthier mindset that adds meaning and purpose. Rather than comparing yourself to others or feeling sorry for your situation, begin awakening to small expressions of joy you can savor yourself and extend to others.
What brings you joy? When you begin seeing what triggers joy throughout the day, you can start to make your life more satisfactory. Below are five triggers that experts agree make most people joyful. I challenge you to go further and find your own.
1. Having a coffee date with your best friend. Support and shared history with one special friend makes everything better. Being aware of the how miraculous it is to find one person who shares their life with you through good and bad times is pure joy!
2. Seeing a baby (human or animal) play. Seeing the energy, laughter, and joyful reactions of a baby discovering the world can bring wonder. Sometimes we forget how wonderful and exciting the world is around us and need to look through new eyes.
3. A crisp morning outing in nature. Being outside reminds us that seasons change, and each season brings something new. Be aware of the smells, sounds and your ability to be part of something much bigger than yourself.
4. Being able to help someone feeling heard, noticed, and appreciated. So many people feel ignored and misunderstood. Being able to leave a tip, a thank-you, or even your time brings joy to them and you.
5. Being a better friend to yourself. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one with yourself. Quit putting pressure on yourself by comparing yourself to others. Joy comes from within when we accept ourselves and realize we can love others and be loved just as we are.
As we celebrate giving thanks for the many blessings we have, it’s important that we remember to reach out and become a joy trigger for others. We can live with social distancing and wearing a mask, but we cannot afford to live without joy in our lives! Happy Thanksgiving!