If you find yourself in a state of constant sadness, depression or hopelessness, then it may be time to turn your focus to finding joy again.
One of the easiest ways to find joy is by identifying the things in your life that actually bring you joy. Think back to those moments, and recreate them in your daily life.
1. Take a Moment to Breathe
If you’re feeling anxious, fearful or stressed, take a moment to breathe. Breathing deeply, helps stimulate the body’s second nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system, which can help you calm down and return to a more neutral state of being.
A regular breathing practice can help you find joy in the everyday moments of now, even during challenging times. It also helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which will improve your overall wellbeing.
2. Listen to Music
Music can help us find joy in the everyday moments of now in a number of different ways. From reducing stress and depression to helping with sleep, pain management and even cognition, research suggests that music can have many benefits.
In fact, a recent study found that people who listened to soft background music while performing cognitive tasks were able to complete those tasks more accurately than those who didn’t. They were also able to focus on the task for longer periods of time.
If you’re struggling with depression, exercising can be one of the best things you can do to boost your mood and reduce feelings of hopelessness. It’s important to start small — even a 15-minute run or an hour-long walk a day can be helpful.
It may take some time to build up your energy levels, but that’s OK. Once you feel comfortable with your level of exercise, you can increase it over time.
4. Take a Walk
Walking is a low-impact form of exercise that is known to improve your mood and mental health. It has been shown to reduce depression and anxiety, and it can boost your mood even if you haven’t worked out in a while.
Whether you walk alone, or with a friend or group, make it fun by planning different routes. It also helps to vary the pace of your walks – pick up the speed for a few minutes and then slow it down again.
5. Talk to a Friend
One of the best ways to find joy in your day is to talk to a friend. Research shows that talking to people one-on-one for short periods can make you feel happier and lower your stress levels by the end of the day.
If you haven’t spoken to your friend in a while, try sending them a text saying, “Hey, just wanted to tell you I thought of you today.” It’s a quick, casual way to let them know you’re thinking about them and to remind them that they matter.
6. Look for Small Silver Linings
Looking for small silver linings, or the positive aspects of challenging situations, can be a powerful tool to help us persevere through difficult times. This optimistic mindset promotes emotional resilience and ability to adapt (Seery, 2011).
The silver lining could be the feeling of gratitude for the things you have, the chance to communicate with your loved ones in unexpected ways, or the opportunity to try something new that you’ve never done before.
Whether it’s taking the time to appreciate the beauty of nature, or enjoying the smell of freshly baked bread, finding joy in the everyday moments can make all the difference.
7. Take a Break
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed and stressed, consider taking a break. Whether it’s a day away from work or an overnight staycation, getting out of the daily routine can help your body and mind reset and restore.
When you take a break, you give yourself time to think clearly and focus on the present. This can lead to a more enjoyable experience and happier moods on a regular basis.