In these trying days, one can easily lose sight of joy, hope, and happiness. When the world feels like it’s spiraling out of control and all semblance of normalcy seems to be lost, holding onto positive feelings can be an arduous task.
But things don’t have to be ultimately, insanely terrible for you to feel this way. Any kind of challenging time can make you feel down and blue, resulting in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and other mood-related issues. You can become unproductive, feel demotivated, or lose your “spark.” Why does this happen? What can you do to fix it?
Do you ever notice how some folks always seem to have their chins up, even on the worst of days? It’s a valuable trait, and it’s also one that most people have to learn with time as a skill. If you’re interested in learning how to do this, it’s all about changing your mindset and keeping healthy habits.
It can sound complicated, but the good news is that happiness can be found just about anywhere. Being able to find those moments of positive in a sea of negativity is a rare skill – and one worth honing, for sure! Here are 14 simple ways to find your joy, even in difficult times.
1. Pay Attention To The Little Things
This doesn’t mean to obsess over the small details. Instead, it means to turn your focus onto small little moments that make a day brighter. Look for small things, like:
- The taste of your favorite snack
- A scent you like
- The fit of your best outfit
- The precious private moments you share with a loved one
When you pay attention to and make a note of small things like this, you’ll be able to see the joy in so many places that you previously couldn’t.
It can feel challenging to get moving when you’re dealing with bad times, but a lack of physical activity will only worsen the cycle. Completely ignoring exercise will make you feel more sluggish and tired while also furthering your poor mood.
Simple exercises, even just walking for 12 minutes, can have significant effects on your positive thinking, according to research. Here are some ideas for ways to exercise that are simple and easy:
- Performing yoga
- Skipping rope
3. Stay Grateful
Gratitude can have potent effects on the mind. When you actively seek out things to be thankful for, you’re able to keep a more positive attitude, reducing your risk of developing depressive symptoms, chronic stress, and anxiety-related problems.
Many find that keeping a gratitude journal can help them in these efforts. This involves recording at least three things you’re grateful for every night in a journal. Here are some ideas for something you can be thankful for:
- Waking up on time
- The existence of your favorite things
- Your loved ones
- Having your basic needs met.
- Having a job
- Good weather
- Eating a delicious meal.
- Having an interesting conversation
- Reading a good book
- Watching a good series
4. Do Some Volunteer Work
By making others feel better, you can often make yourself feel better. There’s just something about the act of giving that can put a big smile on your face and show you the joy in life. Studies prove that acts of kindness can lead to higher levels of good mood and wellbeing.
Most importantly, when you volunteer in difficult times, you begin to realize that when you can’t find the good in the world, you can create it by being compassionate to others.
5. Dress Happy
Stuck at home? Have a lot of dull office days? Have a lot of casual clothes you rarely wear? Whatever the case, you can make yourself feel a little better by dressing up in a more exciting way. If the clothes you wear inspire you to feel confident, you’ll feel better, too. Here are some ideas:
- Dress up very fancily for no particular reason
- Get ready in makeup and a cute outfit even when you have no plans for the day
- Try out a new fashion style
- Wear colorful or exciting jewelry with your workwear
- Dress in a silly way and just have fun
6. Set Challenging Goals
If your difficulties are caused by a feeling of monotony and complacency, it may be time to take a good look at your goals and see if they’re still challenging you.
Try to pick new goals that excite you and give you some motivation. Don’t make them unreasonable, of course, but do make them challenging. This will provide you with something to work towards, so you get to improve yourself and your mood at the same time.
7. Don’t Forget Self-Care
Self-care has become a somewhat “basic” term over the years. Despite its buzzword-type popularity, it has plenty of merits. Self-care is incredibly important to wellbeing.
However, more importantly, it has to genuinely be a moment of complete rest. This means that it’s not self-care if you’re watching a show while thinking about how much work you have to do. You have to allow yourself to completely forget about all your commitments for a while.
Some ideas for self-care include:
- Giving yourself a spa day
- Soaking in a bath
- Curling up with a good book
- Eating something you love
8. Find Ways To Laugh
Laughter isn’t just contagious. It’s also influential. Even if you don’t feel like laughing, the act of doing so anyway releases endorphins, which are positive hormones. This is because the body can’t actually discern real laughs from fake laughs, so you get the boost from fake laughter, too.
Laughter can help those around you to laugh, and according to research, it also has other benefits, such as:
- Relieving pain
- Reducing stress
- Improving immunity
Meditation can sound boring, but it has plenty of positive benefits for the body, including:
- The release of feel-good hormones
- The reduction of stress
- The improvement of cardiovascular health
When you meditate, you force your brain and body to be at complete rest for a decent amount of time. You let go of your worries, your anxieties, and your fears, and you focus instead on being present in the current moment. It’s an excellent exercise for better positive thinking and can give you perspective.
10. Be Your Real, Authentic Self
Life can require a lot of performative behavior from the people it hosts. Social media encourages you to only show off your best side. Job interviews require embellishment. You talk up your achievements to your family members to make them proud. It’s a lot to do at once!
Taking a break from all the facades and letting your walls come down is a straightforward but effective way to find joy in your life. Be your real, genuine, authentic self, and the rest will follow.