Being joyful goes a lot deeper than just telling yourself that you will be joyful today! There’s more to it than simply resolving to be happy.

Experiencing life from a joyful perspective takes practice to cultivate—especially since we’re naturally drawn to notice the negative.

This month at Day Designer we’ll be looking at the theme of JOY and discovering how we can lead a joyful life. Joy is something that we can all use a little bit more of! Are you ready for a happiness boost?

While many people say “I choose joy” and make it sound easy, the truth is that it’s not always as simple as that. It can take some work to get to the point where you actually are indeed choosing joy.

The good news, however, is that once you have practiced choosing joy, it will start to become your natural response. You replace the negative thoughts with positive ones, and slowly, over time, instead of defaulting to negativity, your mind will naturally gravitate towards joy.

With a few changes, you can begin to rid your life of negativity and start to find the joy that’s been there all along.

Be Aware

First things first, it’s important to free yourself up from the unrealistic expectation of experiencing joy all the time. That’s the first thing that we need to let go of because holding ourselves to unrealistic expectations will only end in frustration—and certainly not joy. Instead, it’s important to acknowledge that sometimes sadness comes, or perhaps a stressful time, and negativity seeps in. When this happens, it’s important to remember that these feelings are only temporal. Joy, like the sun, is always shining. Our negative thoughts or feelings are like the clouds. They soon will pass!

Start the Morning Right

Have you ever felt like the day has gone downhill from the moment you woke up to the moment you went to bed? Starting the morning off right can make all the difference in what direction your day goes. Consider spending a few moments reflecting on all the things you have to be grateful for. It’s a great place to start!

Get Enough Sleep

On the same note, you should also ensure that you are getting enough sleep. Getting adequate sleep is vital to how you handle stress and frustrations. If you are operating on little to no sleep, it can be easy to slip into the negative way of thinking. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep—it’ll help you navigate the often-challenging aspects of life.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Keeping a gratitude journal can help you reflect on the positive aspects of your life and give you something to look over on those days when joy isn’t coming so easily! If you need to, start small and just start writing down a few things down that you are grateful for—from little moments like extra snuggles or big giggles to the more broad aspects of life such as good health or a recent promotion. Eventually, you won’t have to struggle to choose happiness, you will radiate joy, and writing down your grateful thoughts—or thinking about them—will start to become second nature.

Make Time for Yourself

Finally, taking some time for yourself will improve your mindset. Often when life is so busy and we are giving so much of ourselves to others, there is nothing left for us. Taking some time for ourselves, no matter how short or long, is the perfect way to reset our mind and gain clarity. It also makes it easier to think joyful thoughts!

Remember, there is always a silver lining! While sometimes it can be difficult to see the joy in our lives, it is always there and it’s important to remember to seek it out so it doesn’t become clouded out and forgotten. Don’t let the negative areas of your life cloud out your happiness! Instead, seek joy and reward yourself with a more joyful life.