When I first came up with Live Joyfully as one of the areas of balance, my thoughts were to encourage readers to do things that bring them joy. And I still want to talk about that in just a minute. I want to say though that as I have researched and read more about joy versus happiness, it has tugged very deeply at my heart. It seems that being happy is a much easier goal to attain. Joy is much deeper and lasts so much longer. Joy comes from more than things. This subject has so much depth to it, I am going to have to put the deep parts of it off until I can have several weeks and posts to research and address.
Before I dive in, I wanted to let you know I am also guest posting today for a friend who just had a baby. You can read that post at Peanut Butter in My Hair (Life with Kids is Sticky)!
Joy during the tough times
As you work to gain balance in your life, even during the toughest times, it is crucial that you find time and make time for joy. The title of this topic is Live Joyfully, to live a life full of joy.
I do want to talk about taking time to find joy and happiness in your everyday life. Another simple way to think of the difference of the two is this:
Happiness is when something brings a smile to your face.
Joy is when something warms your heart.
When you are stressed and maxed out, joy may not easily find its way into your life. You will have to seek out those things that make you smile and warm your heart. And the key is to pay attention to these things. Live in that moment!
8 ways to find joy everyday
1. When I was working, and not long after leaving my job, my husband knew that one thing that was good for my joy level was what we called my Nature Fix. I needed to spend time outside and more specifically, near water. A rushing stream was the best, but it could be a trickling brook, a lake, even a fountain!
2. Having beauty around me brings me joy. Not by having a fancy house, but I love having fresh flowers. Hubby regularly buys me the cheap bouquet from Walmart and I almost always have a vase of fresh flowers in my kitchen!
3. Another thing that brought me joy was spending time with my family. Because my kids are all grown are almost grown, and I have 7 grandkids, we don’t spend a lot of time all together. So being able to visit with them always bring me joy. We visited last Sunday and I so enjoyed just sitting with a 3 year old in my lap. She was talking to me and asking me questions and playing with my jewelry and my hair.
4. A good meal brings me joy. I mean a really good meal. One with awesome flavors and colors and textures. We like to try different new restaurants as well as learning to cook new dishes and with new ingredients, mainly fresh vegetables and herbs.
5. I like spending time with my dogs. Animals in general can bring such joy whether it is your actual pets, or just watching squirrels in your yard, or birds at the birdfeeder.
6.Spending time with my husband. One thing we do a few nights a week is watch TV together. We follow a few series and it is a nice little connection between us, to talk about the shows and discuss the plots.
7. I actually find joy in building my relationships online. I am finding so many kindred spirits that I would never have had access to before the internet, or blogs or twitter!
8. The first cup of coffee (decaf!) in the morning warms me from the inside! I love the smell, the taste, the feel of it hitting the back of my throat.