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Ways to Experience More Joy in Your Day-to-Day Life

When was the last time you felt joy? It's a feeling word that gets tossed around a lot, but what does it really mean to experience joy? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, joy is "the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; a state of happiness or felicity; a source or cause of delight". Everyone needs something different to feel joy, but below are some ideas to help you explore what it is that brings you joy and find ways to bring more joy into your day-to-day life.

Engage in Mindfulness

According to Dr. Dan Siegel, having mindful awareness is “a form of awareness in which we are alert and open to present experience without being swept up by judgments and prior expectations” (Siegel, 2012). The key is to be aware of and experience the present moment. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, journaling, or taking a mindful walk. Practicing mindfulness can help you tune into those moments that bring you joy, as well as the emotions that come with it, that you might miss otherwise.

Keep a Gratitude List

Try keeping a gratitude list each day, or even one for the week. You can carry a pad of paper with you or keep it in the notes on your phone. Throughout the day, take a moment here and there to think about something you are grateful for that day and add it to the list. So often, we rush throughout the day and focus more on all the negative things that have happened. By actively stopping for a moment and shifting your thoughts to the positive, it can help you to center yourself in the midst of a busy day and focus on the little things that can bring you joy that we so often miss.

Engage in Self-Care

With the daily routine of life, it's easy to overlook the importance of engaging in self-care. But it is important to do some kind of self-care as often as you can, even if it's in 10 minute bursts here and there throughout the day. Taking care of yourself will help your overall well-being in positive ways, as well as your relationships. It can also help you to have more self-compassion, on both good and bad days.

Do More Activities That Fill Your Soul

A part of self-care is doing things that fill your soul - those activities that leave you feeling inspired and empowered. Pay attention to what activities bring you these feelings, and with whom you do these activities, and try to engage in these as often as you can as a way to bring more moments of joy into your life.


Siegel, D. J. (2012). Pocket guide to interpersonal neurobiology: The integrative handbook of the mind. New York, NY: Norton.


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