Applying UPSIDE leverage while avoiding DOWNSIDE leverage is a key to being more joyful. What do you mean? Upside leverage is anything that helps you enhance your joy while downside leverage robs you of joy!
As you are examining the activities in your life, think about if these activities are bringing you joy or not. If they are not, you need to get rid of them. Here are a few examples from each category to show you what I mean.
- Don’t get discouraged when you don’t experience joy all the time. It doesn’t work like that, BUT progress can happen.
- Better eating habits more days than not. We all know junk food is good, but you will be surprised how healthy foods can bring you more joy. When we are not eating well, we can be moody because the fuel we eat is not sustaining us throughout the day. How many times have we been upset or angry because we are hungry? Being mindful of what we eat can help us to have more joy in our day-to-day life, especially in our interactions with others.
- Prioritizing Restful Sleep – How many times have we cut out our sleep to do an activity that really wasn’t necessary to meet others’ expectations? When we are sleepy, we can be short and downright rude to other people. In order to be more joyful, get more rest. You can do that by scheduling sleep and then sleep. Do not let others encroach upon your sleep time. Our culture is hustle and bustle, but has it really served us? Prioritize and see how your mood changes in your daily life.
- Investing In Yourself – What is an area in you that you would like to improve in order to bring you more joy? Itty bitty free resources like npr.org/joy or https://www.uclahealth.org/marc/mindful-meditations might help. Take that day trip, spend more time in nature, or grow things, have more laughter-laced conversations .. do things daily or at least weekly that make you feel special . . . recover the personal part of your life. Investing in yourself has long-term benefits that make you become the person you want to be. More importantly, investing in yourself is a sure way to bring you more joy.
- Limit wasted time with toxic people. Think about people you spend the most time with! Everyone has bad days, and challenges such as sickness, grief, problems, but overall, do you feel better spending time with them, or do you stay upset once you finish spending time with them? If you can limit your time with them, why not? In case you are not able to avoid these people, try to keep your time with them to a minimum in order to protect your joy.
- Stop constantly feeding on negative news. It’s everywhere, especially online. It’s easy to be sucked into a never-ending cycle of bad news. Keeping up-to-date with negativity affects your mood. To be more joyful, go on a news fast or at least a news diet. Clean up your social media. Limit the negative news and gossip online. Yes, you want to know what’s going on, but instead of checking your news cycle every minute, limit it to once a day or once a week or a timeframe that works for you. You may be surprised at how more joyful you can become. Positive activism, absolutely! But feeding a steady diet of mostly the bad, keeping you worked up, keeping you angry adds more stress to you. It hurts you.
- Caring too much about others’ opinions – Examine how you form your opinions. How did you get to that point? Truthful, difficult, self-examination moved me from a self-centered, arrogant, “give me” person, to a reflective, more sympathetic, “come with me” woman. Looking outside myself, in my case, using Scripture, as my ruler, forced me kicking and screaming to look beyond myself. Accept that you are not able to make everybody happy. Accept that we are wishy washy – what/who we want today probably we will not want tomorrow. My book, Learning to Splash: Conquering the Life You Have Been Given, is a ready resource to help you on your joy journey.
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Feelings often change as the seasons do. Learn what Winter is really worth.