Finding joy and having a more positive outlook on life is something we all strive towards in our lives. Unfortunately due to life stresses, an ever increasing to do list, and a fast moving society this is difficult to achieve for many. Joy and happiness are traits that are essentially a choice we can make each day. By making the personal choice to choose joy each day, we can take back our own power and ultimately choose the direction of our lives. If we want to have more joy in our lives, we have to be intentional to create this. True lasting joy will never come from outside circumstances or factors but from within.

Ways To Find Joy

Here are 7 small steps that you can do to cultivate joy in your daily life starting today.

1. Cultivate Gratitude

Having an attitude of gratitude is the number one thing you can do each day to live a more positive lifestyle. Each day, when you wake up or before you go to bed, make a list of things that you are grateful for and think of why you are grateful for those things. Think about those things as you go about your day. Gratitude allows us to put our life into perspective and create a richer life experience for ourselves.

2. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

In a world where social media is a big part of our daily lives, it can be easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others. By doing so, we take away our personal power and find ourselves wishing we had something that another person has. What we need to keep in mind is that what other people portray to the world, doesn’t include any of the suffering or challenges that person may be facing. Challenges and suffering is universal and a normal part of our human experience – none of us can escape it. Let go of any notions you have of what you think you need to be. Strive to only be the kind of person that you would be proud of, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. By doing so, you will find complete and utter freedom in your life.

3. Surround Yourself With Positive People

The old saying goes that you become the 5 people you surround yourself with most each day. Be mindful of your friends and people you interact with daily. Positive people will uplift you and encourage you to be the best you can be. They will also support you and inspire you. Negative people on the other hand, may encourage you to stray away from your personal joy and create negative energy in your life. Take stock of any negative people like this in our life, and make the choice to surround yourself with positive people instead.

4. Do One Thing You Love Each Day

Everyday we may have a list of things that we need to do to accomplish our goals. Sometimes, when making that list, we can omit doing things that truly give us joy. Make a list of things you love to do – this could be something like practicing yoga, writing in a journal, going for a walk, or spending time with a pet. Each day, include one thing from your list of things that you love to do in your daily to do list.

5. Give Back To Others

Giving back from the heart is the greatest gift we can give to others and to ourselves. When we give, it uplifts us and heals our souls. In turn, it helps the other person receiving whatever we give. Find ways to give back to others, whether its through volunteering or just helping a friend in need. Even if you don’t have money to give, just giving your time to others is enough to make a difference in someone else’s life.

6. Meditate Daily

Meditation is a vital part of living a more joyful and positive life. It allows us to get in touch with our inner selves and remove any noise from our minds. It keeps our heads clear and enables us to gain clarity in our lives. It gives us focus to achieve our goals. Meditation also helps us to be more mindful over our thoughts. By meditating, we can be more aware of negative thoughts that we might have and make the choice to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. Set aside time each day for yourself to sit in stillness anywhere from 5-15 minutes a day

7. Reframe Challenges & Obstacles

We will never be free of challenges or stress because this is a part of our experience as humans. Challenges and stress help us to grow so that we can become a higher version of ourselves. As the old saying goes: “a ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships were built for.” Our difficulties help us grow, teach us to strive for more, and help to eliminate the trap of complacency. Learn to reframe your challenges as an opportunity and instead of seeing how awful and hard it is – take time to reflect on how this situation is making you stronger and how you are growing from it.