Create Your Joy Toolbox

If you read last week’s post, you are taking steps to your more joyful life. Have you been practicing giving yourself pockets of joy? Maybe life got too busy. Maybe you couldn’t think of any way to give yourself the gift of joy. Both prior posts mentioned scheduling time for joy. But if you are out of practice, your resources may be low. Take a few minutes this week and create your joy toolbox.

woman on swing silhouetted against a sunset with the quote: The essence of life is not in the great victories and grand failures, but in the simple joys. By Jonathan Lockwood Huie. Create your joy toolbox with simple joys.

What is a Joy Toolbox?

We each have a preferred method of learning. Visual learners learn best when they see pictures or statues make a spacial association with their moment of joy. Kinetic learners often learn best by doing or by associating some movement with their experience. There are also auditory and musical learners, verbal learners, logic and mathematical learners, social learners, and solitary learners. Each of these types will do best with a type of toolbox that fits their learning style.

Choose a toolbox (physical or mental). If it doesn’t work as well as you think it will, you can always change it.

Then fill your toolbox with representations of people, places, events, or things that bring you joy.

What are Joy Tools?

Joy tools are items or activities that help you recreate joy. 

Shells from a seashore and rocks from a mountain camping trip can be literal touchstones that help you relive a moment of joy.

A collage of photographs and magazine clippings may be all you need.

Perhaps a shoebox filled with a meaningful selection of DVDs or CDs will help replenish you with joy.

Tools can be notes you jotted on scrap paper or volumes written in journals.

Collect Your Tools

Do this with intention. Think about when you had that feeling of extreme gladness, delight, or exultation. Look around your home. Does your home reflect moments of joy back to you?

In case you’re having a hard time getting back in touch with your joy, here are a few suggestions:

  • Play air guitar for 5 minutes.
  • Sing in the shower.
  • Make silly faces.
  • Color in a coloring book.
  • Listen to (watch) your teenaged heart throb’s music (movies.)
  • Indulge in a favorite childhood game.
  • Pet your furry companion.
  • Walk along a river.
  • Savor your favorite scent.
  • Help someone who needs it.
  • Swing on a swing.
  • Relish a childhood favorite treat.

Visit this life hack post https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/40-simple-ways-practice-joy-every-day.html for a list of 40 more ideas to add to your joy toolbox.

Be certain to include activities you can do to lift yourself out of doldrums or depression. 

My Toolbox

Image of a shelf with a clear ornament holding sand & sea shells, stuffed tigger, pooh, and piglet in safari clothes, an illustration of a blue bear on a triceratops and a ceramic dragon--your joy toolbox can be something like this

My toolbox is a shelf in my office. The image above shows an ornament filled with sand and tiny seashells from an island vacation, a trio of stuffed characters, a gift from a friend, and an illustration by my husband. Looking at those items takes me back to moments of joy. The shelf holds other memories, too. Sometimes I forget to take a moment for my pocket of joy, but it gets easier with practice.

Your Joy Toolbox

Giving yourself the tools to spark joy in your life will boost your sense of wellbeing and satisfaction. It also brightens the lives of those around you, particularly if you model the act for children and family. So please, take a few minutes several days this next week and create your joy toolbox. It’s a toolbox that can never be too full.

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