Give Yourself the Gift of Joy

You know each person has a certain level of intelligence we call an IQ. Maybe you’ve heard that each individual has a unique ability to perceive, manage and regulate emotions, an emotional IQ. Did you know you also have an individual level of joyfulness? You can choose to live up to your joy potential—or not. Don’t overlook it. Give yourself the gift of joy.

Photograph over the heads and upraised arms of a crowd against diffuse colored lights --give yourself the gift of joy

Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.”

Dennis P. Kimbro

What is Joy?

Some people use joy and happiness as synonyms. Even Merriam-Webster defines happiness as “a state of well-being and contentment: JOY.” But that’s not quite right. 

According to Merriam-Webster, joy is “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing one’s desires.” That’s a dry answer. 

The APA Dictionary of Psychology says joy is “a feeling of extreme gladness, delight, or exultation of the spirit arising from a sense of well-being or satisfaction.” This dictionary explains the difference between active and passive joy. “Both forms of joy are associate with an increase in energy and of confidence and self-esteem.” 

Be Honest with Yourself

Life is full of ups and downs. No one is joyful all the time, but think about what your general mood is over the course of a week or a month. Are you more sad? Or angry? Fine? Happy? Or joyful? Take a moment and assess yourself. How do you feel most days? 

Are you satisfied with your answer? Or would you prefer an increase in energy and confidence and self-esteem? 

Think you can’t do anything about your joy potential because of your life’s responsibilities? Think again. Take responsibility for your choice. Give yourself the gift of joy.

Let your joy be in your journey – not in some distant goal.

Tim Cook

Choose Joy

How do you choose joy? There are many ways. You can find lists of ways to find joy all over the internet. We’ll explore those more thoroughly over the course of the next few weeks. But the first step is to choose joy. 

Again, be honest with yourself. Sometimes joy isn’t easy to find or feel.(I know, I’ve been there.) If you’re in one of those times, honor your feelings. But set a date with yourself, a time in the not-too-distant-future, when you will re-evaluate. A time when you can look for joy.

Every single second is an opportunity to change your life, because in any moment you can change the way you feel.

Rhonda Byrne

Look for Joy

Journal, make a collage, doodle, or make a list of things that have brought you joy in the past.

Think about the most recent event or activity that made you joyful. Include that on your list.

A Pocket of Joy

You have to create little pockets of joy in your life to take care of yourself. Jonathan Van Ness

Take five minutes and create one pocket of joy for yourself today. It can be a silly song:

Or a baby’s laughter:

Or a pet’s silly antics:

Did you give yourself the gift of joy today? Let me know in the comments what pocket of joy you created for yourself. And stay tuned for next week’s suggestions on how you can live up to your joy potential.


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