Is there a cap on happy? Is there a limit on joy? If there is, how can we reach that mark? If there isn't, then what are we waiting on to increase it?
I think the answer is probably a little different for everyone. I know gratitude is a universal way to increase the overall feeling of happiness or satisfaction with your life and situation. Obviously that is one reason I am here blogging each day. But what other factors can contribute?
Studies have shown a big part of it is our social network. The feeling of belonging, acceptance, and love go a long way toward increasing our joy and even the length and quality of our lives.
Knowing our strengths and being able to use them in our everyday life is another factor I have read. It boosts our confidence and gives us strategies to work through challenges. If you don't know your strengths I recommend searching for a free online VIA strengths test or similar resource.
Doing the things we love definitely brings us joy. If you love gardening, find a way to make that a part of your week. If you love to paint, ride motorcycles, whatever the case may be; find a way to routinely make time for it.
Making a difference is huge. Giving to others, whether that be financially or with our time, gives a nearly instantaneous mood boost. We are wired to want to feel like we are contributing. The holidays spark the giving and volunteering effort for a lot of people but NOW is a great time to do your part. Just because the holidays are over does not mean the need is gone. Call up a shelter and ask what they need. Find out where to volunteer.
There are so many ways we can choose to increase our joy and satisfaction with life. What are we waiting for? Sure, sure there is a pandemic and that alters how some things look and operate right now. Get creative! If you love teaching painting classes, send out some kits and set a time for an online tutorial. If you can't dish out food to the homeless then drop off some cans or offer to prep meals for a delivery service. If you are facing a struggle of your own, look at what strengths you have and find a way to use them in your situation. Find the people who love and support you no matter what and make sure you do the same for them. While your at it, taking a quick peek at what you're grateful for wouldn't hurt either.
I'm grateful for so many resources and studies that focus on shedding light on joy. I'm grateful for get studies emailed to me so I can learn new fascinating things all the time. I'm grateful to pose questions to myself and anyone who wants to listen to encourage digging a little deeper. I'm grateful for the idea of limitless joy. I'm grateful to know that even if there is a cap, it is more than enough. I'm grateful to seek gratitude each day. I'm grateful to help others find their gratitude.
Take a moment today to reflect on your life. Where can you add just a pinch more obligation to get a whole bowl of joy? Is your measurement tied to anyone else's measurement? Why? What do you love to do and how can you do that more?
May today remind us that we are in charge of our own joy meter. May we take the steps necessary to build a joyful life and live it daily. Have a beautiful day!