Something I have struggled with lately is finding joy in the majority of daily activities. With classes over for the summer, I am mostly just working. A huge issue, at least for me, is not being able to find joy in every day things. I compare my life and daily routine to others I follow on social media and it truly is a thief of joy. I often catch myself thinking along the lines of “I wish I had her body type”, “I’m so jealous of her life”, and “their life looks perfect. I wish I had everything they do.”
I saw a video recently where someone said that just because they didn’t have what they wanted, or things that their friends have that they want, it doesn’t mean that they are never going to have those things in life. That was an eye-opener for me. Everything I want out of life, I am working towards. Everything I have now is exactly what I need. When I compare myself to others, especially in terms of material objects, I’m not appreciating and respecting all that I have in this moment. It is such an ungrateful mindset to be in and it is a part of my attitude that I am actively seeking to change. I want to be appreciative of everything I have at every stage of life, even when I don’t feel like I have a lot.
One of my best friends recently reminded me to make the most of my day when I was complaining about everything. My morning, my environment, having to go to my job on a day when I wanted to stay in bed. It hit me upside my head! In a pandemic, I should be happy to have a job that pays me well and provides a good space to work in. That falls into what I call my “Ungrateful Category.” I don’t acknowledge all of the blessings I have and that’s sad!
So that leaves the question, “how can I find joy and gratitude throughout my day?” The answer is simple. To find them in my day, I look for it. When I am annoyed that I have to drive an hour to work, I try to reword it to myself. “Instead of being irritated that I have to drive somewhere, I am going to direct my energy toward being grateful that I have a car and the ability to drive.”
It all needs to start with redirecting that energy to something that is positive. It isn’t easy in any way, especially after being so negative for a long time. It just takes one step to start going in the right direction, it all begins with being intentional. Why do you (and I) want to start actively finding joy in life? What is the purpose behind taking this step? Identifying those answers will be a great aid in this change.
All that being said, it’s important to remember that in any type of lifestyle change, change isn’t linear and it’s normal to fall back. I don’t believe in toxic positivity and trying to shoot rainbows and sparkles everywhere. Bad days happen- that’s a part of life. But in the bad days, we can still stay grateful for what we have. The point of finding joy and gratitude is to keep them present in your mind even when you’re having a bad day.
Here are some things to be grateful for in your life:
I am surrounded by beauty in the world
I have the power to create change
I am receiving blessings and will continue to be blessed
I have the ability to make the best out of my day
I am smart and have so much knowledge
I have and give love
I hope these examples can help you on hard days when it’s hard to find joy and gratitude. It’s always there, I promise!
Here’s to trying to find more joy!
Featured image by Brian Garcia on Unsplash