At first glance, it seems like we all have different goals, desires, and definitions of success, but there’s one thing we need to remember that we have in common: the desire to return to the experience of joy.

Indeed, a life purpose we share in our humanity is to return to joy.

Each day, we’re given the blessing of arising to a new morning. It’s as if the universe is conspiring for you to be happy. Look at how any child is born. We were not born on earth to live unhappy, unsatisfied, inauthentic, or fear-based lives. Every single one of us is meant to live a life filled with great happiness, joy, and fulfillment.

It’s easy to connect to joy during times of pleasure, success, well-being, happiness, and bliss, but what if we decided to hold joy in our hearts and live full lives regardless of circumstances?

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This belief is easier to remember and accept when life is happily progressing. However, when things go wrong, or when our world is suddenly turned upside down, it’s easy to get swept away by the idea that life is inherently messy, difficult, or unfair. Life is inevitably challenging, but it’s less so when we remember the truth of who we are.

With so much uncertainty and negativity permeating the current state of the world, it’s our job to vigilantly identify and recognize negative emotions as a sign that we have fallen out of alignment with this truth, and shift our energy and focus back to joy.

It’s easy to connect to joy during times of pleasure, success, well-being, happiness, and bliss, but what if we decided to hold joy in our hearts and live full lives regardless of circumstances?

Here are three tips on how to harness your inner strength and return to the joy you were born with.

 

1. Stop allowing outside circumstances to contaminate your well-being

Often we give our focus and attention to unhappy circumstances, and then wonder why we feel joyless. Especially during times of a global pandemic, we can count on catastrophic news reporting to inundate us with anxiety-provoking and disturbing facts.

Furthermore, with internet and news sources competing for our attention, we have access to all of the horrors of the world at the touch of a button. When we observe all of this injustice, violence, and chaos it can be easy to convince ourselves that there is no joy to be had and that the world is a dark and scary place.

On the contrary, misfortune is not the absence of joy. Joy is an indelible presence, always waiting underneath the surface for us to choose to see it.

Joy is an indelible presence, always waiting underneath the surface for us to choose to see it.
finding joy

The trick isn’t to simply stop tending to your problems, but rather to be conscientious of the effects those problems may be having on your psyche. You can be concerned and activated to act without being consumed by what’s going on around you. You can search for ways to get involved or take action, without running yourself ragged or neglecting yourself or falling into old patterns of self-betrayal.

Remember, prioritizing the joy in your own life contributes to the well-being of those around you and the world at large. In times of darkness, always look for the light. During this time, seek out positive news regarding the helpers and people donating their time, money, and other resources that contribute to the greater good.

2. Look for joy and positivity in obvious places

We often set our sights on the larger-than-life measures of success—money, glamour, status, and achievement—as indicators of how happy we should be. While there’s nothing wrong with having goals and striving for them, measuring the quality of your life with such benchmarks can actually push joy farther and farther away.

When we continue to tie happiness to some material items or point in the distant future, it remains just out of reach and pulls us out of living in the present.

Children are the masters of finding joy because they live in the present moment and focus their attention only on what makes them feel good and alive.

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Now that “The Great Pause” button has been pressed and our days are filled with uncertainty and monotony, these moments may seem even more elusive.

Challenge yourself to find joy in the simple things around you. Nature, having your needs met, kind gestures such as a nod from a stranger—each of these are invitations from the universe for you to wake up to the abundance already surrounding you.

Practicing gratitude is good for the mind, body, and soul and can reframe our negative perceptions. Comparison is, afterall, the thief of joy.

Reconnect with your inner child. Children are the masters of finding joy because they live in the present moment and focus their attention only on what makes them feel good and alive. Furthermore, when they don’t have something they want, they use their creativity to imagine it, and they find a way to have joy anyway.

What simple actions can you take today that make you feel this way despite your current situation?

Identifying these actions are a practical way to harness your inner strength and honor your needs.

joy
Mindfulness grounds us and gently encourages us to release the pain of the past and relinquish expectations of the future.

3. Practice mindfulness and positive affirmations

Because we live in a world in which we have access to a phenomenal amount of disaster news, it’s important to practice mindfulness and affirm what is right in the world in order to maintain a hopeful mindset.

Affirmations are great reminders of where joy lives: inside of us. They remind us of our true nature and connect us to the present moment. They are yet another reminder that we have everything we already need to cope and succeed.

Mindfulness has similar effects, grounding us and gently encouraging us to release the pain of the past and relinquish expectations of the future.

Many people live joyless lives because they think of joy as something that has to be searched for and attained, rather than something that is allowed and cultivated with intention.

Joy is the manifestation that indicates alignment with your true self; a joyful demeanor and perspective suggests that a person does not resist reality. It doesn’t operate in a state of resistance; the more you struggle to find it, the more it will likely elude you. By harnessing your inner strength and returning to joy, you can disrupt negativity and inspire harmony and peace.

Your Turn: Let us know how you harness your inner strength and return to joy in the comments below.

Dr. Logan Jones

Dr. Logan Jones is a Psychologist and Founder of Clarity Therapy. Sign up for his free 30 Days of Gratitude email series and follow him on Instagram at @drloganjones.

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