Joy. We all want more of it.
It’s laughing out loud with no fear of the future. It’s resting in a beautiful moment without waiting for “the other shoe to drop. It’s feeling your heart burst with love.
So many of the things we do are in pursuit of having more joy in our lives.
We think we will have more joy after dropping a few extra pounds. After getting that promotion we’ve been going after. After meeting the love of our lives.
But, the truth is, we always have access to joy.
What Is Joy?
Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. That means that true joy doesn’t come from any of the things mentioned above. It comes from God and his Holy Spirit.
Rick Warren, a world renowned pastor and author, said this:
“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”
Joy is a choice, and is something we can access at all times.
You may be thinking to yourself, that sounds cool, but what can I actually DO about it? How can I have more joy in my life?
God, being the good God that he is, gave us so many tools for cultivating joy.
Here are 10 ways to cultivate more joy in your life.
Rest In God’s Presence
When was the last time you allowed yourself to rest with God? When was the last time you gave him more than a few minutes and allowed yourself to really dwell with him?
I’m guilty of not doing this as consistently as I should. But each and every time I chose to rest in his presence, I’m filled with inexplicable joy. Spending time with God is an endless well of joy. We just have to make the time to drink from the well, and drink from it often.
Our breath can be a powerful tool for cultivating joy. We breathe in and out so many times a day without even realizing it. But, when we choose to be conscious of our breath, we’re reminded that we’re alive. That our heart is beating and our body is working. That God is in control.
Taking time to breathe deeply and intentionally reminds us to enjoy the present moment. To slow down and see the beauty on this walk of life.
Comparison is a thief of joy. As long as you’re envying or comparing yourself to someone else, you will struggle to have joy. Don’t do it. Ditch it.
Ditching comparison looks different for everyone. It could mean unfollowing some people on social media or spending less time on social media overall. It could mean using biblical affirmations to speak life over yourself and reframe the way you think about yourself.
However you choose to do it, ridding your life of comparison will free you to find joy in your own journey.
Nature is God’s creation and it is absolutely beautiful. Try taking a drive to the nearest lake and watching the water hit the shore. Or, try taking a gentle hike and snapping photos of the beauty you see along the way.
Or, drive to a grassy area, lay out a blanket and just lay there, feeling the breeze, the cool air, or the warmth of the sun on your face. Trust me, your endorphins will flow. There is so much joy in being out in God’s creation.
Practicing gratitude and thanking God are slightly different. Being grateful for what you have is great. But, thanking God for what you have takes gratitude to the next level, acknowledging the ultimate source of joy. Thanking God for his goodness to us reminds us of just how good he is. Reflecting on this goodness brings joy.
There’s something to the title of the book and popular movie Eat. Pray. Love. Our tastebuds were made to be delighted. When we eat good food, we trigger the release of endorphins, “feel good” hormones in our brain that make us feel good.
Though the feeling is temporary, the practice of delighting your tastebuds with nutritious meals out, or home-cooked meals made with love helps you appreciate “the little things.”
Make Time With Loved Ones A Priority
Having loved ones, family, and friends is a gift that should be cherished. Making time with loved ones a priority helps cultivate more joy in your life.
They make you laugh. They love you. They get you. Enjoy that. Choose that. Prioritize that.
Sing & Shout
I’ve always considered myself a soft-spoken individual. But, let me tell you, I’ve found my inner shout and I absolutely love shouting before the Lord.
Praising God by using my voice brings me so much joy. I feel so free. And, I’m not the only one. Shouting preceded victory many times in the Bible (think Joshua). Singing preceded breakthrough, freedom and release in the Bible as well (think Paul and Silas).
Whether you consider yourself quiet, loud, or somewhere in between, Shout! There is joy and so much more in your shouts unto the Lord.
Live Below Your Means
Living below your means helps you cultivate more joy in your life because it allows you to consistently live in abundance.
When you live below your means, you have money left over to save for the things you really care about. Having money to spend towards something that brings you joy will allow you to cultivate more joy in your life.
Create Space For It
Constant busyness can prevent us from cultivating and experiencing joy. When we have a never-ending to-do list in our heads, we don’t have the mental space to pause and claim the joy in any given moment.
Creating space for joy means ensuring you’re not so busy moving that you forget to be. Creating space for joy means carving out time in your day to pause, reflect, and commune with God.
Create mental space, emotional space, and even physical space for joy. God is gracious to fill us up, but we must make the space for him to do so.
Joy is yours. Claim it. Receive it. Look for it. Lean into it. Love it. Live it.
How do you cultivate joy in your life? Comment below and share with us!