How Do I Find Joy in Life?


If I’m going to be honest with you, the last four months of my life have been some of the most challenging I’ve ever lived through. I’ve often felt like I wasn’t sure how to find joy in life.

Illness, loss, heartbreak, challenge after challenge after challenge. I’ve tried to juggle motherhood and business and partnership while flying back and forth across the country and grieving.

And even in the midst of this, there were slices of joy. Catching up with friends in my hometown, sharing a perfect plate of pasta with my son, looking through old photos with my mom and laughing over my 10th grade style choices.

Even amidst the pain and the mess, I could find joy.

And I promise that’s possible for you, too. We want that feeling of being elated about what is happening in our lives or is about to happen. We want to feel joy deep in our being, and we want to share that joy with others. Some might call it a zest for life.

But how do you find joy in life? With the many trials and tribulations that life often brings, sometimes it feels as if joy is fleeting, if you even catch some joy for a brief amount of time.

The secret to finding and holding onto joy in life

I’m going to share a little secret with you about finding joy, and more importantly about holding onto joy. With the “right” mindset, you can bring joy into your life, and you can live in joy. That’s right. You can actually wake up every morning, or just about every morning, feeling full of joy and excited about what the day will bring.

I want some of that, I hear you thinking, or even saying out loud! Great, because that is the first step to finding joy in your life. That step is actually wanting to find joy. I know it seems a bit surprising, but the truth is some people really don’t want to be joyful. 

What!? You may be asking yourself. Who on earth would not want to be joyful?

Here are seven tips for how you can make joy your default. These will teach you how to enjoy reveling in the happiness that can easily fill your days–if you allow it to.

7 Ways to Be More Joyful

1. Ignore the naysayers. I hate to say it, because I would rather talk about something more upbeat, but there are curmudgeons in the world. They have a “reverse” way of thinking and living that causes them to thrive on the negative aspects of  life.

There is a reason why they thrive on the challenging aspects of life, and it may surprise you. It has to do with them wanting to be right. Believe it or not, there are people who would rather be right about something terrible just about to happen or have happened, than relieved that the terrible thing never occurred.

You likely know such people. So the question is, what to do about the curmudgeons–those grinches–in your life?
My answer?

Because you can’t change other people. You likely know this, but it bears repeating. If you know a curmudgeon, that person is going to continue to be curmudgeonly until and only until that person decides to stop being a proverbial Debbie or Derrick Downer. Your best bet is to simply focus on owning your own joy, because that’s the only way you can be truly joyful in a lasting, sustainable and meaningful way.

2. Own your joy. It’s imperative if you are to find joy that you own your joy when it comes calling. When joy knocks on your door, answer it and greet it with a big smile and a hearty hello. Ask Joy to come sit in your living room. Make joy comfy and encourage joy to stay by nourishing joy.  In other words, when you’re feeling joyful milk the moment for all it’s worth and fan the flames of your joy so as to create even more joy!

Do this by serving up a soothing drink of words to yourself. So rather than those negative records we all play to ourselves, put on repeat a happy, upbeat message that reminds you of how joyful your life truly is. Some examples could be: “Everything is always working out for me!”  “Feel-good things are always happening for me and around me!”  “Life is my friend and wants me to be happy!

3. Know and internalize that you are the creator of your own joy. Hmmm, you may be thinking. Aren’t I supposed to wait for joyful things to spring up that I have manifested, and then I react with joy? To this I will reply with a resounding, no! You ‘re the creator of your own joy. You can be joyful now, not only when you’ve manifested your dreams. It’s important you realize this. You are the only one who can bring forth your joy and enjoy it. It’s all up to you! For info on how to create more joy in your life, read on to steps 3-6.

4. Revel in an attitude of gratitude. To have a joyful life you must be as grateful as you can be as often as you can be. You may ask yourself, but how can I be grateful when the things I want haven’t manifested yet? You will not call in what you want that will cause you to be even more grateful until you are already grateful for the many things in your life that are joyful. You just can’t get to a life of joy without first adding fuel to the fire of joy.

Start every day with an attitude of gratitude and do whatever you can to keep the gratitude train running. I begin my day with a gratitude practice called “First Feel Goods.” Before I get out of bed and remember the day I have ahead I notice and list out what feels good at that moment.  For example: “The pillow feels so nice under my head.” “The blankets are so warm and snuggly.”  “The birds sound lovely outside my window.” I find this starts my day with an energy of ease and happiness. Which often begets more reasons to feel good and grateful!

5. Pivot into the positive. Those who don’t live in joy tend to have a reflex for the not so good. Meaning their go-to response is to look at the negative side of things. It’s important to develop your looking-for-the-silver-lining muscles and to continue to develop them. When you find yourself focusing on the negatives, immediately make a u-turn and focus on the positives, grasping onto the good as tight as you can.

6. Know that things are always going to work out for you, because they are! If you look back at your life and what has happened, you’ll likely see that in the end everything has worked out for you. Maybe not as you had thought it would, and there were difficult times, but you always come out with the best experience and lessons possible.

7. Be happy that joy knows no bounds. It’s important to understand that there is no limit to the amount of joy you can have bubbling inside of you. There is an infinite supply of joy for you and everyone else if only we make it a habit to look for and focus on happiness. Joy is bottled up and ready to uncork at a moment’s notice. You need only grab a bottle of joy and take a sip or drink the whole bottle. You are in charge of how much joy you wish to have in your life. It’s all up to you!