When we’re kids, pretty much everything we do is in service of having fun. We seek out, explore, and try new hobbies and experiences to find what makes us feel good inside. However, by the time we get to adulthood, that all changes. Suddenly we’re busy and stressed pretty much 24/7, and before we know it it, that innocent sense of wonder and joy is simply gone. It doesn’t have to be, though. It’s possible to find what brings you joy today and to embrace it wholeheartedly, and doing so might just transform your life.
- Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Yes, there’s comfort in routine, but it can also make your life become stagnant and keep you from growing and evolving. It’s important that you do things every once in a while that make you nervous or uncomfortable. Try a new hobby that’s always interested in you even if it seems intimidating or you worry you might not be good at it. Sometimes it’s now about how well we do but how it makes us feel.
- Prioritize self-care. This is often one of the best ways to find and embrace joy. Engage in activities that relax and rejuvenate you. This could be as simple as reading a book, taking long baths, practicing yoga, or pampering yourself at a spa. If it’s an inactivity that feeds your soul and rejuvenates your body physically, it’s going to make you feel good in every sense of the word.
- Spend time outdoors in nature. Whether it’s hiking, gardening, or just taking a walk in the park, nature has a unique way of making us feel absolutely incredible. Chances are, you’re cooped up most of the week at a desk and rarely get to spend any time outside in the fresh air. Make it a priority to do so for as many hours a week as you can — even 15 or 20 minutes a day can have a phenomenal effect on your well-being.
- Find a creative outlet for self-expression. Explore arts and crafts, write poetry, dance, sing, or play a musical instrument. Creative activities not only help you find joy but they’re also a wonderful way to explore your feelings, deepen your relationship with yourself, and boost your self-esteem when you realize just how much you’re capable of creating.
- Focus on building more meaningful relationships. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people — via text or FaceTime if you must, but in person as much as possible. Engage in deep conversations, spend quality time with friends and family, and consider joining support groups or communities with like-minded people if you’re living far away from your closest family and friends. Finding and fostering deep connections with other human beings opens you up to new ways of life — and perhaps new modes of joy.
- Get off your phone a bit more. While technology can be beneficial, it can also be a source of constant distraction and comparison. As hard as it is to stop scrolling Instagram or laughing at silly videos on TikTok, you need to make time to unplug and step away. Be more present in the world around you, and you’ll be amazed at just how much beauty there is to be seen.
- Volunteer to help people in need. Giving back can offer a profound sense of purpose and joy. Find causes you’re passionate about and dedicate some of your time to making a difference. Even if you only have an hour a month, doing things to make the lives of those less fortunate just a little bit better is an incredible gift — and it has the added bonus of making you feel pretty great, too.
- Set goals and celebrate achievements. Identify what you want to achieve, both short-term and long-term. Celebrate small victories along the way to foster a sense of accomplishment and happiness. Nothing feels more amazing than setting your mind towards a particular goal and seeing yourself getting closer to reaching it — or achieving it altogether! If you want to find joy, aim for the things that matter.
- Consider a few therapy sessions. If you’re feeling lost, consider seeking help from a life coach, therapist, or mentor. They can offer expert advice and tools to help you discover what brings you joy and how to incorporate it into your daily life. They can do this in several different ways, from being objective listeners to offering you tools and tricks to help you manage your emotions, tap into your sense of self, and come out happier and more whole than ever before.