Finding and tapping into joy can feel tricky sometimes. I give you my way to tapping into that joy again when you just can’t remember how!
Recently, I’ve been having trouble tapping into my joy. There have been many days where I have felt aimless, listless, tired, and uninspired because of all the responsibilities and stress that compounded themselves over these past few years.
How I long to remember what it feels like to experience joy again. Maybe joy seems elusive to you also, but the first step is being aware that it is missing in your life and acknowledging that you would like to start to find a way to tap into it again.
What is Joy?
A lot of times we hear joy used interchangeably with happiness, yet they differ. When researching the meaning of joy versus happiness to write this blog, I found many conflicting articles, definitions, and interpretations. The best explanation I found was in this article on Mindvalley.com “Joy Vs Happiness: What’s the Difference?”
It explained the emotion of joy as “A feeling of spiritual and emotional wellbeing”.
So, if joy is a feeling of spiritual and emotional wellbeing, how do you go about tapping into it?
To rediscover what joy means to you first involves a bit of self-exploration.
What Brings You Joy?
To tap into what it is that brings you joy, I have found the best way to start if you haven’t felt it in a while, is to remember what brought you childhood joy.
The first step for me was to write a list of things that I enjoyed doing as a child. These were the things that meant so much to me yet faded away from my life as I grew up and transitioned into adulthood.
I wrote out a list of things that I loved to do as a child. Things started flooding back to me quickly but may not for you right away, and that’s okay. Here are some prompts to help you dig up some memories:
– Did you collect anything?
– Did you love to paint/draw/craft?
– Did you love to bake?
– Did you take a dance class?
– Did you take care of an animal?
My joyful list included collecting stickers. All sorts of stickers! Scented ones, fuzzy ones, silly ones, puffy ones. I used to look at my sticker book almost every day and was always so excited to use my allowance to buy more at the local shop! I also remember loving to dance and listen to music. I put both of those joys to use by taking Tap dancing lessons. And when it came time to perform on stage, I felt a deep sense of joy and exhilaration that made me feel connected to something bigger than myself. Another childhood joy was drawing and writing stories. I loved seeing my characters come to life, and the colours on the page making the pictures I drew come alive.
Your childhood joys may have been different than mine, but I know that once you recall yours, you might be able to capture that joyful feeling inside you again.
The common themes with the activities I listed were that they made me feel connected to my gifts (helping with my spiritual well-being) and gave me a sense of purpose without needing any external validation (helping with my emotional well-being). Both are elements of joy.
If you look through your list and want to recapture some of those moments in your adult life, think about how you can create time and space to explore those again now? They may or may not bring you joy anymore, but perhaps they can be a gateway to something else that captures that feeling for you.
Tapping into joy can be something that may need a bit of additional help. I created a guided meditation that will help you to access feelings of joy more easily by accessing positive memories about things that make you feel joyful or thinking about something in your life that currently makes you feel joyful when you think about it.
Link here to the Tapping into your joy meditation
Being In Awe
Jennifer King Lindley author of “Find Your Joy” discusses ways to cultivate joy, and one of the areas is being in “awe”.
Awe is when you see something, and you get goosebumps. It could be seeing a beautiful vista, or looking at something simple in nature, because nature shows us “awesome” things every day. There has been a lot of research interest in that area, and she writes a chapter dedicated to it.
Finding ways to get more awe in your life is one way to begin to find more joy. Because it makes you step back out of your day-to-day routine and see the world differently. One of the things she mentions is going for an “awe” walk every day. It involves being mindful and observing and noticing the trees, flowers, what the animals are doing, etc.
You’ll find that when you leave your house with the intention that you are going to be in awe (I’m going to look for awe!), that filter will help you to see what a miraculous world is around you and put your stuff into perspective.