Become more aware of your breathing patterns throughout the day. Cultivate a calm smooth breath whenever possible. Try the Breath of Joy to lift your mood and energy!
2. Connect to your body
Create a daily practice of connecting to your body, your temple. This could be in the form of a bath or foot massage, yoga, dancing, swimming, or anything that makes your body feel good.
3. Connect with loved ones
Initiate contact with joyful friends and loved ones and make room in your schedule for this on a regular basis.
4. Try something new
Always wanted to try scuba? Go for it. The curiosity and playfulness involved in doing new things can be a satisfying mood booster.
Create a daily habit of recognizing the abundance and goodness in your life. Find creative ways to express gratitude, whether that is repeating it to yourself, writing in a journal, making art, or sharing with a friend. Don’t skip over the ‘small’ stuff…if you have two feet – be grateful and celebrate!
"The attitude of gratitude is the highest way of living, and is the biggest truth, the highest truth. You cannot live with applied consciousness until you understand that you have to be grateful for what you have. If you are grateful for what you have, then Mother Nature will give you more." -Yogi Bhajan
6. Listen to music
Listening to joyful music can actually cause the brain to release dopamine, a feel good neurotransmitter.
7. Get out in nature
A study in 2013, "Benefits of Ecotherapy..." showed that simply taking a walk in nature had the capability to reduce symptoms of depression in 71% of the participants.
8. Smile & laugh
Buddhist monk and activist Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” Smile more and engage in activities that make you laugh. You’ll also find that you get treated differently when you move through your day with a smile on your face.
9. Stay with positive experiences
I love neuropsychologist Rick Hanson’s concept of ‘taking in the good’. Fully focus on positive experiences for about 30 seconds; let them really sink into your mind and body so you remember the feeling and can more easily access it next time. You are essentially training your brain over and over again to notice and remember the positive over the negative.
10. Make space
Leave room in your schedule to simply do nothing. Rushing from one activity to another is a sure way to suck out your joy and leave you feeling emotionally and energetically depleted.
By Jennifer Meek
Jennifer Meek is a Certified Yoga Teacher (RYT 500) specializing in Yoga Therapy for common conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and back pain. Utilizing her 25 years of movement experience as a dancer in combination with the tools of yoga and mindfulness she teaches people how to tap into their innate potential for health and happiness. Read More from Jennifer at jennifermeek.com
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