Friends, we cannot wait until life is uncomplicated or less stressful to decide to choose joy. Life will always have complications and struggles. God has not promised life will be easy or that it will always make sense to us. God has promised that in His presence we will find joy.
Here are 10 ways you can experience and choose joy TODAY regardless of your circumstances:
- Choose to open your Bible. Reading the Bible nourishes your spirit and draws you closer to God. When have you ever opened your Bible and later thought, “I regret doing that, what a waste of time”?
- Choose to take a walk in the woods. In Japan, scientists have taken hundreds of individuals on “forest walks” and measured a variety of bioindicators related to stress before and after. They’ve found that walks reduce cortisol levels, diminish sympathetic nerve activity, and decrease both blood pressure and heart rate. I do not think this is an accident but rather a gift from God!
- Choose to pray. Pray about your lack of joy and ask God to help you to choose joy today! Pray for those who have hurt you, for those who annoy you, and for those who you love dearly! Praying reminds us who is in control and helps us take steps towards not only trusting God but also towards loving one another better.
- Choose to give a family member or friend a hug. This is our modern version of the “holy kiss”. (Romans 16:16, 1 Thess. 5:26).
- Choose to say thank you. A simple text to a friend or thank you note popped in the mail will not only brighten the recipient’s day but will also help you to focus on being thankful for those God has put into your life.
- Choose to let go of other people’s expectations. I have recently gotten into the habit of reminding myself daily that today it is my job to please God, no one else.
- Choose to immerse yourself in God’s word and take a break from social media. Multiple studies have shown links between social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, and loneliness. We often find ourselves entrapped in a cycle of comparison and feelings of inadequacy.
- Choose gratitude. Choose to thank God for even the mundane things in your life.
- Choose to live life in the present. We often find ourselves living for the next big thing; the next vacation, the next big purchase, the next exciting news and because our focus is on the future, we forget to be fully present in our lives right now! Choose to let this go and live in the current moment!
- Choose Grace. We often forget to have grace for ourselves. No one is perfect except for Jesus, show yourself grace when you make a mistake.