Life is messy and unpredictable sometimes. We don’t make the best decisions, or things spiral out of our control, or we suffer the unfortunate consequences of other people’s choices. 

How we react to certain triggers and situations and show up in life either fills our life with more or less hope, joy, or misery. To have more hope, joy, and happiness is an intentional choice. 

As the famous quote goes, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to it that matters.“-Epictetus.

Here are some strategies for your consideration for living a joyful life: 

Find and prioritize your purpose.

There’s joy in finding your purpose and living it. You have a calling, an assignment, something to do to serve and improve the world. Finding a purpose is vital to living a joyful and fulfilled life. Some people may find purpose in their work and jobs, but you can also find it by volunteering your time and resources for the good of the community or society. 

Take a moment to think about some things you’re passionate about that contribute positively to the world; maybe your gift or passion is something you do well and allows you to make an income. There’s a good chance this is your calling. When you find and prioritize your purpose, you have something to look forward to and wake up to every morning. Fulfilling your purpose fills your life with joy and meaning, leading to a happy and satisfied life. 

Nurture relationships.

When we look at the centenarians from the Blue Zones, we see that they highly prioritize and nurture their social relationships with friends and family. They live a simple life, and one of their main focuses is building and nurturing supportive relationships. 

Even at 90, these people are seen to be fit, healthy, happy, and free of chronic diseases due to their lifestyle and familial support. We learn from these people of the Blue Zones the wisdom of nurturing healthy relationships; it’s a pillar of living a happy life. We all need support, a shoulder to cry on, and like-minded friends to share the joys of life with. 

Release things that no longer serve us. 

Life has different stages, each requiring a different and more evolved version of you. To live a joyful life, learn to let go of things, people, situations, and memories that no longer serve you or support your faith and values. Be brave and clear on who and what deserves to move forward into the next season of your life. 

Embracing the process of letting go leads to a happier life. To live more joyfully, learn to let certain attitudes go, too, like perfectionism and how you think life ‘should be’ or what ‘could have been.’ Embrace the present moment and declutter your life, heart, soul, and mind of habits, negative mindsets, toxic relationships, and feelings of regret, guilt, or shame from the past. Learn to let go of any emotional baggage that may deter you from living a joyful life. 

Be kind and compassionate to yourself.

Nurturing your relationship with yourself is essential to living a happier life. This can mean being kind and compassionate to yourself by not talking negatively to or about yourself. It can mean showing yourself compassion and forgiveness and treating yourself well, like taking time out of work to rest and wind down instead of overworking yourself, improving your mental and emotional well-being, taking care of your body, and whatever else enriches your life and soul. 

To be happier and emotionally healthy, you must ditch the negative self-talk, rewire and reframe your mindset to be more positive and supportive of yourself. And observe how your life shifts from misery to joy. 

Joy can look different to every person. What you perceive as joy may not be the same for someone else. Some may find joy in nurturing relationships, while others may prefer some ‘me time’ in solitude. 

Lastly, remember to fill your cup first so you have something to give and pour it into others. You can’t pour from an empty cup, so find your purpose, do activities that enrich your life, release whatever isn’t serving you anymore, lean on others, and laugh more to live a joyful life. Find your version of joy to unlock your best life!

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