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10 Ways to Experience More Joy Today


Joy is something that everyone could use a little bit more of these days, and so I thought I'd put together a little list of my top 10 favourite ways of bringing more joy into my own life in hopes of helping you to experience a little more joy too!


If you're in a rush and don't have the time to do an in depth read here are my top 10:


  1. Gratitude

  2. Daily Play Time (no matter what your age is)

  3. Freestyle Dancing

  4. Daily connection with someone you love - family, friends, and fur babies are all included

  5. Set baby sized goals to achieve regularly

  6. Create a vision board

  7. Spending time in nature

  8. Eat plenty of good bacteria

  9. Take some time to laugh

  10. Taking time to be in awe of something - or someone haha

Gratitude

Gratitude is a super simple thing that you can add into your daily routine for a little boost a joy juice! Almost every health and wellness practitioner out there recommends adding it to your life, but there are some pretty awesome reasons why it actually makes a difference.


Many studies have shown that taking the time to practice gratitude daily helps to boost our serotonin and dopamine production. So essentially the more we practice thinking positively the happier and healthier we feel!


Serotonin is often called the mood stabilizing neurotransmitter and dopamine is known as the reward neurotransmitter. There are many different ways of boosting them, but by simply practicing daily gratitude you're quite literally giving yourself a little mood boost chemically speaking.


Some of the possible health benefits associated with practicing daily gratitude include:

  • A reduction in symptoms associated with depression

  • A reduction in symptoms associated with anxiety

  • Better sleep

  • Less inflammation

  • A stronger immune system

  • Higher levels of motivation

  • Better impulse control

  • and more

Like anything, practicing daily gratitude isn't a cure all, but it definitely makes a difference when you stay consistent with it.


Playtime

Oh my god play time is one of my all time favourite things to get myself feeling more joyful!


No matter how old you are, play is an easy way of helping you body and your brain to come back into balance.


Whether you're playing a game by yourself or you're playing with someone else, when you play your brain produces dopamine. If you're playing more physical games your brain can also produce oxytocin - which is known as the cuddle neurotransmitter.


Some of the amazing benefits of play include:

  • Stress relief

  • Brain function improvement

  • Healing emotional wounds

  • Improved learning capacity

  • Improvement in connection to yourself and the world around you

  • and of course, JOY!

For these reasons and more, play is an essential part of my daily life and I really recommend it to anyone looking to experience more joy in theirs.


Freestyle Dancing

Dancing is one of my all time favourite ways of boosting my mood. Not only is it fun but it also has so many health benefits it's bananas!


Some of them include:

  • Improved Social and Emotional Health

  • Greater energy levels

  • Stress reduction

  • Mood boosting magic

  • Improved cardiovascular health

  • Better Flexibility

  • Better coordination and strength

  • and more!

What's also really cool about dancing, is that it helps our brains to produce dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins - so you're literally taking a happy pill any time you decide to get up and shake that :P


If you want an added bonus, try dancing with a someone you love. The connection we feel with someone while dancing helps our brain to produce a little something called oxytocin - otherwise known as the snuggle cuddle neurotransmitter.


So no matter which way you decide to move, getting your groove on can only create positive vibes all around.


Connection

Connection - I believe that it's one of the main reasons that we're here.


So why is it that more people than ever before are experiencing loneliness?


I believe that it really comes down to several aspects of societal conditioning along with unhealed/undressed childhood wounds, but the complexity of it is far to long to put into a couple of paragraphs - I think it would probably fill up an entire book haha :p


But if you're like me and you're big on connection or you're maybe looking to experience more of it, then here are some ways that you can start connecting today:

  • Take the time to message or call at least 1 person you love every day

  • Create a chat cheerleader group with your friends or family where each day you all share 1 thing you're proud of, 1 challenge you faced, and one goal that you have for the following day

  • Volunteer at a charity or an organization that you feel connected to

  • Take the time to hug a friend, family member, or a fur baby at least once a day - if you live alone then try to schedule in some in person quality time with people at least once a week if possible

  • Reach out to someone you trust if you've had a tough day

  • Smile at strangers that pass you in the street! Sometimes they don't see you and sometimes they don't smile back, but sometimes they do see you and they do smile back and the feeling is amazing!

  • If you like something about someone else - take the time to let them know! How great does it feel when someone let's you know that they love your outfit or that you've got a great laugh?! Spread that love around like frosting on a cupcake any chance you get and I promise you you'll be creating amazing moments of connection before you know it

  • Talk to strangers - I know it sounds scary haha but it can actually be really fun and create amazing new connections that you never would've made otherwise. If you're not down to talk to people you meet in public you can always reach out to someone you admire on social media and try to get a conversation started that way

All of these are simple ways that you can start experiencing more connection, but at the end of the day, I believe that the best way that you can create a deeper sense of connection with yourself and with others, is by speaking your truth.


When we say what we really think and feel we're being authentic which allows us to feel connected to our truth and when we share that truth with others we're building genuine relationships with them instead of only experiencing surface level ones.


True connection takes vulnerability, which let's be real is scaaaary, but I promise that every single time you practice showing up as all that you are, the level of connection you'll start experiencing will start to shift and you'll be feeling more connected and joyful before you know it.


Goal Setting

For so long people were convinced that in order to reach our goals we first needed to have motivation - but science now shows that motivation only builds the more we practice taking action.


You know those big dreams you have that feel so far away?


They're a lot closer than you think when you simply take the time to break them down into bite size steps. And you know what's really cool about working towards your goals one step at a time? Every single step you accomplish towards reaching your goal's, your brain is going to be producing an oh so magic neurotransmitter known as dopamine.

With the help of dopamine not only will you be getting a mood boost, but you'll also be helping yourself to start creating a new habit around achieving your goals.


So, I'd like to invite you to take the time to write down a list of your top goals.


If you're like me and you have tons of them, then it can help to separate your goals into categories such as health, career, relationships, and so on.


Then, choose your top goal from each category and break it down into micro steps. As an example if I want to get back in shape I'd simply start by doing 5 pushups, 5 squats, and 5 lunges on day one. Then I'd increase it to 10 of each on day two. Then 15 on day 3 and so on.


Before you know it, you'll be feeling stronger every day and the motivation that you couldn't find on day one will be pouring out of you like nobody's business!


I know that it seems straight forward, and honestly it is, but when we break our goals down into tiny steps it makes achieving them that much easier.


Vision Boards

Vision Boards have been a part of my life for about 6 years now and I don't see myself ever living without them. If you're a really visual person like me, using a vision board can make a huge difference when it comes to really embodying your dreams, goals, and or purpose.


We just talked about the power of setting goals, but another way that we can make our dreams come true that much more quickly, is a little something called visualization. Hence why we call it a vision board!


As an example, let's say you've been dreaming of going to Spain, but you've been struggling to find the money to go. Well, forget the money for a minute or two and allow yourself to simply dream. Start doing research about all things Spain!

What places would you go to once you got there? What kind of foods would you want to try? What would the weather be like? What kind of things would you need to bring with you?


The really magical thing about planning for the future is that your mind has a hard time distinguishing between what's reality and what's imagination.


When we imagine ourselves taking our dream vacation, landing our dream job, or anything else that we want to experience, our bodies stimulate the same neural networks which means that your heart rate, breathing and blood pressure will adjust to feel the same way you would as if you were experiencing those things for real.


How cool is that right?! And what's even cooler, is that when we plan for the future and allow ourselves to dream, we actually help to boost our confidence levels too! That means that you're re-wiring your subconscious mind to believe that you're worthy of all the amazing things you want which amazingly brings you that much closer to actually making the things you want a part of your reality.


Spending Time in Nature

Whether you're a big fan of nature or you consider yourself to be more of an indoor person, one thing is for sure - being in nature helps to bring us back to our true nature.


Simply spending an hour or two in nature has been shown to help with the following:

  • Improved immune system function

  • Improved cardiovascular health

  • Improved energy levels

  • Improved sleep quality

  • Improved respiratory health

  • Improved mood

  • Decreased stress levels

  • Decreased inflammation levels

  • and more

Two of the main players responsible for all of these amazing benefits are Oxygen and Terpenes. The Sunshine, all the amazing sounds, sights, smells, and more, definitely help too!


Terpenes are everywhere - they're what give things their unique smell - whether it's a good smell or a bad one haha. But besides giving things a smell, terpenes have also been shown to each have their own wide range of health benefits.

Although terpenes aren't talked about a whole lot in main stream media, you can sometimes find them labeled on certain essential oil blends or even on perfume bottles too. You'll also hear them being talked about in relationship to CBD products.


Some well known terpenes that are used in aromatherapy include:

  • Limonene

  • Myrcene

  • Pinene

  • Linalool

  • Geraniol

  • and more

Each one of these has it's own unique blend of health benefits as well as its own extra special scent. And you you know what's pretty cool? There are over 40,000 different terpenes out there waiting to for you experience them! And they can be found in their highest amounts out in nature.


If you still aren't really up to going out to explore nature, you can take a baby step and simply go to a green house instead! Whichever one you decide to go to, when you get there, take some time to breathe in deeply and slowly. Soak up the smells, sounds and feelings that come up. Each and every one is there to help bring you back to a state of peace and joy.


Probiotics

Probiotics, which is essentially good bacteria, has been proven to help our health in more ways than one. According to Harvard University up to 90% of our serotonin levels are produced in our digestive track which means that what we eat directly affects our mood.


Research has also shown that up to 50% of our dopamine levels are also produced in the gut which is another vital neurotransmitter when it comes to regulating our mood.


When we consume probiotics regularly we help to create a healthier environment in our gut which allows it to do what it does best - keep us feeling healthy and happy.


Although it doesn't just take probiotics alone to create a healthy happy digestive system, consuming them regularly has been shown to:

  • Reduce Stress Levels

  • Improve Mood

  • Improve Immune System Function

  • Reduce the occurrence of yeast or vaginal infections

  • Help with body odour and or bad breath

  • Reduce certain skin issues such as acne

  • Bring your gut microbiome back into balance (especially important after taking probiotics)

  • and more!

So if you're looking to help boost your mood but you don't feel that you have the time or energy to do so, introducing some probiotics may be able to help.


You can find probiotics in foods such as Kim chi, miso paste, sour kraut, home made pickles, coconut kefir, kombucha, and more! Essentially any foods that have been fermented will contain good bacteria which is otherwise known as probiotics.


If you're not really down to eat your probiotics though, you can always take them in a supplement form instead.


Some of my favourite brands to work with for probiotics include:

  • Genuine Health

  • Garden of Life

  • Bio K

  • Natural Factors

There are obviously endless amounts of amazing supplements brands out there making probiotics too, just always be sure to do a little bit of research before you try any of them to make sure that it's the right fit for you and your body's specific needs.


Laugh Therapy

Laugh Therapy always makes me think of an amazing movie called Patch Adams - if you haven't seen it I highly recommend checking it out!


Without giving away too many details of the movie - the main character discovers the power of play and laughter when it comes to helping people to heal and find peace that are dealing with severe illnesses.


Now if you're thinking laugh therapy sounds ridiculous! Well you're right, it is :P


The really cool thing about it is that you don't actually need to see a therapist to enjoy some good old laugh therapy, all you need is a bit of time and the willingness to feel entertained.


Here are some ways of bringing more laughter into your life:

  • Take the time to watch funny cat or dog videos

  • Read the comics section in the newspaper or get a comic book

  • Watch an online stand up show by a comedian you love

  • Get a joke book that you can keep on hand when you need a boost

  • Watch an old movie that you know you find funny

  • Ask someone you know to tell you their favourite joke

  • Have a laugh battle

  • Try laugh yoga

Now most of the things on this list probably seem pretty straight forward and obvious, but the last two things on the list may be new to you - which is so exciting!


Laugh battles can be done all by yourself, but I find they're even more fun when you do it with someone else. All you need to do is imagine the most ridiculous laugh ever and share it out loud! Then go back and forth between you and the person you're with a couple of times. Before you know it, you'll be laughing for real at how ridiculous you sound and you'll be getting all the amazing benefits associated with laughter therapy.

The last thing on the list - Laugh Yoga - is something that I would recommend to literally everyone! Although I'm not a laugh yoga teacher (maybe one day I'll be haha) I've linked a short video of a laugh yoga class given by the amazing Liliana DeLeo above which will be sure to get you laughing within the 5 minutes she speaks.


The really cool thing about laughter is that it actually helps to reduce your cortisol levels while increasing your serotonin and dopamine levels so it's kind of like taking an instant happy pill on the go.


Be in Awe

The last thing on our list for today is being in Awe. Do you remember being a kid and being amazed by literally everything?


Staring at the clouds, smelling flowers, eating something delicious, and more, all felt so incredibly exciting. But eventually we were told to grow up - to be mature - and that sense of wonder and awe that was our natural state of being slowly faded away.


But we can get that incredible sense of awe and wonder back again!


By simply taking the time to allow yourself to be in awe of something each day you'll be helping to rewire your brain to start looking on the positive side of things. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes.


So what can you marvel at today?


What's next?

All that's left for you to do is simply choose one of the things I shared with you above and start doing it!


If you're feeling short on time - I get it - but all you really need to get started is 1 minute. Set a timer on your phone and allow yourself to laugh, dance it out, or visualize something positive you're looking forward to in the future.


Doing so won't fix all the problems of the world, but it might just make the ones you're currently trying to juggle seem a little bit less daunting.


So my beautiful friend, there you have it! I hope that you enjoyed reading this blog and that you'll be giving one or maybe even all of them a try to help you experience more joy in your own life.


If you have any recommendations that you want to share with me to help please feel free to send me a message through my contact page or you can also reach out to me on Instagram @booksplantsandmagic.


As always I'm sending you the biggest freaking hugs ever for your day as well as so much strength, hope, positivity, and love <3


Can't wait to connect with you again soon :)




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