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four ways to center joy.

(this is your reminder to prioritize joy)

when you are in your joy - time stops.

when you are in your joy - peace exists.

i often find it easier to be teaching or giving to others, and often struggle with the place of my own pleasure and joy. -- bell hooks.

joy sometimes has a way of feeling selfish. to activate it there can be mixed perspectives from others that say you should be working or being productive. systems that counteract your wellbeing so much so that you often forget yourself and place others before you.

bell hooks reminds us that it is easier to give ourselves to others )in work and in relationships( that our own relationship to time spent with ourselves can become an uncomfortable struggle. this doesn't mean stop prioritizing others. it means add self joy to your priority list.

not only does joy matter but it is more essential than happiness.

follow me on this one.

happiness is experienced over time. whereas joy is in the moment.

joy is your sense of aliveness that swarms you with positive feelings of content, love, and delight. joy is found in the little things that you lose track of time doing. and believe it or not you are someone's joy.

benefits of joy.

psychological flourishing increases when you engage in prosocial behavior like caring for others, volunteering for the greater good, and taking action towards needs in the world.

joy boosts your immune system and decreases levels of stress and anxiety when dopamine and serotonin are released in your body.

research shows that you live a longer more meaningful life when tapped into your joy.

four ways to center joy.

watch videos that make you smile. like this one of two folks who find joy in dancing or this r&b singer making banana pudding with his cheetah (it's a puppet, and lyrics are explicit). you may have taken moving images on your camera or phone so replay those every chance you get not just to bring up your mood but to remember good memories.

joy check-ins. use joy as a conversation starter. all you have to do is ask someone, "what brings you joy?" and let their response go where they direct it. listen to them glow and rave on and notice their light brighten. any time you are with them or feel far away from them you can ask about the joys they shared and that check-in is a chance to connect and re-connect in case they have forgotten to prioritize it. and vice versa.

schedule joy. put it on your calendar. joy is a permission slip not a privilege slip. you can give it to yourself whenever you choose. and to make sure it is frequent and not forgotten simply write it in )literally write it in( to your paper or digital calendar. don't skip it or keep moving it to the next day. block it off like you block time for lunch.

get active. move your body. joy is a restorative practice. so see it as an opportunity to heal parts of you that you haven't been able to water. it doesn't have to be a high energy activity. it can be low energy or anything in-between that benefits and gives your soul peace.


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