Jumping for joy

Joy: elation, bliss, delight, ecstasy, jubilance, euphoria, glee.

When is the last time you felt joy? Even in our fast-paced world of traffic, hurricanes, taxes, random violence and cockroaches, joy is all around us. Just open your eyes and pay attention – look deeper into the world around you, and you will certainly find joy.

Joy and its merry band of compatriots above often can seem hard to find in modern life. Many adults decide that contentment is an apt substitute for joy, paring down their emotional expectations into a lukewarm stew of “okay” or “everything’s fine.”

While being content in life has its positives for sure, contentedness is no substitute for joy. Joy belongs in the realm of creative flow and play; you know that you’re in a state of joy when time loses meaning, where worries cease to exist, and when thoughts of the past and future are flung away in favor of the rich and frothy RIGHT NOW.

Find joy here:

1. Children are a profound source of joy for many people on earth, and you don’t even need to have kids of your own to experience their power of delight. Borrow a friend’s children for an afternoon at the zoo, sign up to volunteer at a pre-school for a day or just head to a local amusement park to witness the bliss of true joy.

2. Dogs may appear to be animals, but they are actually fountains of pure joy covered in fur. Find a leaf, a ball of scrap paper or a good ol’ wooden stick and watch the elation in action.

3. Worship with others brings a new level to spirituality and infuses religion with community. Whether you like to sing, to pray or to meditate on truth, there is a worship service near you that offers joy on a weekly basis.

4. Nature speaks to the human soul like nothing else. When is the last time you stood in awe, mouth open, surrounded by epic nature? Experiencing joy through nature isn’t a seasonal treat – it is a human necessity. Head to a majestic mountain range, a never-ending desert or a beach with a horizon line that goes forever, and feel the joy of simple natural beauty wash over you.

5. Serving others creates a level of interior joy that many say cannot be matched. When you help people who cannot help themselves, you are living out the very meaning of being human. Sign up for volunteer work and at the end of the day, you’ll realize who the help really benefited.

6. Gratitude goes a long way. Everyone loves to be appreciated for the good things that they have done. Take the time to truly thank someone that has meant something to you, and feel the pure joy radiate out of their eyes and into your heart.

7. Music is not only the medicine – it is a purveyor of joy whose power cannot be matched. Whether you like funky jazz, hard-hitting dance music or Justin Bieber’s greatest hits, find the music that thrills your soul and rock out to pure joy.

Image: Ant1_G