5 Fast Ways to Sneak More Joy Into Every Freakin’ Day

The possibilities for joy are limitless

if we can do what feels good to us—

in work, in life, in love, in play. Learn

to become comfortable with joy. You

have the power to create joy by choosing

what feels good to you. The time for

joy isn’t later. The time for joy is now.

~Melody Beattie

If you’ve ever weathered wicked times, you know happiness can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Or perhaps you’re simply one of the millions of Americans who suffers from chronic stress and a bloated schedule that leaves little room for relaxation (let alone self-care). Either way, we all find ourselves in need of quick, reliable ways to return to our loving center.

Here’s how you can get there:

Embrace your sensual side. If you think I’m talking about sex, you’re only partly right. Sensuality, in its full interpretation, is about activating the senses and allowing ourselves more pleasure. And you don’t need a masseuse or a vibrator. Play around with aromatherapy or take a soothing detox bath. I love lighting candles and incense cones and lying on my acupressure mat. Do what feels right for you and do it often.

Donate last season’s duds. You know that flannel shirt that’s been in your closet the past two years and still hasn’t seen sunlight? How ’bout bagging it up with all your other unwanted items and giving them to an organization or individual who will appreciate them? This is something I try to do every couple months and it’s always cathartic— I’m giving to someone in need but also affirming my own blessings and making space for new ones.

Eat your way happy. Sorry, not talking pizza and ice cream here, though there’s definitely a place for both. Rather, try incorporating some wild Alaskan salmon, avocado, or walnuts into your routine. The omega 3’s in each has been shown to enhance brain function, making them nature’s delicious mood boosters—no prescription required.

Leave room for laughter. Nothing new here, I’m aware, as laughter has long been labeled nature’s best medicine. That being said—are you getting your daily dose? Make it a priority to get some giggles in (or out as it were) along with your greens every single day. I find that children and pets prompt the juiciest chuckles, but stand-up from Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, or Louis C.K scarcely lets me down either.

Dance it away. I prefer to do this somewhere private, where bad rhythm doesn’t matter. Either way, create a playlist of songs that are sure to light you up and then let lose. In time, you can create a playlist for every mood and practice moving your way into a new mindset. The cardio will benefit your heart and bod as well—talk about being spiritually fit.

Check out one of my current/not-so-current, can’t-help-but-smile-and-sing-a-long tunes:

And when it seems impossible, remember: sometimes there’s no getting around a shit day but we can always choose to eat/give/sing/laugh/dance/fuck it away and wait for a happier tomorrow…

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