Sometimes we get a little bummed out. But our inner joy is always waiting for us

Do you have joy? No one can be happy all the time, not even those of us who live with An Island Perspective. It’s normal to feel worry, anger and other distressing emotions when we encounter difficult or unpleasant life experiences. And we often have a tendency to conjure up the worst case scenario.

When we’re feeling down and discouraged, it’s like we can’t see the sun for the clouds. A gloomy mindset can trigger a host of negative repercussions. Our internal island of joy turns into a stormy punamu of doubt and fear. All because we’re letting external events and people control us.

What we choose to focus on determines our joy and happiness. What we think about, how we perceive and interpret things, shapes our level of happiness and contentment. This means we create our own joy!

When we insist on wallowing in negative thinking, we’re using suffering as a way to make things better. Crazy! Of course we’re usually not aware we’re doing this. But this is how we inadvertently make life more complicated than it needs to be – and lose precious moments of joy.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you’re racing home from work. You’re in a big hurry because you need to pick up the kids, fix dinner and then get to a very important meeting. Suddenly, you find yourself stuck smack dab in the middle of a huge traffic jam. Traffic has totally stopped. It’s like a parking lot!

What thoughts run through your mind?

Joy buster:
I can’t believe this! Now I’m going to be late for my meeting, as usual. I hate this commute. People drive like idiots. Why do things like this always happen to me!

Joy booster:
Guess I better adjust my schedule. The kids loved what we had for dinner last night so I’ll just heat up leftovers. I’m sure this jam will clear up in a few minutes and I’ll make it to my meeting just fine.

So here’s the good news. No matter what’s going on in your day, YOU have the power to jumpstart your joy whenever you want. How? By changing your perspective and your internal “stories.”

It can be as easy as noticing and appreciating the precious details of your life. Here are 22 simple ways to jumpstart your joy right now:

  1. Share a laugh.
  2. Listen to your favorite music.
  3. Snuggle with your pet.
  4. Give a heartfelt hug.
  5. Eat a piece of real chocolate.
  6. Connect with a happy, positive friend.
  7. Imagine your own tropical paradise.
  8. Take a nap.
  9. Say a little prayer.
  10. Do 10 jumping jacks.
  11. Read a good book.
  12. Savor a perfectly ripe peach.
  13. Write a love letter.
  14. Prepare a special meal.
  15. Go to bed early (or sleep late).
  16. Donate clothing to a shelter.
  17. Go outside and get some sunlight.
  18. Do a hula dance.
  19. Forgive a hurtful comment.
  20. Bake cookies for a frazzled friend.
  21. Take a brisk walk.
  22. Buy flowers for yourself.

By shifting your attention, you can leave exhaustion and stress behind you. Remember that joy is a decision – YOUR decision. Through your own efforts, you can make your world brighter and more exhilarating.

Liven up your island spirit. Practice jumpstarting your joy and feeling good. Discover a more tranquil and satisfying life by infusing short bursts of joy throughout each and every day.

Tell me ways you try to shift your perspective and focus on joy.

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Join the island tribe at facebook.com/IslandPerspective.