13 Ways to Live a Joyful Life
I’ve always been particularly fond of the number 13. I was born on the 13th — and it was a Friday, no less. Despite pervasive superstition surrounding the number, I’ve never found it to be anything other than positive. This goes for days of the month, the 13th floor, or elevator stop, age, times doing something, whatever. So, I find it interesting and a little exciting that when I decided to write about ways to live a joyful life, I’ve come up with exactly 13. I’m sure I could write more, but I’m content with these tips, for they’ve served me well and may also work for you.
Being cooped up all day indoors does nothing to jumpstart your energy, lift you from a morose mood, change your perspective or make you a more interesting person to be around. Once you get outside, however, something immediately changes. For one thing, you’re breathing in more oxygen, getting this life-affirming element into your lungs and doing something profoundly good for your body. For another, there’s always much to see outdoors, no matter the season, time of day, where you are geographically, and whether you’re by yourself or with others.
I love to walk in nature. It calms me, helps me to focus, relieves stress, works up a sweat, and makes me feel like I’ve given myself a gift. Short walk or long hike, working in the garden or engaged in physical exercise, being in nature is an easy, free way to put joy in your life.
- Indulge your curiosity.
If something is mysterious, I’m curious. If I don’t know anything about it, I want to learn enough to satisfy my inquisitiveness. I don’t have to become proficient to indulge my curiosity. I just need to step out of my comfort zone and delve into that which I find interesting, challenging, maybe even a little risky.
For example, I used to wonder what snorkeling was like. I don’t like confined spaces, although I’m not clinically diagnosed. Water has always scared me, despite me being born under a water sign. Still, the allure of snorkeling finally captured my attention during a trip to the Caribbean to the point that I put aside my fears and dipped into the crystal-clear waters to check it out. I was thrilled with the vivid colors of seemingly millions of fish of all sizes and types. I never expected to find such joy in an activity, let alone one I previously avoided.
- Live with no regrets.
There’s no point to holding onto regret. It’s a useless emotion, one that will only eat away at you and prevent you from maximizing enjoyment of life. While it can seem difficult to let go of regrets, especially if you’ve held onto them for a long time, you must free yourself from them to move forward in joyful living.
- Savor every moment.
Life is short, all things considered. Why squander it with unnecessary emotional turmoil, ceaselessly striving for material things, trying to one-up your peers, racing about and ignoring what’s right in front of you? Besides, if you’re so focused on something else, you lose track of the present. Once this moment is lost, it’s gone forever. So, too, are all the little joys you could have treasured: the laugh of your child at play, the touch of your loved one, the sounds of birds, the taste of a delicious meal, the fragrant scent of pine needles on a Christmas tree.
- Finish what you start.
I’ve known a few people who always have some new project they get involved in. Somehow, however, they never get around to finishing any of them. In fact, I’ve managed to put too much on my own agenda at times and needed to learn the lesson that accomplishment means finishing what you start. The satisfaction I feel from a job well done adds to my joy of life.