7 Ways to Increase Joy

1. Visualization

Visualization is a kind of therapy. It can envision a serene place whenever there is stress. The distance and space are comparable to meditation but also engage the imagination in the process. It allows the mind to transform creatively, generatively, and dynamically rather than feeling uncomfortable. Based on anecdotal accounts of nurses, this is being used as a method of relieving pain, particularly for children.

2. Morning Pages or Positive Journaling

Morning Pages is a method of writing three long-hand pages first thing in the morning, which comes from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. For writers, this is a breaking of the pressure of the blank page and opening a line of dialogue with your creative brain. They are not only billed as a creativity tool but also function as a mental health tool. Positive Journaling is another creative writing outlet that bolsters your imagination while also allowing us to write positive affirmations about ourselves and surroundings. Repeatedly writing and thinking about the things we appreciate (including OURSELVES) creates a habit that brings us more happiness.

3. Coloring

Adult coloring books had a heyday in the mid-to-late 2010s as a form of stress relief.  It appears that certain coloring can reduce anxiety. Coloring structured patterns such as mandala or plaid have a strong symmetry which promotes harmony in the surroundings for deep focus. Also, subsequent studies have shown that coloring also increases mindfulness and may improve attention and creativity. Plus, who doesn't love embracing a childhood activity reminding us of simpler times!

4. Drumming and Dancing

Research shows that drumming’s rhythmic quality can be a powerful aid for mental health. It also reduced anxiety and was correlated with a decrease in inflammatory markers in the bodies of the participants. One reason why drumming promotes calm may be the repetition of sounds and movement. Dancing allows the body to experience rhythm through their body and provoke positive mood changes. Not only is it great for getting those endorphins pumping and boost energy, but it also can lessen tension and depression symptoms preventing the experience of more joy.

5. Cloud gazing

An appealing alternative to meditation that has documented mental health benefits is cloud gazing. Looking upward while amorphous, softly, clouds shift gives something calming to focus on and has distinct benefits for mental well-being through the amount of light that enters the eye. Cloud gazing is not well researched; however, while green nature views have been widely used to help reduce stress, sky views are beneficial because they can be accessed even in dense urban areas.

6. Walking, Especially Outside

Walking meditation is a form of meditation, but if you don’t have a formal practice, some form of mindful movement can be calming. Benefits of mindful walking, in addition to the many mental health benefits of increased physical activity, is it provides stress reduction and cognition improvement among older adults. Allowing yourself to walk out in nature is an added bonus to remove yourself from the normal hustle and bustle of your daily life. Spending time in nature has been linked to better cognitive functions and improvements in mood.

7. Reach Out to Friends and Loved Ones

Friends and loved ones have a special way of making us feel heard and like we belong. Having a secure outlet to express our feelings, can help improve our self-confidence and help reduce stress and anxiety. It's also wonderful to have a group of people to share in common activities and interests that bring joy and happiness to everyone involved.

 

Source: Can’t seem to meditate? 7 joyful activities for you to try instead

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