You don’t have to look far to know that joy changes lives.

Try looking at another person laughing and it’s like their joy is infectious. It’s hard to stay still when another person gets the giggles. A study that was released online in the British Medical Journal and sited in this Harvard Crimson article states that joy is contagious and now it appears that happiness is too. That’s good news for all of us.

Moreover, it appears that joy is finally something everyone can agree on. After a quick google search on ‘what are the benefits of joy,’ there are articles sharing biblical truths about joy, higher awareness, mental health articles, quotes from gurus, pastors, health practitioners and the list goes on. There is no doubt in my mind, from a professional perspective and from my own lived experience, joy changes lives.

I guess this then begs the question, how does one get joy? I did another google search on ‘how do you get joy?’ The first thing that popped up was this list of 11 ways from Success Magazine:

  1. Stop waiting to be happy.
  2. Add happiness to your life, right now.
  3. Make self-care part of your routine.
  4. Get in a joyful state of mind.
  5.  Stop worrying.
  6. Appreciate the small things.
  7. Surround yourself with positive people.
  8. Laugh more.
  9. Love more.
  10. Find bliss in a bucket list.
  11. Plan your happiness.

As always, Google is not at a loss to help us find out how to get more joy into our lives. Have a look and you might just be inspired. In regard to the list above one that stood out to me as a reminder was #3. I think we can put ourselves at the bottom of most lists and almost run on empty which doesn’t make for the fertile internal land required to generate joy.

I also like #11. Plan your happiness. It seems that cultivating a life of joy, which we’ve determined is very beneficial for our health, we need to be intentional. I guess that means that joy isn’t promised, rather it’s something we need to discover, hold on to and in the best case scenario, share with others.

Imagine if we were all intentional about this. Our homes, our families and our collective lives would, indeed, be better. I for one want to live a life filled with joy so I will continue to find something in my every day to be joyful about. It may be as small as something that happened yesterday whilst we are in Bali. In the middle of the afternoon, our pool (at the villa we are staying in) was filled with kids from Bali Life. Their splashing around and laughter brought joy deep into my heart and carried me throughout the day. I know that the memory of that scene, as seemingly insignificant as it is, will come back to me at a time when I need to draw on my bank of joyful memories. For that, I’m grateful.

What or where will you find your joy? Perhaps like Success Magazine, it’s time to write your own list and create joy in your life.

Here are a few funny jokes you can share to get you smiling:

  1. A woman walks into a library and asked if they had any books about paranoia. The librarian says “They’re right behind you!”
  2. The other day, my wife asked me to pass her lipstick but I accidentally passed her a glue stick. She still isn’t talking to me.
  3. Did you hear about the Italian chef that died? He pasta way.
  4. What did one hat say to the other? You stay here. I’ll go on ahead.
  5. Why wouldn’t the shrimp share his treasure? Because he was a little shellfish.

Much love, Susanna