With summertime finally here and many of us canceling travel plans for a second year in a row, learning how to find joy in life can feel like a struggle. There’s a lot going on in the world right now and finding moments of happiness sometimes feels so far out of reach. Many people are dealing with hardship while others bear the brunt of feeling guilty for experiencing happiness while the world is dealing with so much hurt.

However, no matter what you’re going through, it’s important to find a little bit of joy. Not only is it necessary for our mental health, but for our survival as well. It’s okay to feel sad, but also accept that you won’t feel that way forever and must look for ways to move forward.

Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips:

Practice Mindfulness

Take life one day at a time and stay in the moment. Sometimes we feel sad and stressed out. Battle these feelings by focusing on not overwhelming yourself and worrying about the future and things that have yet to happen. Instead, focus on how to enjoy the little moments of happiness that bring you joy. Whether that means singing your heart out, decorating your home with fresh flowers, exercising, or hanging out with your friends.

When we take a little time every day to do something that fills our heart, finding joy becomes secondhand nature.

Treat Yourself

Ever heard of retail therapy? It’s an actual thing. Good news is you don’t have to have a whole lot of money to indulge a little bit. Whether you buy yourself a new shirt, treat yourself to a delicious breakfast, or head on over to HEB for a blooming bouquet, it’s all about giving yourself a reason to smile. Don’t wait for others to treat you. Treat yourself to the experiences you’ve always dreamed of.

When you’re stuck in a rut, treating yourself can help pull you out of the cycle and help you find the joy you’re lacking.

Appreciate Life

If there’s something we’ve learned this past year, it’s just how delicate life can be. Sometimes we become so entangled in what can happen in the future, that we miss out on what’s currently going on. Take time to appreciate the here and now. It makes each day worth living. Practice gratefulness and be happy for the basic things you have. That’s how to find the true path to joy.

Enjoy the Outdoors

Being outside is good for you! Nature is truly a gift. Take in the site and smell of flowers and animals. Experience the sound of the outdoors. Feel the sun on your skin.

Go for a walk, a hike, or a bike ride. It’s a fun way to enjoy nature. Enjoying the natural beauties the world has to offer allows you to discover true joy.

Make Room for Your Passions

Make time for YOU rather than filling your day with responsibilities. Even if it means 10 minutes of meditation or participating in a hobby you love, TAKE IT!

The things you’re most passionate about tend to evoke joy. If there’s no joy in life, what’s the point?

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