Last week the WOW was about the 5 Pillars of Positive Nutrition. If you missed it, read it HERE.
One of the pillars is ADD DAILY JOY. But that is easier said than done. And really what does that even mean? And who cares, does JOY really help me get healthier?
The truth: JOY IS A NUTRIENT. Just like you need nutrients such as vitamin C, protein, and fiber… JOY is something that’s necessary for overall well-being and health. Joy can boost immunity, keep the stress hormone cortisol in check, and keep motivation to eat right and exercise strong.
In fact, many eating issues such as emotional eating, stress eating, boredom eating, low motivation, self-sabotage, and overeating, are a clue you likely have a JOY DEFICIENCY.
I have studied JOY with coaches, read research studies on JOY, and have done my own personal “JOY Experiments.” And here’s what I have learned…
JOY is the combination of two things: GRATITUDE + PLAY. So if you want more JOY in your life, focus on curating more gratitude + play in your life. And I have 4 steps to help you…
4 STEPS TO CREATE MORE JOY IN YOUR LIFE
STEP 1: BASIC NEEDS
It’s very difficult to have joy when your basic needs aren’t met. Just like babies, you are more likely to be irritable if you are thirsty, hungry, or tired. You can’t override your basic human needs! So the foundation of JOY is 1) getting quality sleep, 2) eating balanced meals on schedule, and 3) staying well hydrated all day long.
STEP 2: GRATITUDE
50% of joy is created by adding more GRATITUDE.
Here are a few ideas…
Use your time in the shower to thank each body part for all it does for you. Read more HERE.
Notice super small things all through the day that you are grateful for like the perfect temperature coffee, having your car get you safely to work, or being able to pick up heavy groceries. Having a gratitude journal is great, but when you start noticing the really small stuff, in real-time, that’s what really helps amplify daily joy.
✨Gratitude For Others
Doing good for others in even small ways spikes your own joy, so it’s a win-win. Hold the door for someone, compliment someone, or send an email of appreciation to a friend or co-worker. Or even just smile at a stranger! A little kindness goes a long way.
Part of well-being is feeling confident and good about yourself. So repeat encouraging phrases & be your biggest cheerleader like: “I believe in my abilities, I am smart, I matter, I am strong, I am a good person, I believe in me.”
STEP 3: PLAY
50% of joy is created by adding more PLAY.
Here are a few ideas…
✨Playful Physical Activities
Do active stuff you liked as a kid such as jump rope, hoola hoop, hopscotch, and dancing.
✨Playful Creative Activities
Do stimulating stuff you liked as a kid such as crafts, draw, color, and puzzles.
✨Try Something New
New things spark fun. Try a new fitness class, new hobby, new restaurant, or new food or recipe. Keeping life fresh & exciting is a well-being booster.
Prioritize doing things with friends and family. Put plans in the calendar and protect the time. Being social strengthens your feelings of connection, which is a well-being and longevity habit.
STEP 4: BALANCE SERENE JOY + EXCITED JOY
An interesting fact about JOY is that there are TWO TYPES:
1) SERENE JOY and 2) EXCITED JOY.
And we need a BALANCE of both.
So just as much as we need gratitude + play, we also need STILLNESS and SIMPLICITY to round out our “joy balance.”
Here are a couple of ideas…
Meditation or just silent reflection for 5-10 minutes a day can help you feel more relaxed, think more clearly, and tap into more peace. My favorite app for meditation is Insight Timer.
One of the greatest secrets of a joyful life is to keep things simple. Complexity is low vibe, simplicity is high vibe. When something feels low joy, find a way to simplify it and you’ll immediately feel better.
JOY IS A NUTRIENT. Make sure to get your daily dose. xoxo