In this new year, why not resolve to find more joy in your everyday life? Joy is what makes life beautiful. It's what gets us through challenges and allows light in to illuminate the shadows. Joy heals our wounds, inspires us to greatness, and fills our souls with goodness.
Here are 40 simple ways I've come up with for accessing joy on a daily basis, with photos by my talented husband, Kiran Ramchandran. I'd love for you to share your ideas and pictures with me. Please write your suggestions here in the comments section, post to my Facebook Page, or tweet me @meimeifox, and I'll be sure to add your thoughts to the next version I do of this blog in a few months.
Here's to a joyful 2013!
1. Play with kids.
2. Play like a kid.
3. Learn something new (play a new sport or game, learn how to cook a new dish).
4. Get out in nature.
5. Help someone in a small way (by carrying their groceries or paying their toll on the highway).
6. Count your blessings.
7. Spend time with your pet.
9. Nurture romance (spend time just kissing your partner, buy a surprise gift, write a love letter).
10. Dress up in costume for no reason.
11. Lose yourself in a great book.
12. Laugh and smile, no matter how you're feeling.
13. Sing out loud.
14. Connect authentically with friends and family, sharing your vulnerabilities.
15. Dance. If you can't dance, just skip.
16. Pay a compliment to a total stranger.
17. Listen to uplifting music.
18. Serve others. Volunteer.
20. Set a goal, then reach it (run that marathon, pass that test, lose those five pounds).
21. Meditate and enjoy the silence.
22. Write a thank you letter or Facebook post to someone for no particular reason other than just to say "I appreciate you."
23. Get messy (go barefoot, play in the mud).
24. Prepare and slowly eat a healthy meal.
25. Offer to teach someone a new skill.
26. Memorize a poem.
27. Turn your errands into an adventure (by making a game out of finding certain items at the store or spotting yellow cars while driving there).
28. Take a nap.
29. Ask someone for help (and express appreciation for their guidance).
30. Watch a favorite old movie for the hundredth time.
31. Discover a new smell (in the form of a candle, flower, or massage oil).
33. Get rid of stuff. (Take it to a homeless shelter. Lighten your load and make someone else's life better at the same time.)
34. Watch a sunrise or sunset.
35. Make a commitment to change a bad habit, then do it.
36. Create something.
37. Eat a cupcake.
38. Spend an evening by candlelight.
39. Take a walk in the rain.
40. Surrender (give it up to God).
For more by MeiMei Fox, click here.
For more on happiness, click here.