10 Habits To Live A Joyful Life

10 Habits To Live A Joyful Life

Life isn't always going to make you happy, but here's how to be joyful no matter the circumstances.
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People always ask me how I can be happy all the time. I tell them it's not happiness, because happiness fluctuates as the circumstances of life change. I tell them it's joy! Joy is not contingent on the circumstances of life, but it's an attitude. Here, I've outlined my joyful lifestyle, and I hope it's something you can make apart your lifestyle too.

1. You don't linger in the past and you don't live in the future.

You make sure that you are always present. You look for the beauty and blessings of each day, despite the consequences.

2. You don't compare yourself to others.

You recognize that you are a unique individual with a particular set of strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, you weren't created to be like another person, and you should never try your best to replicate the successes of someone else. When you do, you lose bits and pieces of the beautiful person that you are.

3. You don't dwell on your mistakes and failures.

Whatever has happened, has happened. No amount of regret will change it! Learn from your mistakes and recognize that your mistakes keep you humble. And put your faith in God, knowing that He can always take your mistakes and turn them into something greater.

4. You don't speak deceitfully and you don't try to be someone you're not.

If you weave a life full of lies, you will never feel at peace or content.

5. You don't complain.

As easy at it is to complain about things, complaining really only makes you feel worse. Speak positively and the outcome will always be more positive than if you complained all the way through it.

6. You seek to challenge yourself in small ways and big ways.

You have goals clearly outlined and a vision ahead of you. Don't stress yourself out by setting goals that are completely unattainable. Take small steps first. Remember, it's the little things that ultimately matter.

7. You don't rush.

If you rush your way through life, you just wind up being more drained, exhausted, and dissatisfied. Your life will fly before your very eyes and it'll be over before you even got to enjoy the best parts of it.

8. You don't count the wrongs of others.

Yes, people will be mean to you. People will be selfish and be inconsiderate of your feelings. Your closest friends or family members aren't perfect, and they may at times hurt you. But don't let that bottle up inside of your heart. Let it go. It's not easy at first because of pride, but honestly, it will make you feel so much better. When you let things go, you're kinder to others and yourself. You realize that you've probably made the same mistakes in the past, and you're not immune to making them in the future. So forgive! It'll free you.

9. You smile and you laugh with people (not at them)!

A genuine smile and a good, hearty laugh is medicine to your bones. If you haven't laughed or smiled at all day, spend quality time with some quality people who will make you crack up! Smiling and laughing is quintessential to living a better life, I guarantee it.

10. You seek to love others and be loved.

As human beings, we were all made to not only receive love, but to give love. You can't be happy if you have one without the other. The truth is, is we don't feel loved all the time. But if your identity is rooted in the fact that you are unconditionally loved by God, that love will help you to love yourself and to love other people. Without true love, life wouldn't be worth living. So, embrace the love God has for you and choose to embrace other people.

Cover Image Credit: laughingmeditation.com

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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My Boyfriend's Family Helped Me Find My Home Away From Home

Taking "home is where the heart is" to a new level.

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I have always heard that one day I will find a place that will feel like my home away from home, specifically with my significant other. Honestly, I couldn't envision loving a place like the way I do my hometown, let alone love it even more. Nonetheless, here I am, sitting in the Little Rock, Arkansas airport tearing up as I say goodbye to my home away from home.

Let me tell you about my hometown. I live in a relatively small town in Wyoming and it has always been my home. My family, friends and work are here in Wyoming. But, there happens to be this man who has my whole entire heart. His hometown is a little town in Arkansas, that also happens to be 17 hours away from me. I came to visit him in his hometown for the first time ever. Not only to see Arkansas for the first time but to see him for the first time in a month and to have the opportunity to meet his family.

I won't lie, meeting parents for the first time is definitely nerve-wracking. It's not that I am hard to get along with, it's the fact that I want them to love me because I love their son and I couldn't conceptualize that ever changing. From the moment I stepped into their home, I was welcomed with big arms and beautiful smiles. His family welcomed me, a complete stranger, into their home with no questions asked. Right away I knew I felt like I was home.

Finding your home away from home is easy to recognize. Home is a place full of love and laughter and that is what I found in Arkansas. It was a second home that I felt comfortable in. Feeling comfortable somewhere is not always the easiest feeling to grasp. For me, I feel the need to be in a comfortable place to be myself and call it "home."

I believe that it is essential for everyone to have a "second home" or a "home away from home." Having a second family can and does provide so much more love in my life I never knew I needed. I of course do and always will love and adore my family with my whole heart and soul but having these other people in my life gives me so much assurance that I'll always be surrounded with love and happiness. You can never have too many friends, too much family and certainly never too much love. So thank you. Thank you for welcoming me, loving me as your own, and showing me that having a home away from home is such a positive part of my life.

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