Top 5 tips on the art of joy

With us being in the season of joy, what would be a better way to end off this year than with some actionable tips on how to cultivate this sometimes seemingly mythical entity? Let’s get into it! 

  1. Less is more: I believe in this world of hyper-everything, it becomes even more difficult to find joy. You have access to more people at your finger tips than people a hundred years ago did in their entire lifetimes. This is not an original thought; we all know this. We have more material goods than our ancestors could’ve ever imagined, yet we keep lusting for more. Perhaps pull back; get back to the basics. Instead of planning out multiple social activities every week, maybe plan out one day with the people you cherish the most. You will appreciate that quality time so much more. Instead of multiple clothing options, keep your closet minimal with your favourite pieces. Minimalism, the upside of less choices, and other ways of pulling back seem to be THE THING right now, and maybe there’s some substance to that.  
  1. Productivity: Growth and evolution are the fundamentals of life. Hence, it is no wonder that stagnancy feels so bad. Although life hardly has a constant rate and times of dormancy are just as important as times of flourishing, little incremental steps-ahead are needed. Make a tiny step forward, and see how much joy that brings! Of course this will vary from one person to the next, and from one period of life to the next; doing the laundry can be just as therapeutic as finally getting that advisory meeting out of the way. All I am saying is, find a way to grow today; maybe the fact that you chose to read this article instead of scrolling on an app that you find yourself mindlessly scrolling on was your productive act for today! 
  1. Anticipation: PLAN THINGS OUT AHEAD OF TIME! Schedule in hangouts with friends ahead of time, heck, make an event out of an otherwise ordinary plan; find a cool new coffee shop, try a new activity, the list goes on! Most of the fun lies in anticipating something as opposed to the thing itself. Which is why it is so vital to maximize our excitement in looking forward to the future! Anticipation increasing well being has been studied and scientifically proven.  
  1. Romanticize your life: My friends and I love to justify our actions based on how ‘main character’ they seem; and I know for a fact that we are not the only ones since the term ‘main character’ is big on social media these days. Essentially, being a main character is exactly what it sounds like; being the protagonist of your own life’s movie. Doing things that add to the plot of your life, and treating the not-so-great events as mere enrichments to the storyline. Of course I am a main character! So are you! So is every other person on this planet! Let’s start acting like it. Blasting my favourite music while I cook, looking down on a magically lit-up Montreal when working late, a good coffee in the rain; these can be viewed as just mundane parts of life, or very main character activities, and I choose the latter. 
  1. LIVE: It may seem counterintuitive to just pursue all of life when we are trying to specifically culminate joy. But hear me out. It is the bad that makes us appreciate the good. It is years of life that teach us how to live. It is the failures that train us most effectively, not success. So in your journey of maximizing joy, instead of carefully curating a life of profound experiences, pursue life. In all its gorgeous forms. That is enough. Living life, getting out of your comfort zone, finding compassion for your surroundings, doing things you thought were beyond your capacity, losing yourself only to find a better you, are all ways of not only pursuing joy, but becoming joy within itself.  

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