21 Secrets to Finding Joy in Life

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Let’s face it, joy isn’t always easy to find. Between the daily grind, that looming to-do list, and, well, the world sometimes throwing curveballs, it can feel buried under a mountain of stress. But fear not — finding joy isn’t about some grand gesture or winning the lottery. It’s about the little things, the mindset shifts, and the habits you cultivate that sprinkle sunshine into your everyday life. With that in mind, here are 21 secrets to finding joy in life.

Jumping for joy.
Jumping for joy. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

Ready to ditch the joy-finding struggle bus? Buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the secrets that will have you skipping to the beat of your own happiness drum.

1. Be a Gratitude Guru

This one’s a classic, but for good reason. Take a moment each day, whether it’s jotting down three things you’re thankful for in a notebook or simply taking a mental pause to appreciate the good stuff. That delicious cup of coffee? A roof over your head? Boom, instant gratitude points.

2. Embrace the Present Moment

We all get caught up in the past or future worries, but guess what? That steals the joy from right now. Mindfulness is your superpower here. Take a few deep breaths, notice the sights and sounds around you, and truly be present in this very moment. It’s a practice, but trust me, those little present-moment joys add up.

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3. Ditch the Comparison Trap

Social media can be a joy-sucker disguised as a fun feed. Seeing everyone else’s seemingly perfect lives can make you feel like yours is lacking. But remember, comparison is the thief of joy. Focus on your own journey, celebrate your wins (big or small), and remember that everyone has their own behind-the-scenes struggles.

4. Find Your Happy Place

We all need a space that makes our souls happy and comfortable. Maybe it’s a cozy corner with a good book, a park bench with a view, or simply your favorite chair with a steaming mug of tea. Find that spot, carve out some time for it, and let your worries melt away.

5. Move Your Body, Feel the Joy

Exercise isn’t just about physical health — it’s a happiness booster too. Go for a walk, bust a move to your favorite tunes, or try a new fitness class. Getting your heart pumping releases endorphins, those feel-good chemicals that make you want to shout “hooray for life.”

6. Unleash Your Inner Child

Remember how much fun you used to have just… playing? Reconnect with that playful spirit.  Coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore. Build a blanket fort, have a dance party in your living room, or try a silly new recipe. Laughter is the best medicine, after all.

A joyful person in a field of tall grass under a clear blue sky.
A joyful person in a field of tall grass under a clear blue sky. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

7. Nature is Your Therapy

There’s a reason people rave about the power of nature. Take a walk in the park, hike through the woods, or simply sit in your backyard and soak up the sunshine. Being in nature has a calming effect and can seriously boost your mood.

8. Connect with Your Tribe

Humans are social creatures, and strong relationships are essential for happiness. Spend time with loved ones who make you laugh, support you, and bring out the best in you. Feeling connected and loved is a powerful source of joy.

9. Do Something Kind (Even the Small Stuff Counts)

Helping others is a guaranteed way to spread happiness, and guess what? It makes you feel good too.  Volunteer your time, donate to a cause you care about, or simply offer a helping hand to someone in need.

10. Learn Something New

Keep your mind curious and engaged. Take a class, learn a new skill, or read a book on a topic that piques your interest. The feeling of accomplishment and the joy of expanding your knowledge is a beautiful thing.

11. Celebrate Your Wins (Big or Small)

Don’t wait for some monumental achievement to pat yourself on the back. Acknowledge your progress, no matter how small. Finished a project? Aced a presentation? Did you make it through the day without hitting snooze ten times? Celebrate those wins.

12. Embrace the Power of “No”

You are not a human doing machine. It’s okay to say no to extra commitments when your plate is already full. Setting boundaries and prioritizing self-care is essential for preventing burnout and keeping your joy tank topped up.

13. Forgive Yourself (and Others)

Holding onto grudges is like carrying a heavy backpack — it weighs you down and steals your joy. Forgiveness isn’t always easy, but it’s a gift you give yourself. It doesn’t mean condoning someone’s actions, but rather letting go of the anger and resentment that holds you back. The same goes for forgiving yourself. We all make mistakes, but dwelling on them only creates misery. Forgive yourself, learn from the experience, and move forward with a lighter heart.

A group of friends enjoying an outdoor picnic.
A group of friends enjoying an outdoor picnic. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

14. Make Time for Fun (Because You Deserve It)

Schedule fun into your life, just like you would an important appointment. Make plans with friends, go see a movie, or explore that new restaurant you’ve been eyeing. Fun isn’t frivolous, it’s essential for recharging your happiness batteries.

15. Savor the Simple Things

Don’t let life rush by in a blur. Take a moment to truly appreciate the small stuff. The warmth of the sun on your face, the taste of your favorite food, the sound of loved ones laughing. These simple pleasures are often the true gems of joy.

16. Embrace Imperfections

Striving for perfection is a recipe for disappointment. Learn to love yourself, quirks and all. Imperfections are what make you, you. Celebrate your uniqueness and let go of the pressure to be perfect.

17. Find Your Creative Outlet

Whether it’s painting, writing, playing music, or even baking a delicious cake, let your creativity flow. Expressing yourself through art is a powerful way to boost your mood and tap into a deeper sense of joy.

18. Get Enough Sleep

Feeling sleep-deprived is a surefire way to zap your happiness. Prioritize a good night’s sleep by establishing a regular sleep schedule, creating a relaxing bedtime routine, and making sure your bedroom is a sleep-conducive haven.

19. Fuel Your Body Right

What you eat affects how you feel. Nourish your body with healthy, delicious foods that give you energy and make you feel good. Don’t deprive yourself, but find a balance that keeps you feeling happy and healthy.

Embracing body positivity.
Embracing body positivity. Photo credit: Depositphotos.

20. Practice Gratitude for Your Body

Our bodies are amazing things. They allow us to experience the world, move, and connect with others. Instead of focusing on perceived flaws, appreciate your body for all it does. Practice body positivity and celebrate your unique strength and beauty.

21. Let Go of What You Can’t Control

Life throws curveballs. There will be things that are completely out of your control. Instead of stressing about them, focus on what you can control – your thoughts, your actions, and your response to situations. Learn to let go and accept things as they are.

Final Words

There you have it — 21 little nuggets of joy to keep in your back pocket. Remember, finding joy is a personal adventure. These tips are just a starting point. Experiment, find what works for you, and don’t be afraid to get a little silly along the way. The most important thing is to embrace the journey. Because guess what? A life sprinkled with joy is a pretty darn good life to be living. Now, get out there and spread some happiness; the world needs your unique brand of sunshine.

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21 Secrets to Finding Joy in Life.
21 Secrets to Finding Joy in Life.

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About the author
Zuzana Paar
Zuzana is the creative force driving this sustainable living journey and share practical tips and experiences that make sustainable choices accessible for everyone. Join her in embracing a lifestyle that's good for both us and the planet.

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