The Happiness Project: 5 Ways to Feel Joy Now

3 years ago

Sometimes I think we sabotage our own happiness. Maybe we sabotage in bits and pieces every day. We know better, right? Maybe we don’t.

Maybe we call our personal sabotage by different names. Maybe we consider it the ‘right thing to do’ because we think that if we do feel joy, we might be SELFISH … or we are just SO USED TO doing things a certain way that we are too afraid of the alternative, or, most likely … we think we don’t DESERVE the happiness that is waiting for us.

Because if we DID grab the happiness out of the waiting envelope that keeps trying to deliver itself to us, we just might be …

Too self-indulgent? Not sacrificial? No longer a victim? Forced to smile? Seen as carefree?


This is laughable as I write it, but based on my work and personal experience, I think it’s right on target. Somewhere deep down, most of us are taught to think that we are better, less-selfish, more ‘Christian-like,’ if we live life on the side of being sacrificial to our own happiness

We are given messages that if we let go and are truly present to joy, letting go of our worries for the moment, opening up our hearts to a flood of happiness, then we are living life just a bit too haphazardly because, well, we just should not be that happy.

We should be worrying about SOMETHING, right?

What if you changed that today and decided that you weren’t going to buy into the theory that you were a 'better person' if you were worrying, sacrificing and working your joy away?

What if you flipped your spirit on its side, looked at the Divine’s will for your life from a totally different view and decided to buy into the theory that perhaps you were meant to experience JOY more fully?

Fact of the matter is, yes, all of those stressors, worries about the future and sacrificial acts will be there waiting for you when you get back. But what if, by experiencing pure joy in your day, all of those other stressors seemed to feel a bit lighter?

What if, by placing colorful joy into your life by respecting your spirit with the treat of something wonderful – this lessened the severity of the hassles in your day and brought a lightness into your life that has not been there since you were young? What if, in bigger bits and pieces … you felt HAPPY.?TRULY CONTENT? NOT WORRIED?

If this makes your sacrificial skin prickle, then please jump into this experiment with both feet - YOU NEED IT.

The ultimate pay-off is that not only will YOU feel happier, but those around you will feel happier.

Think about it ...

What if your children … your spouse … your coworkers … your friends … all saw you smiling more and speaking happiness over those things that really WERE GOOD in your life?

What if you didn’t COMPLAIN as much? What if you smiled more? What would happen to your world? What would happen to your relationships?

What would happen to the way that others experienced YOU? What would happen to the way that YOU experienced YOU?

Do this experiment with me. I promise, your spirit will flow where your mouth, your mood and your moments decide to take it.



1) In your next conversation use the words HAPPY, JOY and SMILE each ONCE … in different sentences.

2) Put on your favorite 'uniquely you' stand-out item – whether it be a crazy shirt, bright dress, piece of jewelry, hat, or shoes. When you get complimented on it, smile broadly, declaring, “Thank you! I decided to wear it because it just makes me HAPPY.” Then watch that person smile back.

3) Make a pit-stop to a place where children play (park, playground, yard) and watch their natural, uninhibited joy. Then join them for a moment in innocent contentment and do something you see them do, remembering your own youth ... skip, twirl, make a funny face, swing, hula-hoop ... and watch them smile back.

4) Tell one person out of the blue that you are so grateful he/she are in your life – and then ask if you can find something to laugh at together TODAY. Find it. Find them. Laugh. Hug. And watch them laugh back.

5) Look one person in the eye when you feel a smile coming on and HOLD that SMILE for longer, feeling it more deeply, letting the joy settle in past your mouth, into your heart. Look away, allow contentment to tickle your spirit … giggle, and look back at that person with a “whoops, I smiled A LOT” kind of silly grin … and see if you have passed your smile along. (I bet you have.)

Let me know if our experiment works.

The wonderful thing about allowing joy to enter is that is is CONTAGIOUS – not only to those around you … but right back to you as well. Bless yourself, bless others, and bless yourself again. JOY is a gift that was meant to be yours.


Dr. Karin

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from health

Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | in 3 hours
Health & Wellness
by Oset Babur | 2 hours ago
Health & Wellness
by Katie Smith | 20 hours ago
Health & Wellness
by Elizabeth Yuko | 21 hours ago
Health & Wellness
by HelloFlo | a day ago
Health & Wellness
by Jackie Warner | a day ago
Health & Wellness
by Claire Gillespie | a day ago
Health & Wellness
by Monica Beyer | 2 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Ashley Jankowski | 2 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Kathleen-Mae Ramas | 2 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Rebecca Reagan | 2 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Stephanie Land | 2 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Katie Smith | 3 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Charlotte Andersen | 3 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Alexandra Bruin | 3 days ago
Health & Wellness
by Bradley Jamison | 4 days ago