Design A Space Of Your Own To Bring More Joy To Your Life
What brings you joy? For me, joy is something deeper than happiness. I can be happy at different moments, under various circumstances, in a limited timeframe. A wonderful meal out makes me happy. Birthdays make me happy. A new outfit can make me happy. But none of those things bring lasting joy.
Joy is something deeper. Inner contentment and an inner peace coupled with emotions bursting at the seams. And it lasts. Joy can’t be bought. It’s appreciating the positive things, no matter how hard they may be to see sometimes. My joy comes from knowing I have love, friends, family, a home, and a peaceful spot to collect my thoughts while enjoying the perfect cup of coffee. Joy is feeling pure contentment with all my senses, all at once.
Finding joy oftentimes means letting go. Letting go of people, relationships, a soul-crushing job, a time-sucking habit, unused items, or a long-held belief. Most of us can recognize the negatives in our lives, but because of how our brains are wired, we continue living the same life, in the same way, wishing for the magical moment things will change, not realizing that WE are the only ones who can choose to bring joy into our lives. The biggest question is HOW? From the outside looking in things are obvious. Just think about how often you can give others advice to make their lives better. When there’s no skin in the game, living as an armchair quarterback is easy. So if helping others (we see it as help, anyway) is so simple, why can’t we take our own advice and let go of the things that bring us down?
As simple as it may sound, clearing your mind to make room for peace and joy may begin with clearing your physical space. Allowing for joy is a choice. But joy needs space available. And if you’re stressed, agitated, angry, or apathetic there is no room to relax and just be happy. It feels so good to have a space to feel safe in. A clean, organized, and clutter-free space may be the first step to finding your joy. Opening up your physical space opens up your mind. Opening up your mind will allow the room needed for better thoughts, better hopes, better dreams. And those better dreams can grow wings and take you to amazing places. It’s one small thing followed by another, and another, and another until an entirely new life has emerged. One positive thought built on others will compound and grow exponentially.
Can organizing a pantry, donating old clothes, or weeding your garden really bring the Zen you’re looking for? If you believe your outside world is a reflection of what’s inside you, then the answer is yes.
Multi tasking is a catch phrase that should be outlawed. No one can possibly do several things all at once and do all those things well. When we focus on one thing at a time, giving it all our energy, the results are far superior. Stop trying to do it all. Choose one thing. Give it your best. See it through. Then give yourself a moment to enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. You may even experience a twinkling of joy.
The importance of having your own space
Finding a special spot to meditate, exercise, or simply just to relax is key to our mental health. Every parent can relate to how amazing a few quiet moments in a bathroom can be. We’re saturated with stress, social media, negative news reports, responsibilities, financial worries, and underlying anxiety that we’ve accepted as “normal”. Giving yourself time as often as possible to step away from the craziness of life is as important as air or water. Most of us are stressed most of the time. Allowing ourselves a moment of serenity to step away from the day-to-day issues can bring clarity and peace.
What does a personal spot look like to you? What hobby or interest can you dive into and lose track of time? Where can you go, what can you do, who can you be with to bring joy back into your life? Start with a commitment to yourself for a half-hour a day and find a place where there are no interruptions (get your family on board with this, it’s important), and do something you love. Giving time to yourself will make you a better person and will fill your cup to give to others.
There should be a place in your home to call your own. A place to reflect, a spot to create, or a corner to be alone. Designing a place for YOU is do-able and making the time needs to be a priority., Giving yourself permission is the first step. As women (that’s all I can relate to from a personal perspective) we tend to give our time, our energy, and ourselves to others faster than we can recharge our personal resources. We drain ourselves each day to keep up with the needs and wishes of those around us. That includes the energy it takes to put on a persona that keeps others comfortable and happy. Designing your life and still making time for yourself can be a challenge. Give yourself a special place and make the time to use it.
FIND YOUR JOY
Designing a special room, area of the yard, or spot to exercise or read is a rewarding project. Do it for yourself, because you are worth it!
What brings you joy? Is there a hobby you love? Have you always wanted to read more, learn to meditate, plant an herb garden, or write the world’s greatest piece of literature? Find a place to do it. Make it yours. Add colors, textures, and art that make you smile.
- Convert a closet into a special nook. (Start with clearing out that closet)
- Find multipurpose furniture – a secretary desk that closes up when not in use can double as an entry piece
- Add a bench to your backyard and surround it with flowers
- Clean out the spare room, paint and make it ANYTHING you want (add a daybed and it’s back to a guest room whenever it’s needed)
- Build bookcases and add a comfortable chair for your own personal library
- Clear out space in the garage, add a mirror, and a simple piece of work out equipment or space enough for a yoga mat and you have your own gym
- Put candles and fresh flowers in your bathroom for a relaxing spa-like feel. White towels will complete the look. Use bleach….white IS doable
- A small planter box or half wine barrel can be your fresh herb or cut flower garden
- Getting up earlier (tough, I know) will give you quiet time to yourself. Make some coffee and watch the sunrise
- A chaise lounge near a window is the ultimate indulgence
- Build a she-shed (whoever came up with this idea, I’d like to kiss them!)
- Create a coffee/drink bar with upcycled furniture and cute signage
- Buy an easel and a dropcloth and paint outside, in the garage, or in the bedroom
- Add a water fountain to your yard and place a bench nearby to take in the tranquil sounds
- Any room where you can close the door for half an hour or more can be your place to recharge. FYI -Taking a nap counts as “doing something”
Finding joy starts with eliminating or reducing the things (or people) in your life that have taken up unwelcomed space in your world. By choosing to remove something that makes you unhappy, you now have the opportunity to fill it with something else even better. Go through boxes, closets, or storage units and donate things you no longer need. Those things that once brought you happiness can be used by someone else, instead of collecting dust, unused and unloved. Everything in life is temporary and enjoying it when it’s there to enjoy, but also knowing when to let go, will allow for an abundant flow in and out of your life that will fill you with new experiences and more joy. Joy is the ultimate life goal we’re all striving for. Find what brings you joy, allow yourself the experience, and you’ll end up being the person we can look up to, strive for, and want to become.
A journal is a small, safe place to store your thoughts and dream without judgment. Writing in a journal can have a significant impact on your mental health and well-being.
- Fully express your inner self
- Boost your mood
- Get out of your head and put your thoughts on paper
When you want an escape, open your journal and express your gratitude for the positive things in your life. You’ll find that peace and joy aren’t too far behind.
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