It’s so easy to get swept away by life’s challenges and adversities to the point that we start living our lives on autopilot, without truly engaging or even appreciating the moments that bring us happiness. We start to believe that maybe finding joy in life again is just not possible. Especially with all our problems and responsibilities.
This is what I used to believe too. When I was navigating one of the lowest points of my life, every day just seemed to bring a new challenge. Honestly, during that time, my life felt like a never-ending line of problems and with everything that was going on, I thought that finding joy and choosing to be happy was impossible.
I started to believe that my life would only ever go from bad to worse and that maybe I was just doomed to live in a constant state of struggle and unhappiness. But I was certainly wrong to believe that. If you’re currently feeling this way, please know that it is possible to find joy in life again regardless of what you’re going through.
One of the lessons that I’ve learned while I was digging myself out of rock bottom was that finding joy and choosing to be happy is not about ignoring the problems that you are going through or minimizing the pain that you are feeling. It’s about recognizing and accepting these challenges, but also understanding that they don’t define your entire existence.
It’s not about pretending that everything is fine when clearly it isn’t, but rather it is about giving yourself the permission to experience joy alongside hardships. It is about reminding ourselves that joy and sorrow can coexist.
I know that doing this may seem impossible, especially when we already feel so defeated and overwhelmed. That’s why it’s important to remember that finding joy in life again isn’t about making grand changes. We don’t have to push ourselves to find joy in big, life-altering events.
It’s about rediscovering the beauty in the ordinary and learning to find balance and gratitude in our everyday experiences. In this post, I will be sharing with you the steps I took that have helped me find joy in life again, despite all the challenges, disappointments, and setbacks I faced.
I hope that some of these steps will resonate with you and help you find joy and hope amidst the darkest days of your life too.
How To Find Joy In Life Again
1. Learn To Focus On What You Can Control
Are you also guilty of constantly trying to control every little aspect of your life? I certainly am. I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve spent so much time and energy, meticulously organizing every little detail of my life to ensure that everything goes just right.
I’ve always had this belief that as long as I continue to do this, I can avoid any surprises or failures. The idea was that if I could just plan everything perfectly, then life would unfold exactly as I wanted. But of course, that was not the case.
Because the reality is, no matter how much we plan or organize, there are always factors that are beyond our control. Constantly trying to micromanage every little aspect of my life did not guarantee that things would always work out as I planned. It only made life so much more stressful and honestly, it just trapped me in a cycle of constant worry, negativity, and disappointment.
This cycle was just exhausting. It made me miserable and it significantly affected my mental and emotional well-being. I’ve learned that one of the best things that we can do for ourselves to help us find joy in life again is to set ourselves free from the unrealistic expectation of perfect control.
Instead of wasting our time and energy on things that are beyond our control, let us focus our attention on the things that we can truly influence. Doing this doesn’t mean that we are giving up on our goals or that we are refusing to plan for the future.
It just means that we are being wiser about where we put our efforts. We have to remind ourselves that it’s okay to not have everything figured out. We don’t need to have a plan for every single thing. It’s about doing the best we can with what we have and being open to changes and surprises along the way.
2. Take It One Day At A Time
There’s no denying that life can often get so overwhelming. We often find ourselves trapped in all our responsibilities, worries and plans for the future. It can feel like we are carrying this giant load every single day, trying to juggle everything at once. Feeling this immense pressure every day can easily drain our energy, mood, and even our ability to enjoy life.
This is certainly what happened to me. I was so focused on ruminating over every detail of the future and trying to prepare for all possible outcomes that I completely lost sight of the present. I was living in a constant state of anxiety, always worrying about what might happen next.
Living that kind of life was not only exhausting but it was also negatively impacting my happiness and mental health. I was constantly tired, and irritable, and I found no joy in the things I used to love. This ultimately made me realize how crucial it is to take it one day at a time, especially when we are struggling in life.
If you’re also constantly worrying about the future and feeling overwhelmed by the weight of all your responsibilities, please know that it’s okay to step back and allow yourself to focus on the present moment. You don’t have to figure everything out all at once.
I’ve learned that taking one day at a time doesn’t mean that we are ignoring our problems or responsibilities. It is about approaching them in a more manageable and less overwhelming way. It is about understanding that while some things need to be planned for the future, not everything requires immediate action.
It’s about accepting that it’s okay to not have all the answers right now and that some days will be better than others. It’s acknowledging that sometimes, the best we can do is simply get through the day, and that’s more than enough.
3. Focus On Things That Make You Genuinely Happy
One of the most powerful steps in helping us find joy in life again is allowing ourselves to focus on the things that will truly make us happy. I know how easy it is to lose sight of these things.
I did too and if I’m truly being honest sometimes I still do. I get so caught up trying to achieve all my goals and meet all the expectations that I set for myself or that others set for me that I forget about the things that really matter to me and the things that bring me genuine happiness.
When I hit rock bottom, I thought that the best way for me to find joy and be happy again was to completely change and turn my life around for the better. So I focused all my energy on trying to achieve all my goals and taking the necessary steps needed to better my life. I was constantly pushing myself to exhaustion and burnout without realizing that this relentless pursuit was actually making me so stressed and unhappy.
I was trapped in a never-ending cycle of striving for more, without ever stopping to appreciate what I had and the things that truly brought joy into my life. It took a real wake up call for me to realize that happiness and finding joy aren’t only about achieving goals or acquiring things. It’s about balance.
It’s also about spending time with the people who bring us joy and happiness, enjoying simple pleasures, and making time to do things that bring us genuine happiness and nourish our souls. Please give yourself permission to slow down and savor these moments. Allow yourself to take a break and make time for the things and people that bring you true happiness without feeling guilty.
Please know that it’s okay to not always be busy and productive. In these quieter moments that we allow ourselves, we often find the most joy and happiness.
4. Practice Self Compassion
Are you also guilty of being your harshest critic? How many times have you constantly beat yourself up even for the smallest mistakes? I’m certainly guilty of this habit. For the longest time, I have always been my worst critic.
I’ve always had this notion that doing this would push me to work harder and would prevent me from making any mistakes. I did not realize that by constantly criticizing myself, I was actually doing more harm than good. I was slowly destroying my self esteem and confidence. It made me start questioning my abilities to the point that I started believing that maybe I didn’t have what it takes to achieve my goals.
It only created a negative mindset where I was always focusing on my flaws and failures, instead of actually recognizing my strengths and success. It only made me so unhappy and miserable to the extent that it started affecting every aspect of my life. If you’re also guilty of being your harshest critic, please know that you deserve to give yourself the same amount of love, understanding, and kindness that you so freely give to your loved ones.
Offering yourself compassion and learning how to stop beating yourself up, is not about being self-indulgent. It doesn’t mean that we are lowering our standards and settling for mediocrity. It is simply about acknowledging our efforts and progress, even if they’re not perfect.
It is about understanding that failure and mistakes are all part of life. Instead of harshly judging ourselves for not meeting certain expectations, we can learn from these experiences and use them to grow. Please know that you are worthy and deserving of kindness, regardless of your successes and failures.
Finding joy in life again is not only about making time for the things that make us happy. It’s also about learning to practice self compassion and embracing ourselves as we are. This means giving ourselves the grace to be human, to have flaws, to feel emotions, and to sometimes falter.
It’s about offering ourselves encouragement and support instead of criticism. So, next time you find yourself being overly critical, take a step back and please don’t hesitate to offer yourself the same kindness and understanding you would offer to someone you care about. You deserve it!
Start loving yourself more by taking this 30 day self love challenge.
5. Set Small And Achievable Goals
When I was digging myself out of rock bottom, I wanted to turn my life around as quickly as possible. So, I pushed myself to set all these ambitious goals, create very strict schedules and to stick with them no matter what. I thought that if I just continued to push myself to work really hard all the time, then things would get better faster.
But over time I realized that pushing too hard wasn’t the answer. It just made me more tired, so overwhelmed, and stressed out. It only made me feel this immense pressure and the constant sense of urgency left me no time for things that truly mattered. By relentlessly pushing myself to take all these big steps and make these huge improvements, I had neglected the people who truly mattered to me and the small joys that made life worth living.
I learned that it’s not about how fast I move, but rather how steady I go. Going at full speed all the time wasn’t sustainable and didn’t actually help me to make real, lasting changes. It’s important to remember that there is nothing wrong with taking small steps and setting realistic and achievable goals.
Doing this doesn’t mean that we are not aiming high or that we are giving up on our big dreams. It just means we are giving ourselves the best chance to reach those dreams without getting worn out. By taking smaller steps, we can make sure we’re heading in the right direction and can adjust our path as we go along.
I’ve also realized that giving ourselves permission to take small steps and to slow down every now and then actually helps us learn and grow along the way. We can handle problems better when we’re not rushing all the time. We can take the time to really understand what works for us and what doesn’t.
And with each step, we get a little closer to where we want to be, and that’s what really matters. We have to remind ourselves that it’s okay to not have everything figured out all at once. It’s okay to start small, take breaks, and appreciate how far you’ve come.
- How to be Happy – 30 Day Happiness Challenge
- 10 Small Ways To Make Your Life Better
- How To Live A Simple Life And Be Happy: 12 Powerful Tips
6. Embrace Vulnerability
To be honest with you, it was difficult for me to admit to myself at first that learning how to find joy in life again, does not only involve chasing after happiness or filling my days with activities that give me joy. It also requires embracing vulnerability.
Vulnerability was never my strong suit. I have always chosen to run away from what I was feeling, to bottle them up, and just keep on pretending that everything was okay. I thought that this was the best thing to do. I believed that if I just continued to bottle them up, eventually they would all just go away.
I thought that if I just kept on pretending that everything was okay then sooner or later I would actually be okay. But of course that wasn’t true. Those bottled-up feelings didn’t go away, they just became heavier and they just kept me from finding joy and from actually being happy.
The reality is that regardless of how hard we try to run away from our emotions or how long we keep them bottled up, ignoring them doesn’t make them disappear. It only gives them more power over us. The only way for us to truly heal and move forward is if we allow ourselves to acknowledge all our emotions and face them head-on.
I’ve learned that choosing to feel and be vulnerable doesn’t keep us from being happy and from finding joy, it actually opens the door to genuine happiness. Embracing our emotions and allowing ourselves to feel deeply does not make us weak. I actually believe that vulnerability is a sign of great strength.
Being vulnerable helps us grow and to become stronger. Every time we face our fears and emotions, we gain a little more strength and understanding. We learn more about who we are, what we need, and what we value.
If you’re also struggling with this, please know that it’s perfectly okay to be human, to feel deeply, and to let those feelings show. I’ve learned that it’s actually in this authenticity that we find our true path to joy and lasting happiness.
Here’s a post that’ll help you learn how to embrace vulnerability from Psychology Today.
7. Make Self Care A Priority
I certainly know how easy it is to take self care for granted, especially when life feels overwhelming or when life gets hard. It’s easy to make time for it when everything in our life is going smoothly but when our life is falling apart, making time for self care is practically the last thing on our minds.
This is also what I felt. This year I went through some big and overwhelming changes in my life, I was so caught up in dealing with these changes and trying to keep everything together that I completely neglected my own well-being. I thought that I didn’t have the time for self-care, and that there were more important things to focus on. But eventually, I realized that neglecting my own needs was only making everything much more difficult and overwhelming.
Ignoring self-care didn’t make the challenges go away, it only made me less equipped to handle them. I was constantly tired, and stressed, and had no energy left for the things that mattered most to me. This made me realize how crucial self care is and that it is not something that we turn to only when everything else in our lives is in place.
It should be a vital part of our daily lives, especially when we are going through difficult times and stressful days. If you feel guilty about taking time for yourself, please know that self care is not selfish. It is a necessity. Taking care of yourself allows you to recharge, regain your strength, and approach life’s challenges and adversities with a clear mindset.
I know that when we have so much on our plate, making time for ourselves practically feels impossible. We have to keep reminding ourselves that self care doesn’t have to be time-consuming nor does it have to be expensive. It can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths and focusing all our attention on our breathing.
Please know that just like anyone else, you have needs that deserve to be met and taking care of yourself is not a luxury, but a necessity. Your well-being is important, and it impacts not only your own life but also the lives of those around you. So please don’t hesitate to make time for yourself and take care of your needs.
8. Focus On Small Pleasures
It’s easy to take small pleasures and joys for granted. We often get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, chasing big goals and dealing with challenges, that we overlook the little things that can bring happiness. I’m certainly guilty of this.
When I was navigating one of the lowest points of my life, I thought that for me to be happy and to find joy, I had to make big changes or achieve monumental goals. I had this notion that happiness and joy were something grand, something I had to strive hard to reach.
While there’s no denying that achieving those monumental goals brought me joy and happiness, it was a fleeting kind of joy. It came and went quickly, leaving me searching for the next big goal that I needed to achieve.
I failed to realize that it was actually in the small, everyday moments that I found unexpected joy, warmth, and comfort. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves that joy is not only found in the extraordinary but also in the ordinary. It’s in the quiet moments, the simple pleasures that we often overlook.
Focusing on small pleasure allow us to live in the moment and to appreciate the here and the now. It gives us the chance to slow down, to live every moment of our lives, and to appreciate the little things.
One of the things that really helped me focus on small pleasures is by keeping a gratitude journal. Each day, I would take a few minutes to write down the things I was grateful for, no matter how small. This practice shifted my focus from what I lacked to what I already had. It helped me become more aware of the small blessings that I usually take for granted.
This practice became my constant reminder that regardless of what I was going through, there were still so many things to be grateful for. This helped me remain hopeful and to keep going even during tough times. The practice made me realize that joy and gratitude can coexist with challenges and struggles. It taught me that even on difficult days, there are still glimmers of positivity and reasons to smile.
9. Make Kindness Your Superpower
In a world that can sometimes feel overwhelmingly negative, making kindness our superpower not only uplifts others but also nourishes our soul and help us find joy in life again.
Embracing kindness is about recognizing that everyone is fighting their own battles. It involves understanding and patience, especially in situations where it’s easier to react with frustration and anger. When I was going through one of the most difficult moments of my life, the small acts of kindness that were offered to me by other people and even strangers were like lifelines.
It gave me the strength that I needed to face life’s adversities and the hope that I was desperately looking for to help me keep trying. It reminded me that even on the most difficult days, there is still goodness in this world. Being kind is not only about making all these grand and monumental gestures, often it’s the small, seemingly insignificant gestures that leave the deepest impact.
Practicing kindness has also become a way for me to practice gratitude. Gratitude for the kindness that I’ve received and for the opportunities I have to help others. This gratitude not only helped me become more aware of all the good things in life that we normally take for granted but it also reminded me to find joy in small, everyday moments.
We all know how life can feel so overwhelming and daunting at times, so let’s not hesitate to offer kindness whenever we can. Let’s keep reminding ourselves that we all have the power to make the world a little better, a little brighter, one act of kindness at a time.
10. Cultivate Hope
Cultivating hope is a vital step in helping us find joy in life again. It’s about nurturing a belief in the possibility of a brighter future, even when our current circumstances seem challenging and bleak. Hope gives us the strength to move forward, find joy in the midst of life’s challenges, and embrace the journey with resilience and courage.
I know how easy it is to lose hope. Especially when life keeps hitting us with one problem after another. This is certainly what I felt. It seemed like regardless of how hard I tried to pick myself back up, something else would come along to knock me down again.
Honestly, it felt like each new problem and each new challenge that I faced felt heavier than the last and it started to feel like no matter what I did, I couldn’t make headway. I started to question if my efforts were even worth it. I started to believe that maybe I was not good enough to dig myself out of rock bottom and that maybe my life would only ever go from bad to worse. This made me so hopeless and defeated.
One of the lessons that I’ve learned from navigating that difficult moment of my life is that hope is not about expecting things to get better magically. It’s about holding on even when we feel like letting go. It’s about believing in ourselves, in our ability to endure and to overcome.
One of the things that really helped me cultivate hope during difficult times is focusing on the present moment. I found that when I concentrated on what was happening right now, rather than worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, it became easier to manage my feelings and thoughts.
This practice of mindfulness allowed me to appreciate the small joys and achievements of everyday life, which are easy to overlook when we are overwhelmed. It reminded me that even in tough times, there are moments of peace, joy, and happiness to be found.
Also, having the courage to reach out and ask for help played a significant role in helping me find hope even in my lowest. Opening up to the people that I trusted made me feel less alone in my struggles. It reminded me that regardless of how defeated I felt, there were still people who cared for me. It’s important to remember that it’s okay to not have all the answers.
Everyone needs help from time to time and it’s perfectly okay to lean on others when things get tough.
Learning how to find joy in life again is deeply personal. What works for someone may not work for another and that is completely okay. The important thing is to keep exploring different strategies and activities that resonate with you and your experiences.
Please don’t forget to be patient with yourself, give yourself permission to heal at your own pace, and understand that finding joy again is a process that can involve trial and error. Please remember to celebrate your small victories and progress along the way, and most importantly, be kind and compassionate with yourself.
Your journey to rediscovering joy may have its ups and downs but know that with each step that you choose to take, you are gradually moving towards a happier and meaningful life. You can do this and please don’t forget that I’m always rooting for you!