Experience Inner Joy Today
Hello readers. I joined Medium with the intention to write about the insights that I have learnt in my 26 years of life thus far and also as a way to share wisdom as it comes to me in my day-to-day life. This is my first post and in it I will introduce a technique I have learnt and been applying over the last few days. It is my aim to explain it clearly so it can be applied by others and to discuss some of the results that can be expected from putting the technique into practice. It is a technique used to feel inner joy in every moment and can be applied by anyone at any time. Here we go…
Choosing your emotional condition
Life can seem to be quite barren at times if we don’t have a source of joy in our lives to provide us with emotional sustenance. One trap that people fall into is to rely upon living conditions to supply them with their source of enjoyment.
Certainly there are things in life which make us feel good, such as: spending time with friends, watching a comedy, successes and accomplishments. But for the times in between there needs to be something that can provide us with a feeling of inner satisfaction and well being, to keep our spirits up and give us emotional stability.
If we rely solely upon our circumstances to uplift us then what happens when the right circumstances are scarce? Also, what is there to lift us up when our circumstances are the complete opposite to those that bring us joy?
What I have found is that we have the ability to choose to feel joy right now, regardless of where we find ourselves in our lives. This means that we have the choice to be happy and feel good in all of our life circumstances. We have the ability to remove ourselves from whatever gloom or misery we find ourselves in and place ourselves surely within a bubble of great and abundant joy.
What does joy feel like?
This might sound like a funny question but let me remind you that for some people their life is very hard at the moment and to them joy is but a distant memory. I find that when times get hard it can seem like there is nothing to bring me any joy. This might be true, but having found that I can bring myself joy I now know that I can find joy at any moment and throughout every day, and that when I do even the hardest times can be made to feel much more palatable.
So what does joy feel like? Here’s a simple exercise that anyone can try which takes no time at all (but can be prolonged for as long as you like):
For this moment, set aside whatever may be on your mind, in order to really give yourself to this task. Close your eyes, if you wish, and get yourself to feel this statement to be true:
I love everything in my life at this moment.
Really feel what it feels like to love everything about your life right now. What I expect you will feel is a kind of welling up of excitement within yourself and also a sense of warmth coming from your chest or perhaps your whole body. That is what joy feels like.
For some of you, I expect there might have been a little bit of hesitancy when you first comprehended what I was asking you to do. Maybe up until this point you haven’t felt that you love everything about your life. However, trust me that you can experience what it is like if you would just give yourself the chance to put yourself into that mode of appreciation. And what a feeling you receive by doing so!
Isn’t that cool? I find that this exercise is actually a very complete way to feel abundant joy right now. It is somewhat all-encompassing in terms of where your love and affection is directed towards and by practising it in a way where you extend your appreciation towards all facets of your life you can bring about a great change in how you feel emotionally.
Developing your own Inner Smile
Now that you know first hand what joy feels like let me tell you about a technique that you can use to bring joy to every aspect of your mind and all aspects of your life and work. You can use it to carry joy with you wherever you go and take conscious control of how you feel in even the most testing circumstances.
Let’s go back to the exercise we were just talking about. When you are feeling like you love everything in your life, doesn’t it feel like you are sitting there smiling inwardly to all of the things that come to mind when you think of “your life”? You think of “my body” and then you feel how much you love it and in your mind you smile at it. I call this your Inner Smile and I would like to introduce it to you as a skill that you might not have known you had.
“Ok, so I have a skill called my Inner Smile” you say, “but what do I use it for?” Well, lets start by taking a look at your mind and see if there’s anything that we can bring joy to. Are there things that you think about that cause you worry?
Maybe you have an assignment due and you haven’t been working on it and the thought of it brings with it a sense of dread. Try this: simply sit, look at the thought and extend an Inner Smile towards it and towards everything about it that comes to mind as well. Use this technique to bring a feeling of inner joy to your mind and body to replace the way you felt about the thought beforehand.
Maybe you feel worry within yourself about something that you can’t even identify. Decide however to feel joy instead and smile inwardly towards the feeling that is there, making way for joy to come in to replace it.
Do you usually feel anxious in certain situations? Maybe simply going to the store to buy milk and being around people can cause you to feel nervous and uneasy. Try this: start by generating a sense of joy within yourself before you make the trip. Start smiling inwardly and outwardly towards everything that you can think of until you feel the joy welling up inside you. If something comes to your mind that you can tell would usually make you feel anxious, smile at it lovingly with the knowledge that you are choosing the way you feel; that you are now choosing to feel joy above all else. Keep it going and keep smiling from this point on. Then make your trip. Carry with you your own inner joy and extend a smile to anything you encounter along the way.
The power of joy
By filling yourself with a sense of joy you will notice that it brings with it an inner strength that is not there without it. By smiling towards the thoughts that would usually get you down and defiantly remaining joyful in their presence you provide yourself with a sturdy foothold on which to stand which enables you to be more effective in all of your activities and best of all allows you to have more fun without unnecessary restriction.
If you have anxiety or nervousness in any area of your life, bring joy to that area and notice the effects it has. Do you sing, dance or play a sport? Do so with joy and notice how much more strength and unerring confidence you have when you do this. Joy facilitates enthusiasm and helps you to express yourself without doubt or restriction.
By practising this skill you will notice that you are able to push through areas of your life that you were struggling in and with new found enthusiasm you will find that you are able to do those things you wished you were doing if it weren’t for the feeling of being bogged down by the negative emotions that were causing stagnation.
To finish: I would like to encourage you to start applying the skill of bringing joy to all areas of your life and to carry it with you each day. I would love to hear about your results in the comments and I know that it would be helpful to others to read them as well. Also, I thought I would share with you a verse from the Bible in order to encourage you further. It is from the book of James 1:2–4:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Thank you for your attention, I look forward to hearing your response.