3 Strategies to bring more joy into your life

We have two ways of relating towards people, things, and experiences; avoiding or approaching. Okay, maybe there’s a neutral response as well where we don’t care one way or the other, but I think majority of our relationships towards this world falls into either the approaching or avoiding.

Approaching is when you move closer, seek out, embrace, or literally approach. It takes a sense of safety, and courage, and confidence. Approaching behaviors, come from and promote a sense that there’s good in the world.

Avoiding is when you move away from, procrastinate, fear, hide from or literally avoid. Avoiding behaviors come from a sense of fear, dread, anxiety, or discomfort. They come from and promote a sense that there’s danger or unhappiness in this world.

Unfortunately, we are evolutionally hardwired for avoidance because keeping you safe was more important for your survival than making you happy. Thus, our brains will take note of potential danger and avoid much stronger than it will take note of potential joy and approach. If we want to promote peace, comfort, and joy, we have to make a conscious effort to approach. Promote approaching behaviors using the tips below:

  1. Start small: Approaching small/simple things first, will help your brain to rewire for confidence rather than fear. You want to have wins in the beginning so don’t approach something you’re scared of, or something too big in the beginning. Set yourself up by starting with simple things. It might be just about trying a new coffee shop, going to the movies by yourself, or taking on an easy DIY project.

  2. Making a point to approach on a daily basis: Plan new things to try, attend that yoga class, introduce yourself to someone new, or take the initiative to make that change in your life. Make approaching behaviors a regular intention and you are likely to help your brain rewire for approaching rather than avoiding. Practice makes perfect.

  3. Change avoiding behaviors into approaching behaviors: The stories we tell ourselves about the behaviors can be just as important as the behaviors themselves. See if you can reframe avoiding behaviors into approaching behaviors. For example, if you go home after a rough day and put your pj’s on to avoid the world, this is an avoiding behavior. If you can reframe the meaning of putting your pj’s on to represent your intention to cultivate a sense of comfort for yourself, or coziness, this becomes an approaching behavior. Reframing or re-telling yourself the story of why you do what you do can help to rewire your brain. Same action, different story, different outcome in our brains. That’s pretty cool.

Hope these tips help you to bring more of a sense of joy and security in your everyday life.