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Our Human instinct is to focus on the fears and anxieties in life and overlook the positive things around us. This is not our fault because sometimes we grow up with people who think this way.
The key to having a more joyous life is the realization that we have a choice between “focusing on the good” or “feeding our anxieties.”
Regardless of whatever is happening in our lives, we still have the choice to stay positive or worry about our problems. Obviously, all this is much easier said than done but believe me when I say that it is possible to choose joy intentionally and live a happier, healthier life.
Choosing joy wasn’t easy for me in the beginning, but studying the Bible and trusting the Holy Spirit helped me tremendously improve my overall well-being. Today, I’m going to share 8 intentional ways to choose joy daily.
What Does the Bible Say About Joy?
Paul explains that these attributes come to fruition in Christians who have submitted themselves before the Lord. Joy is also a fruit of the Spirit that stems from knowing that the will of God will prevail and He will be with us no matter what.
To grow this fruit of the Spirit, we must grow in our walk with the Lord through daily prayer, studying the Bible, and by living a life according to His will. As true children of God, we must surrender our lives to Him, and develop a close relationship with Him.
Note that the Bible does not promise a life free of trials and temptations. In fact, Scripture reminds us that we will have trouble in this world (John 16:33). But even during hardships, we need to trust God and pray without ceasing.
In Romans 12:12, Paul teaches us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.
Solomon points out that a joyful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22). Happiness is like a virus; it is highly contagious. Some people radiate so much joy wherever they go.
Such people spread happiness and instantly light up our moods. To get a positive outlook on life, we need to make a conscious effort to manifest joy in our lives.
Peter explains that those who are confident in Christ obtain salvation and are filled with glorious joy (1 Peter 1:8-9). Our Father is the all-knowing, all-powerful God who has a plan for each and every one of us. Submit your worries before Him and choose joy today.
What Does it Mean to Choose Joy?
Choosing joy means consciously putting an effort to find joy in the simple things by making joy the default state of our minds. Choosing joy means focusing on the good and letting go of the things that are not in our control.
Choosing joy means pursuing happiness even when things don’t go as planned. Choosing joy means forgiving others and forgiving ourselves.
Choosing joy is a habit, which when practiced regularly can transform our lives from a state of confusion and misery into one of happiness and joy.
How to Choose Joy Daily
To choose joy daily, we have to create a lifestyle that cultivates joy and positivity. Below are 8 practical ways to choose joy daily.
1. Know That Joy is a Choice
To consciously choose joy, it is important to understand that joy is a choice. As humans, we have the ability to change our mindsets and control our minds. We can do this by renewing our minds and taking our thoughts captive.
We often forget that we are responsible for our own joy. Most of us know that spending time with God, the people we love, and ourselves can instantly elevate our moods, but how many of us remember to do this on a daily basis?
Joy depends on how we perceive the problems in our lives. We can either feed our fears or view these problems as an opportunity to grow. No one is responsible for our joy, except ourselves. So it is important to remember our identity in Christ and that we have the power to feel however we want because joy is a choice.
2. Give Thanks to the Lord
Gratitude is strongly associated with joy. Begin your day with a word of thanks and gratitude. Thank Him for your health, wealth, home, education, and the people in your life. Even during difficult times, thank Him for the positive things in your life.
Most of us forget to thank God for the simple things in life, such as the air we breathe, the bed we sleep in, the food we eat, and the people around us. It is easy to take these things for granted.
This is why gratitude is important. Giving thanks reminds us to count our blessings and thank our Father for everything He has done for us.
The Lord has done great things for us; we should never forget to thank Him for His unfailing love and blessings. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, Paul reminds us to give thanks in all circumstances.
3. Choose a Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle is necessary to lead a joyful life.
Research suggests that exercise significantly improves the quality of life. Physical activity can reduce our stress and anxiety, and increase the production of chemicals associated with happiness, such as endorphins and dopamine.
Just 15 or 30 minutes of exercise a day can boost our overall well-being. This could be dancing, swimming, biking, or any activity that includes movement.
I always feel more confident and less anxious after going for a run. If you want to choose to be joyful, schedule a few minutes of your daily routine for little workouts.
4. Have Quiet Time Daily with God
The goal of quiet time is to have one-on-one conversations and grow in our relationship with God. Quiet time is important for staying connected with God.
As for me, having quiet time in the mornings allows me to prepare for the day and cast my cares on Him. If mornings are hectic for you, pick any time that works for you. Consistency is all that matters!
5. Focus on the Good
Focusing on the good when life is hard is not easy. It is essential to focus on God’s blessings to live a joyful life.
Paul the Apostle advises us to think about things that please God in Philippians 4:8:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
To make focusing on the good easier, surround yourself with positive people, who support and encourage your dreams. Practice gratitude and refrain from comparing yourself to others.
Life is full of ups and downs, but there is always something good every day! Choose joy by highlighting the good things that happen every day.
6. Be a Blessing to Others
The joy of sharing is underrated. If you have lent a shoulder to lean on, helped someone in need, or done any random act of kindness, you know how good it feels.
To choose joy every day, you can bless others by helping someone cross the road, calling someone you miss, or forgiving someone who hurt you.
Staying connected with the people you love is easier than ever with advancements in technology. Physical distance is no more a barrier to social interaction.
When spending time with others, live in the moment, acknowledge their emotions, and accept them as they are. Dedicating time to blessing others will help you live a more joyful life.
7. Worship God
Worshiping and singing to God undoubtedly brings joy to our lives. The verse Psalm 98:1 never fails to lighten up my mood:
“Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.”
Several studies point out that music is a powerful stimulus that releases happy chemicals in our bodies. Music sparks joy and relaxes our souls. To cultivate joy in life, praise the Lord whenever you can. Move around and praise Him during the morning commute or while doing your daily chores.
8. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to remind ourselves of the good things in life. It is a powerful activity that helps us pay attention to the things we take for granted.
A gratitude journal not only helps us draw closer to God, but also elevates our moods, and improves our self-esteem, mental health, and emotional well-being.
Make it a habit to write down three things you are grateful for every day. This list could include materials, people, places, memories, experiences, achievements, or past victories with God. You can even do this right in your Bible if you like Bible Journaling.
Choose Joy Quotes
Here are some of my favorite quotes about choosing joy.
“The root of joy is gratefulness.” ―David Steindl-Rast
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” ―Henri Nouwen
“You will find joy in overcoming obstacles.” ―Helen Keller
“A joyful heart is the normal result of a heart burning with love.” ―Mother Teresa
“The Word of God is the source of man’s strength, wisdom, and joy.” ―Janet Fuller
“It is not joy that makes us grateful. It is gratitude that makes us joyful.” ―Anonymous
“Find joy in the ordinary.” ―Max Lucado
“The Lord gives his people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to him.” ―Dwight L. Moody
“No one can get Joy by merely asking for it. It is one of the ripest fruits of the Christian life, and, like all fruits, must be grown.” ―Henry Drummond
“Find joy in everything you choose to do. Every job, relationship, home. It’s your responsibility to love it, or change it.” ―Chuck Palahniuk
“Joy and positive thinking are powerful tools for living well.” ―Cyndie Spiegel
“For the Christian, joy in God is available at all times, in any situation.” ―Wayne Davies