Shopping with a credit card that has not limit.
A vacation on a tropical island.
Travelling the world spontaneously.
Eating in an expensive restaurant.
All those things can bring joy to our lives.. In fact there’s nothing wrong with having all these and more on your wish list.
But here’s the danger: associating joy with money only is no way to live life. Waiting to have the money to enjoy life robs us of the joy available for free.
Joy can be experienced daily. It can be a way of life. There are simple and free ways to experience joy.
When we cultivate joy, we reap the benefits. We have one life to live and we ought to live it with joy.
What about Joy in the hard times? In the midst of chaos?
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!”Philipians 4:4
Apostle Paul was in jail when he wrote this verse. He was full of joy and he wanted the church in Philippi to also be full of joy. So even in hard times we can choose joy.
Joy is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). So joy can be experienced the more time we spend with the Holy Spirit.
By reading God’s word daily with all the beautiful benefits it has and storing the word in our hearts, we become more joyful.
Our source of joy is ultimately Jesus Christ. And He is always present with us, even in the midst of chaos. The joy of the Lord really is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).
There are other ways we can have joy in our lives. But these are just extras. In the list below I share these extra ways of choosing joy daily.
21 Free and Simple ways to choose joy
1.Pray when you wake up
When you wake up in the morning, let this thought run through your mind: “there was someone on a hospital bed who didn’t wake up this morning or there’s a mom who didn’t make it home last night due to a tragic accident. “
But you are here, alive and well. It doesn’t matter what you’re going through, you have another chance at life. You’re breathing. You will make it.
A prayer of thanksgiving to God for our lives and for His grace is a simple way to choose joy as we start our day. And talking to God in prayer is totally free!
2.Give your spouse and children a hug and a kiss
Tell those you love that you love them. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us-whether we’re rich or poor. Only God knows the number of our days.
So give those you love a hug or a kiss and enjoy them. It’s free. And they’ll have joy too!
3.Watch the sunrise or sunset
When we wake up in the morning, we can watch the sunrise. At night we can watch the sunset. Whichever you prefer. It’s free and will give us so much joy to know that we’re blessed to experience another day.
It also brings us closer to God, the Creator of all things- we can see how awesome He is for creating all things the way He did.
In the midst of chaos and the hardships that come with this life, take a break and have a good laugh. Tickle your kids, watch funny videos or your favourite funny show (with clean jokes of course).
Sometimes disorganized drawers, unfolded laundry or a room full of toys (welcome to my world) can add to the pressures of life.
Take time to get organised. Even if it’s one small corner of your house a day. It will make you feel so accomplished. And that’s a simple and free way to choose joy!
6. Look through old photos
Memories of milestones in our lives will definitely bring us joy. Old photos of your wedding day, the birth of a child, birthday parties or graduation will definitely bring you joy.
It also serves as a great reminder of the many blessings you have in your life. You also realize the faithfulness of God throughout your life, which gives you hope for the future.
7.Smile at yourself in the mirror
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;Psalm 139:14
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.”
You are made in a wonderful and unique way by a perfect God . That should bring so much joy to your hearts, even in the midst of chaos.
Don’t focus on the double chin, the crooked teeth, the freckles, the flabby arms or the bulging waistline. You can still smile at yourself despite all that because the truth of God’s word says you’re fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image.
Smile at yourself in the mirror because God makes no mistakes.
8.Cook your favorite meal
Sometimes we just need to give ourselves a treat. Cook your favorite meal at home. Or bake your favorite cupcakes. And share it with your family. It will bring you joy. If you don’t feel like making anything yourself, go buy it.
The end goal is the same- enjoy eating something you love!
9.Call a loved one
Talking to the people we love- our parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, close friends, siblings or surprising someone we haven’t spoken to in a while is a simple way of choosing joy even in the midst of chaos.
Knowing that we’re not alone in what we’re facing but we’re surrounded by love will make us joyful.
We all have a favourite quote or Bible verse. Something that lights us up. Something that gives us hope.
Even in the midst of chaos, when we share that quote or verse on social media we can inspire ourselve and others. Bringing joy to others will surely bring joy to our hearts as well. It’s simple and it’s free!
11.Listen to your favorite song or podcast
When we listen to music, it definitely brings out those feel good hormones. Joyful praise songs are uplifting and bring glory to God.
Dance alone or with your family. I dance with my 6 year old daughter all the time.
Whether I’m a great dancer or not is definitely up for debate- but I find so much joy from doing that with her. After a long and chaotic day, we just dance and I choose joy.
Listening to an inspirational podcast that will lift up your spirits is also a great idea. There are some great Christian podcasts for women that can inspire and uplift yo.
12.Take a walk, run or do gardening
In fact anything outdoors that you like! It could even be swimming in your pool if the weather permits.
Being outdoors in the fresh air will make you super joyful. Research says the benefits of being outdoors are reduced stress, more creativity, improved focus, helps fight anxiety and boosts our overall immune system.
Now those are good enough reasons to spend time outdoors.
13.Read Psalms on Joy
David was a king, but he was also a worshipper. He wrote the majority of the Psalms. I absolutely love how he was honest with God and was joyful even when life was hard (a boss who wanted to kill him, betrayal and even isolation).
He put His trust in God and that was his source of joy.
A few Psalms on joy are Psalm 16, 18, 20 and the popular Psalm 23!
When you write down all the blessings you have, prayers God has answered, gifts you have- you start to see how much you need to be thankful to God.
Start with 3- write 3 things you are grateful for the day. It will bring you so much joy to know that God is still good, no matter what. A 30 day Gratitude Journal is best for starting out and helping you see results and become consistent in practicing gratitude.
15.Make a vision board
If you’re like me and you have goals and dreams for your life that you want to achieve before you die, write them down. Put together a vision board that you can see daily.
Make plans according to that vision. Looking at that vision daily will simply bring joy to you. It gives you something to look forward to.
Physical activity helps to improve our mood, boosts energy and helps us stay focused. Even just a few minutes of exercise a day will improve our joy levels.
Gym is great but we don’t always need gym to get some exercise in. I sometimes have race challenges with my daughter at home (she always wins of course, sigh) . It’s simple, fun and free and even helps us bond which is a bonus!
Taking care of ourselves is so important. Doing a home manicure or pedicure, having a bubble bath, reading or meditation are all simple ways to choose joy.
18.Wear bright clothing
Wearing bright clothing (or nail polish, lipstick or a hair band) such as pink, yellow, orange and red always does the simple job of uplifting us and making us more joyful.
19.Read through old journals
If like me you kept some journals while you were a teen, take them from those old boxes, dust them off and read through them. Besides getting a good chuckle at some of the things we wrote when we were young, this exercise helps give us perspective.
Some of the things we went through in our teens and we thought it was the end of the world (remember the first heartbreak), we survived and came out totally fine.
Going through old journals helps bring us joy, praise God for his faithfulness and makes our hearts full of gratitude (and makes us laugh of course).
20. Get some rest
When we are not getting enough sleep, we tend to be more frustrated. Sometimes switching off your phone, getting a good nights’ sleep or even just taking a much needed nap can just be what you need to choose joy.
Take 5 minutes to imagine heaven- the place believers will go to when we die. This will be a place we will be with God always, with no tears or sorrow and where the streets are made of gold!
Imagining heaven brings so many things into context. It makes you understand that this life is short and you ought to live it well. Live it with joy.
My Encouragement to you
Experiencing joy in our lives doesn’t need to involve going out somewhere or spending large amounts of money. Even while at home, we can choose joy.
In simple ways, we can choose joy even in the midst of chaos. As we lean more on the Holy Spirit, we will learn more ways to choose joy daily. And they do say the best things in life are free. So true, so very true.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for my life, my family and all the blessings you’ve given me. Thank you for always being with me. Even in the midst of chaos your presence is with me. Help me to choose joy today and everyday.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
What are some ways you’re choosing joy daily? Share in the comments below.