Okay, so maybe joy doesn’t just happen, but what can we do to try to cultivate it? What would happen if we tried taking that extra moment to enjoy that first sip of hot coffee just a little longer? Or switch the first-thing morning social scroll for reading? Can we create small moments of joy for ourselves to bring some light to our own day? It’s worth a try, if you ask me.

Our goals have shifted to taking it one day at a time and, to put it simply, survival. And so, with the way that we’re constantly connected to other peoples’ highlight reels, happiness feels like it’s fleeting. It almost feels….fake. As a Los Angeles therapist, this is something I work through with many of my clients.

Take a minute to think about what those joyful things might be for you, and what can you do to make those things happen for yourself. They don’t need to be big things, but you can still try and write a list if you need to. Going through this week, I hope you keep that reflection in mind and choose to bring joy into just one extra moment of your day.

First things first, skipping the scroll. If you find yourself scrolling mindlessly before bed, try just going to bed instead. The dopamine hit right before bed isn’t helping sleep patterns–it’s actually possible for it to harm your sleep! Same thing applies in the morning, too! I’ve found that keeping a good book on my nightstand helps me to skip the scroll first thing when I wake up. Instead of feeling false-connected to others, I get to feel connected to myself and let my body do its thing and wake up slowly. Read for just about as long as you would’ve been scrolling–just a couple minutes–so it’s not too overwhelming or adding anything new to your plate. Sometimes I’ll read with my coffee if I really want to multi-task and enjoy the morning.

Now that the weather’s cooler, making that extra effort to make it outside goes a long, long way. Heck, even just opening a window all the way–enough to feel the breeze and take in the fresh air—is a really great way to feel connected to the world around you and bring just an extra moment of joy. If you can find the time, making it outside for a five or ten minute walk might just do wonders. Taking that moment outside with your feet on the ground, warmed by the sun, really helps to make it all feel a bit more connected. No, it won’t ~fix everything~ (bummer, I know) but that extra moment of joy and connection to the world around you can be a great place to start.

If you find yourself struggling to find joy, or even just feel like you could use some help, reach out. Therapy can help.

Cultivating Joy, Rather Than Finding It

Be (almost) everything you want to be, for you first.

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