Author: Devon Smolca
Joy may not be the first word that comes to mind when we think of our wellness journey. It can be challenging to change our lifestyles and form new healthy habits. It requires a lot of focus, commitment, and hard work. Change happens over time, and with practice. In a world where we have instant access, this kind of patience can be a virtue! It can be likened to running a marathon versus a sprint; we need stamina to sustain our motivation.
When we look for the joy in our journey, we recognize that cultivating this sense of happiness can sustain us and feed us emotionally. Positive thinking can boost our motivation and impact our progress. Here are some ideas for cultivating joy on a wellness journey:
1. Embrace your journey
A wonderful way to practice self-love is to focus on our health. Working towards our goals is a demonstration of how much we value ourselves and recognize our individual needs. We are worth every bit of effort we make! It’s important to stop and generate gratitude towards the wisdom that lies within us. We know there is always room for improvement (along with gentleness,) and we appreciate all that a journey like this can teach us about ourselves as it helps us to evolve as individuals.
It’s important we celebrate and focus on our improvements, wins, and shifts in our habits, as well as our mindset. Celebration can simply be taking a moment recognize our milestones, journaling our progress in all forms, communicating it to someone supportive in our lives, or treating ourselves to some additional self care (massage, spa, a new outfit or book, a fun outing, hot bath, etc.).
3. Try something new
Exploring outside of our comfort zone can sometimes feel a little uneasy, and it’s in these uncomfortable places that we learn more about ourselves and therefore grow as individuals. Trying new things can add a little excitement and spark to a wellness journey. Whether it’s a healthy option that we’ve never tasted, an exercise, activity, or class we’ve always been curious about, or a stress management practice we know would help us to decompress, using our wellness journey as an opportunity to expand and explore our boundaries can be exciting and fun. We might even learn something unexpected about ourselves!
4. Find your joy
For some folks even the word ‘health’ sounds a bit boring and restrictive, but if we focus on the aspects of our journey that fill us with joy, our lifestyle change can be fun and expansive! Some aspects of joy we can glean from our wellness journey are increased energy to do all the activities we enjoy, the clarity we feel after a run, workout, yoga, or meditation session, setting a positive example and inspiring those around us to embrace their health, or seeing the progress we make both on AND off the scale.
Never underestimate the power of happiness and positivity. It can be helpful to think about or journal all the things that bring you happiness and joy, then make connections! How can we incorporate all those things that bring us joy into our wellness journeys?