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It’s safe to say 2016 has been a year of ups and downs. Many are feeling unsettled and uncertain about what the future has in store. Regardless, it’s a conscious choice to be joyful amid life happenings—but how do you manifest joy even when things don’t seem to be going your way?
One of the most direct ways is through the use of affirmations—declarations or statements used to create an experience you’d like to have. Like intentions, you can use affirmations as reminders of what you are committed to creating in your life.
Here are 10 affirmations you can use to manifest joy in the New Year and beyond. To keep these affirmations top of mind:
• Post them where you will see them every day.
• Keep a list of them by your bed to look at before you go to sleep at night.
• Look at them before going into silence or meditation.
• Try feeling the affirmations and use the ones that resonate with you the most.
Joy is the spirit made manifest; it is your essential nature to be joyful. Joy is not found in what goes on outside of you. To be truly joyful, you must connect to that part of yourself that trusts there is a divine energy at work at all times, no matter what. This part of your Self is the spirit (or soul) and can only be accessed by going into silence or meditation on a regular basis. Enrich your life by connecting daily to your spirit, and moments of joy will not be something you seek, but rather something you create on a regular basis.
If you do not already have a regular meditation practice, there are many ways to learn to meditate:
• Find a teacher in your area.
• Take an online course.
• Practice on your own using a guided meditation.
• Try our free beginner’s guide to meditation.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again. Remember, it’s a meditation practice, not meditation perfect. Be easy on yourself.
If something seems interesting to you, make time to do it. Take action to enjoy that:
• Informal sport
• Pick-up game
• Block party
• Outdoor concert
Try new things each week until you find something that makes your heart sing. When you are doing what you love, time seems to fly by. This is one way to know you are connecting more with your spirit. Feelings of joy will flow naturally and easily.
The most fun yoga pose to teach and practice is called “Happy Baby”—it reminds you that happy babies are blissful. As Deepak Chopra says, “Happy babies bubble with bliss.” This yoga posture reminds you that to be happy is not something that you once learned, but something that you just have to remember. You used to spend hours in Happy Baby pose for the sheer entertainment of it.
Remember a time when you were happy as a child:
• How old were you?
• Was there something specific that made you happy, or were you just happy in general?
• What environment was created to help you feel this way?
It’s important to reconnect to these experiences to discover that joy is not something you need to look for. At any time, joy is within your reach.
Moving your body is not only good for your physique or keeping weight off, but can also spark biological changes that increase the brain’s ability to learn, adapt, and perform other cognitive tasks. Exercise can even reverse the detrimental effects of stress and lift depression.
Find what you love to do for exercise and make a commitment to move for at least 10 minutes a day. Instead of making exercise another thing you “have to do” on your list, mark it on your calendar as “I Move for Joy” or something that inspires joy for you. By reminding yourself why you want to move your body, you’re more likely to stick with it. Make movement a daily habit to be more joyful overall.
Everyone has their own thoughts and ideas around what’s funny.
• Do you like comedy?
• Who is your favorite comedian/comedienne?
• What type of humor do you like?
• Do you know any good jokes?
Notice things that are funny to you and then make time to enjoy a comedy show or find something funny on TV or at the movies. Laughter is one of the easiest ways to manifest joy in our lives. (And, it’s also a good workout for your abs—a definite bonus!)
Become aware of what you would like to see change in the world, and then, seek out others with similar passions, finding communities of people who already gather to spread a message or make change happen. By having this sense of purpose, you stay grounded and connected to the world, and reduce the risk of becoming isolated and depressed in these particularly tense times. When you get nervous, focus on service. By getting out of your head and into action, you can make a difference in the world and for others. This is where true joy originates.
It is said that “working makes us money, but travel makes us rich.” Spending all your life working to pay bills, while having a dream to travel and see the world, is not a life well lived. Make a plan to travel each year to a place you’ve never seen. You’ll notice the journey starts the moment you buy the tickets. It’s what you learn about yourself along the way by making a plan, sticking to it, and then actually arriving at a place you’ve only dreamt about that makes it all worthwhile.
By making travel a priority, you learn about the world and yourself. Have the courage to say, “I’m doing this,” and trust the money will come from wherever it is right now to make it happen.
Gratitude can have a profound effect on your heart muscle. More than love, gratitude heals your heart on a deeper level. You cannot be grateful and be fearful at the same time. When practicing gratitude on a daily (or moment by moment) basis, you are present to all that you already have and can better embrace the future without fear. By committing to being grateful, you will experience more joy, contentment, and abundance.
It is important to let go of the past and detach from how you think things should look or should have gone in order to be present to all that is good in life. Humans have a tendency to focus on what is missing. By shifting toward acceptance of what is, you release your attachments to what you think you know and step into the realm of uncertainty, which is where the magic, mystery and adventure of life exist. Forgive yourself for what may or may not have happened, and remind yourself of all the good that has come to you. Practice the Law of Attraction by expecting good things to come and then sitting back to receive.
If you find yourself being extremely serious about something, take a step back and gain perspective on your life. So much of the drama you find yourself in is by your own making. By bringing in more lightheartedness, you can move forward more powerfully and confidently. Know that at the end of the day, things are probably not as grave as they seem. Shed some light on the situation by asking yourself, “What is the worst case scenario?” Chances are, you’ve gotten caught up in something that may not even be true. Go inward, ask your body for a signal about the situation, then trust yourself and have fun. You’ve got this.
Are you feeling called to lead, teach and deepen your practice? Learn how to become a Chopra Center Certified instructor. Click here to learn more.