You can increase joy in your life without spending any money. In fact, spending money on material things often takes us away from the things that give us the most joy in life. Here are 10 tips for finding happiness and increasing joy that won’t cost you.
Joyful: A Book on How to Increase Joy
Ingrid Fetell Lee was a design student when she began to ask an important question. “How do tangible things create an intangible feeling of joy?” She has researched the answer to that question in-depth.
In fact, she has authored a book called “Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness.” Although this isn’t a book about frugal living, it is important for people who believe in the value of emotional wealth. If we can understand what gives us joy, then we can increase joy within our budget constraints.
10 Free Ways For Finding Happiness and Increasing Joy
Put on your favorite music. Make sure to choose something upbeat that makes you want to move. Then dance.
You can dance in your home. You can also dance in the street. Of course, you could go to a dance club. However, you don’t have to pay anyone to allow you to dance.
If we move more, we generate more energy. If we increase our energy levels, then we increase joy.
2. Embrace Bright Colors
Having bright colors around us is an easy way to increase joy. Of course, you can buy some beautiful flowers. That’s an affordable way to add color to your day.
However, you don’t have to spend money to bring more color into your life. Here are some ideas:
- Go through your jewelry box. Pull out the most colorful accessories then wear them every day.
- Likewise with your closet and any bright clothes that you already own.
- Replace all of your screensavers with a bright, colorful image.
- Notice the color in the world around you. Nature is already colorful and beautiful.
- Eat your colors. Get the orangest oranges, the greenest kale. Colorful foods are often healthy, too.
- Color. Literally; get out crayons or markers and color in bright hues.
3. See the Light
Natural sunlight is critical to our wellbeing. Get as much of it as you can. For example,
- Sit by open windows.
- Go for walks.
- Eat lunch at sidewalk cafes.
- Get out into nature whenever possible.
- Visit parks.
4. Mind Your Senses
The more attention that we pay to each of our senses, the more in the moment we can be. Moreover, noticing our senses allows us to tap into the abundance of information around us. Abundance, according to Ingrid Fetell Lee, is one way to increase joy.
You can be going about your day routinely, without even noticing anything. That all changes if you take a moment to notice, truly notice:
5. Declutter for Abundance
If we think about decluttering, then we usually think about getting rid of everything. However, that’s not quite true. Instead, we get rid of everything that we don’t need, want, or love.
In fact, this allows us to actually have more of the things that give us pleasure. That’s not because we now have more room to add more things. In contrast, it’s because, with fewer things, we can more easily see and enjoy the remaining items.
Our lives feel more abundant, not less so, when we make room for what we love.
Note that decluttering isn’t just about your physical items. You can declutter your calendar and your thoughts as well. Create room for abundance by clearing out what’s crowding you from feeling it.
6. Highlight Objects that Give Joy
As you declutter your home, you will probably discover some items that give you joy. For example, trip souvenirs, photos, and other nostalgic items often give joy. However, something can also give you joy “just because.”
Don’t hide those objects away in closets or at the back of shelves. Instead, place them prominently in your home where you can see them daily. In other words, increase joy by increasing your experience of things you already own that give you joy.
7. Spend Time with Loved Ones
Who are the people in your life that give you the most joy? Find ways to spend time with them regularly. If they live far away, you can Facetime or Skype at no cost or low cost.
If you’re lucky enough to have them close, enjoy activities that don’t cost you anything. Read books in the park. Walk together in the evenings. Have them over for a card game. Here are some other frugal activities.
Sometimes adults forget to play. Bring play back into your life.
- Hop, skip, or jump instead of just walking.
- Climb a jungle gym.
- Jump in a puddle or a pile of fallen leaves.
- Borrow a hula hoop, skateboard, or Frisbee and just play.
9. Look for Long-Term Joy
It is very easy to find what feels like joy in the moment. For example, one more drink can feel like it gives you joy. However, the next day you have a hangover. Furthermore, you can develop liver disease down the line.
Instead, look for the things that give you joy not just immediately but also in the long-term. You might be surprised to discover that these things are often free.
10. Keep a Journal of Joy
The best way to increase joy is to simply notice the joy that you already experience. A joy journal (which is similar to a gratitude journal) helps you to do this. Therefore, every day, write down all of the things that have given you joy.
What is one small thing that you do regularly to increase joy? Share with us in the comments below!