Did you know that having an optimistic mindset has been linked to lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as a lower risk of death? This comes from a 2019 meta-analysis of 15 studies encompassing nearly 230,000 people conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Rosaski et al., 2019). Positive emotions like joy can contribute to building and maintaining an optimistic mindset and considering February is Heart Health Month.

Joy” has several different meanings such as the “feeling of great happiness” or “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune”. Practicing joy is not always easy – I sure know that! It’s something I have had to work on, or it is lost, which is why I have made “joy” my word for 2023! So I am excited to talk about joy and MO’re importantly how to choose, cultivate and practice joy every day.

Last month, I focused on why we need to invite change into our lives if we want to achieve success in 2023 in my January Blog Series. However, I recognize that change can be scary and disorienting and this can impact the sense of joy we feel in life. It’s hard to find joy when there has been so much change, challenge, and chaos around us. When you learn to accept that there will be change and challenge, even chaos ahead, then you can gain more control over your day and the choice of how you react and respond is also yours. Choosing to have MO’re joy each day brings more joy your way. What you think about yourself attracts, however, it is easier said than done. So that is why this month I am bringing you strategies to build more joyful MO’ments into your daily personal well-being, relationships, and work/contribution to the world. Just like with exercise you must train regularly to build your muscles, including your heart, to improve your overall health and move and perform at your best.  

To help you get a daily dose of joy I wrote this blog and will be interviewing my good friend and industry colleague Nathalie Lacombe in my podcast “A MO’ment with MO”. Nathalie’s approach embodies a “joie de vivre” attitude and she is the self-proclaimed “cupid of the fitness industry”. I’m really looking forward to sharing our conversation with you! In this blog, I am sharing a number of strategies for building the joy into your personal well-being, relationships, work/contribution and making it part of your life.

In the rest of this blog, you will learn strategies and be prompted to reflect on how you can build joy into three interrelated areas of your life – your personal well-being, your relationships and your work/contribution to the world. I visualize the progression to a MO’st joyful and complete life as a series of steps. See the diagram below and read on to learn more!

Graphic showing steps leading upward with words describing how to build your joy.

Level 1: Personal Well-being

Personal well-being is the foundation for everything. By definition, well-being is the “state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous”. Finding our personal well-being is a lifelong journey but very important for many reasons. We must start with the personal and self-work because joy MO’ves outward and upward. As they say, you need to love yourself before you can love someone else so that is why I chose to start with self as the first step. Joy and personal well-being mean being more and doing less or simply doing more with less. Simplifying things can help remove a lot of unnecessary stress and free our space and time for more joy.

Reflection Question: What is one activity that fills your soul with joy and supports your well-being? Is this something you are regularly doing? If not, how can you make more time for this activity in your life? What is one personal well-being practice that you would commit to starting this month? 

Level 2: Relationships

Healthy relationships can bring so much joy to our lives. Connection and a sense of belonging are fundamental human needs which is why we need to focus on relationship building. Having a community is also vital to support our well-being. If you are interested in learning more about building strong and supportive relationships with your friends, colleagues and clients check out the THINK Yourself ® a RELATIONSHIPS PRO Course and Book I co-authored.

Reflection Question: What is one of your best relationships and why? What do you bring to that joyful relationship that you could then bring to a relationship that you want to make more joyful and improve upon?

Level 3: Work and Contribution

When I say “work” this could be your job, but I encourage you to think bigger and bolder. Community work, care work, and volunteering are all valid and valuable ways to contribute to the world with your WHY. Finding your purpose and actioning that purpose in the pursuit of what brings you joy is exceedingly fulfilling on personal and collective levels. The contribution you make to the world supports the common good and future.

Reflection Question: What kinds of work bring you the MO’st joy? What kinds of activities do you lose track of time and just feel in a state of flow and bliss? How can you contribute more time to these kinds of actions?

Final Thoughts

I invite you to choose and try the strategies – at least one in each of these three of these areas for yourself this month. Once you have your strategies set a reminder on your phone or in your calendar for a “joy MO’ment” every day.  Soon you can stack one joyful moment with another and eventually you will find it easy to embrace joy as a natural emotion in MO’ments throughout your day without having to think about it. 

Bonus Strategy for MO’re MO’tivation: If you need a reminder to get your MO’joy going I suggest putting drawing a smiley face or a heart on a post-it note and placing these smiley faces or hearts around your house, preferably on mirrors where you can see your reflection and body expression. It takes only a second to power up your posture, smile at your reflection and choose how you wish to feel.   

Share to: