How to Spark Joy (Beyond Material Things)

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Whether you are an aspiring minimalist or you’ve tried to clean out an over-cluttered space, you’ve likely heard Marie Kondo’s famous question; “Does it spark joy?” I am all for a tidy home and workspace, but I think the principle of what sparks joy can extend far beyond our possession of material things. 

Each of us are likely guilty of going through the motions from time to time. We get swept up by the monotony of our daily routines, waking, working, eating, sleeping, and repeating, without maximizing the time we have in between the essentials. It is easy to succumb to the humdrum of everyday life, sparking joy only on weekends or special occasions.

It’s not wishful thinking to commit to sparking joy in your life every single day. Sure, you still have to get up for work, wash the dishes, and go to the grocery. Those things might not spark joy, but they do make it possible for you to spark joy in some of the moments in between. 

Decide today to engage in at least one activity per day that sparks joy for you. This practice looks different for each of us. Read on to find 5 ways that could spark joy for you today. 

You've likely heard the famous question, "Does it spark joy." The answer to this question is different for everyone. Here are 5 ways to spark more joy today.

Spark Joy With More Gratitude

Regardless of what you’re doing each day, it’s hard to find true happiness if you aren’t expressing gratitude for the things that bring you joy. I start each day writing down three things I am grateful for, and I end each night writing down three more things I am grateful for that happened during the day. This practice takes only a few minutes and dramatically transforms my attitude. If you’re new to this concept, check out our  5 Reasons to Start a Gratitude Journal and start on your own gratitude challenge! A daily habit never felt so good.

Consume More of What You Love, Less of What You Don’t

Each day we bring things into our bodies and headspaces without a second thought. I find that when I am conscious of what I consume, I feel better and do better throughout the day. 

Try being conscious of what you consume on a typical day. Do you grab a sugary cereal bar as you race out the door? After a long day’s work do you sink into the couch cushions watching Dr. Phil or dateline specials?

If cereal bars and media that showcase disfunction spark joy for you, then by all means keep doing what you’re doing, sis! But if these things are merely forces of habit because they’re mindless or convenient, you might want to take a step back. 

For example, I love eating fruit salad for breakfast. I feel so much better when I prepare a mason jar full of sliced fruits and berries the night before I go to work than when I grab a granola bar to eat in my car. Taking a few minutes each evening to prepare my breakfast sparks joy for me. I don’t have to rush to eat in the morning, and I get to enjoy a colorful medley of yummy food at my desk to start my day.

Similarly, take stock of the books you’re reading, shows you’re watching, and the music, podcasts, or radio shows you’re listening to. Find things you love and then make time specifically to consume that media. Ditch the stuff that makes you feel like you’ve wasted your time. If you’re looking for an inspiring read, check out our list of must-read female empowerment books

Indulge in Aesthetics

Sometimes all you need to manifest happiness is something pretty to look at. There is nothing wrong with indulging in the beauty of the world. Looking and feeling your best, or surrounding yourself with beautiful things, is nothing to be ashamed of. 

This of course, does not mean you need to break the bank to benefit from life’s beauty. Spend a little extra time in the morning getting ready, or wear your favorite outfit just because. You don’t have to wait for date night to look and feel your best. Buy yourself flowers on the way home. Splurge a little extra on the things you use the most. If you’re in the market for a new journal or reusable water bottle, buy one that you’ll love to use. 

Find more beauty in your everyday life.

Find Movement that Feels Good

Whether you are a hot yoga newbie or a seasoned marathoner, we all need to move our bodies to truly feel our best. Take some time each day to move your body. I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a gym membership or sign up for boot camp classes. Just find ways to move that spark joy for you. 

Maybe you love to dance in the mirror while you’re getting ready, or there is a YouTube yoga teacher you love. Whatever your preference may be, find what movement sparks joy for you and start doing it every day. 

Relax, Unwind, & Selfcare

Chances are you spend much of your day tending to other people’s needs. Whether you are completing projects for your boss or clients, cleaning up after your kids, or lending a hand to your partner, you do a lot to help other people’s worlds go round.

Make sure you are doing the same for yourself. Find at least 15 minutes each day to focus only on you. Maybe you find this time in your morning or bedtime routine or you indulge in a weekly bubble bath after everyone else is asleep. Find your favorite acts of self love and commit to doing at least one each day. 

You deserve to wake up each morning with something to look forward to. Whether the activity or treat is big or small, living intentionally will help you enjoy each and every day. Make time for your own happiness, and start sparking more joy!

About the author
Ariana is a writer and comedian based in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is passionate about fostering community through storytelling. Always inspired by strong women, she believes in caring for ourselves, each other, and Mama Earth.

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