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How to Increase Joy: Important Steps for Personal Growth

Updated: Aug 19


Girl with backpack hiking to ocean view with arms raised

Would you agree that joy “is the greatest of emotional and spiritual sensations”? I can’t imagine not loving the sensation of joy, and yet so often we resist those thoughts and actions that can increase our experience of joy. We have a tendency to instead focus on worry and anxious thoughts that lead to feelings of fear.


How can we combat this? How can we refocus our thoughts so we can experience more joy?


Experience More Joy


The regular and intentional practices of gratitude, hope, and faith along with acts of love and generosity increase our joy experience.


These practices can include keeping a gratitude journal, going for a walk to get fresh air, cooking and delighting in a delicious meal, spending time with loved ones, volunteering with an organization you support, taking a friend to coffee, and the list could go on for days.


And there is yet another way to increase our feeling of joy…growth!


Growth means we are living; whereas decay, the opposite of growth, means we are dying.

Growth can occur by choice, such as when we choose to try new things. But growth can also come when change is thrust upon us.


Whether by choice or not, growth can bring us joy because it shows us that we are alive and moving. We are not stagnant. We have breath in our lungs and movement in our life.


Whether your growth can be compared to a forest coming back to life after a fire, an autumn crop that’s been prepared and tended with care, or a flower bud on the branch of an old cherry tree, you are growing. You are progressing and going forward. That is a reason to celebrate and experience joy!


Joy Is a Gift, Not a Passing Feeling


Joy is a gift and a fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives.


In my journey of grieving, joy has been a surprising companion. I have learned to lean more heavily upon the Holy Spirit to navigate all the changes and cope with painful emotions that intrude unexpectedly in daily activities. It should be no surprise then that my experience of joy has also increased, because it is one of the fruits of the Spirit.


Joy is not a passing emotion like happiness. It is a fingerprint of the Lord’s work in our lives, and it is also a fruit we partner with the Holy Spirit to tend.


Our choices matter. In our thinking. In our behavior. In the ways we talk to ourselves. Each choice can lead us closer to joy and closer to God if we pay attention.


So, my friend, whatever you may be going through or struggling with, I want to encourage you to see it as a “growth opportunity“ that is pointing you to draw ever closer to the One who not only loves you completely, but whose grace will enable and sustain you through each bump and challenge.


And when you do, joy will breathe fresh life into your weary soul.


If you need help discovering your abundant purpose and learning how to experience joy daily, schedule a free call HERE to see if 1:1 coaching is the right answer for you.



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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dr. Richelle Hoekstra-Anderson is an Abundant Life and Business Coach. Her coaching utilizes a variety of tools to help you gain clarity on how you are designed for significance. When you come to understand and appreciate your unique design, you create the mindset to help you meet current challenges and live an abundant life. Ultimately, you gain new insight and learn the skills needed to create a confident life of peace, balance, and joy.

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