A 2020 poll conducted by the University of Chicago found that Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years. Only 14 percent of respondents said they were very happy, down 31 percent from the same period in 2018.
The idea of cultivating personal happiness might seem trivial—selfish, even—and you may even feel guilty for feeling joy or being okay when so much in the world is not okay. But the truth is, when we remove ourselves from the drama of the world, we seek solace within and start to see that we have more power, more peace, and more joy available to us, in each and every moment.
Joy isn’t something we have to chase. We simply allow it.
If we start to focus our energy and attention on the joyful moments—people playing in the park, the birds singing and flowers blooming, the smiles we can give others, special dates with friends, or family nights in—we start to see that we are moving through this time into much more love. Coming together starts with each moment and allowing yourself to feel joy. Because joy is available to us all when we choose it.
It may sound counterintuitive, but experts say that seeing the good, despite the bad, is a sign that you’ve got a healthy and balanced approach to your own life and this current—and very challenging—time. Humans are resilient; we are born creative, determined, and focused. And furthermore, there’s evidence that positive moods can boost our immune system and protect us from respiratory viruses, so it’s not something to feel guilty about; it’s a smart strategy. We deserve to feel good, and focusing on joy isn’t selfish but self-sanity. One of the best ways to stay positive is through affirmation. I love affirmations and mantras because they help retrain the brain to focus on gratitude and love.
They can help us appreciate what is going well and focus on what we can control: the moment.
Here are some affirmations to help you reclaim joy.
- I am surrounded by love. I am protected.
- I learn the way on the way.
- I retreat inward for inspiration.
- I align my thoughts and actions with love.
- The fastest way to fulfillment is to live my values.
- What I seek is on its way to me.
- The right choice is the choice that feels expansive and joyful.
- I choose to focus on the good and see possibilities everywhere.
- I don’t take myself too seriously.
- I see the lightheartedness in this moment.
- I open myself up to transformational love.
- I have unique gifts and talents that the world needs.
- My dreams will only succeed when I take a chance on them.
- Joy is my birthright.
These affirmations are inspired by my book Joy Seeker: Let Go of What’s Holding You Back So You Can Live the Life You Were Made For.
Keep controlling the moment with “5 Minutes of Marvel: How to Practice Extreme Awe.”