How Do I Get Out of a Rut? 3 Ways to Expand Your Level of Joy

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How Do I Get Out of a Rut? 3 Ways to Expand Your Level of Joy

Adapted from Monica and Michael Berg’s Spiritually Hungry podcast. Listen and subscribe here.
May 16, 2022
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When it comes to experiencing joy, we each have a happiness setpoint, a baseline level of happiness that we consistently revert back to. This means we may experience deep joy or sorrow, but we always return to a stable level of happiness once those temporary emotions subside. This can sometimes lead us to feel stuck. No matter how much work we do to improve our lives or how much we accomplish, fulfillment can seem all too fleeting as our happiness reverts back to a consistent state. The good news is that it is completely possible to change your happiness setpoint and break the cycle of unhappiness.

Here are 3 ways to expand your level of joy:

1. Break routine by appreciating something new each day.

A big part of being happy comes from our innate desire to seek change. If you do the same thing day after day, chances are you aren’t going to be that happy. When you seek out new experiences and surprises, you change the wiring of your brain for the better.

Find things that surprise you every day. Take note of what is new and what you learn. Through finding surprise, you can create newness and awaken appreciation.

2. Savor the moment.

Taking the time to really be in the moment and enjoy the experience is something we often take for granted and do far too little of. But we are able to raise our happiness setpoint when we savor life and are grateful consistently. It takes effort and focus, but the pursuit makes us happier.

Find things to savor in all aspects of your life, from your relationships to your work. Concentrate on one thing at a time and reduce multitasking. Focus on the positive. There is no limit to the appreciation we can awaken.

3. Actively work on becoming a more sharing, kind, and giving person.

Most of us could make a list of all the reasons we believe we aren’t happy right now. We often mistakenly believe we are unhappy because of an obstacle we are facing or because we lack something. But even if we achieve everything on the list, it likely would still not bring us to lasting fulfillment. There is nothing that we can take or receive that will change our baseline of happiness. The only way to achieve this is through actions of selflessness.

The most powerful way to expand our happiness setpoint is by doing actions that are outside of ourselves. This means focusing more on sharing, kindness, caring, and giving. Actively pursue going outside of yourself. By changing your thoughts and your actions, you can change your overall experience of life.

Every one of us can get to the point where we experience more happiness as a consistent state of being. All it takes is a shift in consciousness. Awaken appreciation, savor each moment, and focus on becoming more giving and kind.

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