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  • Danielle Matthew

Ways to Bring More Joy Into Your Life Even During Difficult Times

In my practice over the past year, I have seen many people looking for ways to bring more joy into their lives. One client recently shared an analogy about how the last two years of the pandemic have felt like “a layer of dust that they can’t get brushed off.”

Feeling blah or joyless is often a sign that something needs to change in your life. However, when the reason is due to circumstances out of your control, you may feel like there’s no way to change how you move forward.

You can replace negative thoughts and feelings with a positive mindset and actionable plans that make you feel happy and allow you to move forward with joy.

Bringing More Joy into Your Life

It’s essential to consider your needs and find ways to fulfill them. When evaluating your circumstances, consider what is vital to you and might be missing from your life. Feeling joyless can result from lacking things that are important for you. Keep in mind that everyone has a unique set of needs. So, make sure you acknowledge your needs and not someone else’s.

Once you’ve determined what you need in life to feel happy, consider ways to make obtaining them a priority.

For example, if you are a people person, consider ways to connect with others in a way that feels safe to you. For instance, joining a Meetup Group can be a great way to find others who have similar interests as you.

Or, if it’s not connecting with people, maybe it’s challenging yourself with a new hobby, learning a new skill, or participating in an activity that you will enjoy.

Establishing personal goals can help you move forward with adding the things in your life that you’ve determined that you need to feel happy. For example, if you decide to learn a new skill, setting milestone steps can make your goal more attainable. In addition, sharing your goals with someone you trust can help you stay motivated.

Replacing Fear with Happiness

It’s also important to acknowledge any fears and excuses that may have prevented you from changing your situation. While some circumstances, such as the pandemic, may be out of your control, it’s essential to recognize that you still have the power to make choices that can help you feel happier and empowered.

Sometimes the way to fill your life with more joy is by stepping out of your comfort zone, by moving forward in a way that may feel like a risk. To help you determine if a risk is worth taking, you should take the time to evaluate and calculate the risks. Discussing your thoughts with someone you trust can also be helpful.

It’s also crucial not to be overly critical of yourself. Instead, accept mistakes and try to appreciate the wisdom that they may have provided. Treat yourself with love and respect by practicing self-care and positive self-talk, and always having self-compassion.

Self-compassion means understanding your emotional state in a non-judgmental way, to be able to turn understanding, acceptance, and love inward. Self-compassion can help you remember that you’re doing your best to move forward and that you will have joy.

For more information on ways to move forward when you feel stuck or helpless, call Danielle Matthew, LMFT at 818-267- 4282 or email



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