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Seven Ways to Discover Joy

Many of us reach a point when our lives become routine, dull and thankless. We lose our sense of meaning and direction. There seems to be a lack of purpose and feelings of hopelessness permeate our very being. We do reach a time when we are tired of being emotionally constipated and seek out ways to break this numbing cycle. The time has come to venture into something new.

Here are some ways to discover joy:

Listen to Music -- Select songs that will make you happy or if you haven't cried for a long time, select songs that will induce sadness. The release of tears will help you let go of what ever is keeping you stuck.

Change Jobs -- If you have been working at the same job for a long time, perhaps it is time for a change. It is difficult sometimes to know when you have outgrown your current position and you stay because it is familiar and secure. However, the lack of new challenges is deadly for your personal growth and creativity. It may be time to move on.

Follow your Dream -- If you have had a long term dream of writing a book, opening a store, moving to the country or running for political office, now is the time to pursue that dream instead of merely fantasizing about it.


Let go of Stuck Grief -- You may have been deeply hurt during your childhood. One of your parents may have died abruptly or you may have been abused. If you are having difficulty forming and keeping relationships and if you have had a loss or traumatic event years ago and it seems like it happened yesterday, you may be suffering from stuck grief. Seeking out a psychotherapist or an appropriate self-help group may be very

Give to the Community -- Volunteering to help those less fortunate than you will not only be appreciated by many, it will also reward you spiritually and allow you to connect with others who are helping and receiving assistance. This activity will move you out of the intellectual realm and into your emotional world.

Celebrate your Positive Changes -- We tend to focus on the negative aspects of our being and the positive parts of us tend to be overlooked or ignored. Tune in to the positive changes you may have recently made such as: "I used to be so reactive and now I am able to stop and think before I blurt out something that will be hurtful." "I can now walk for three miles without getting exhausted."

Decide to Break your Addiction -- Whether you are addicted to substances, another person, video games or anything else, getting assistance and eventually breaking your addiction will eventually make you a happier, more productive person.


Starting a regular exercise program will help you physically, emotionally and spiritually. It you are able to stick to a workout routine for a week, you will feel like this is a major accomplishment. You will begin to look and feel better. Your confidence, self-esteem and self-image will improve. Exercise will also drive you to discover the delight of moving your body

If you have never exercised before, check with you physician to ensure that you are cleared to work out. Begin slowly and briefly. For example you can start out by walking once around the block and then slowly increase your distance and your pace. The gift of exercise will open up the world of joy for you.

Psychotherapist Bob Livingstone has helped millions heal their emotional pain during the past 20 years. He has been instrumental in assisting victims of emotional and/or physical violence recover from trauma and no longer be victims.

He is a featured contributor to DrLaura.com, Beliefnet.com, Ediets.com, Selfgrowth.com and SheKnows.com. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book The Body-Mind-Soul Solution: Healing Emotional Pain through Exercise (Pegasus Books, Sept. 2007). The first printing has sold out-Now in its second printing! For more emotional healing visit www.boblivingstone.com.