Your body is an incredible gift, it’s a temple and sadly, most of us fail to honor it correctly. Our bodies bring us pleasure, they bring us joy, and when we don’t honor our bodies, we don’t feed our spirits either. Finding joy that feeds your spirit doesn’t need to be a complicated process. Believe it not, your spiritual self needs you to also treat your physical self well in order to thrive.
Your spirit is an energy that extends beyond your body. Some people may use the word soul to describe the spirit, regardless of what you call it, it requires your physical body to develop, grow, and experience life. Your spirit absorbs both negative and positive energies and your body also resonates with energies.
You can feel as though you’re on a high or low, based on which energy is weightier. Your spirit is constantly being eroded by the human experience. It’s important to find joy that feeds your spirit, but that’s incredibly difficult to do in this modern world that we live in. Everywhere you turn there are problems, it’s no wonder your spirit is struggling.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a giant crisis or a mini one, the problems that the world throws at you is more than likely to lower your spirit’s positive energy levels. Now add in the unpredictable weather patterns, negative news cycle, politics, natural disasters, work stress, and… you have a recipe for spiritual disaster.
What you may not realize is that you’re equipped with an inner guidance system that can lead you to more appropriate activities and actions. It listens to your intuition, your gut feelings, and your background thoughts to ask – is this what you really want?
The problem is when you’re not actively feeding your spirit, your guidance system will have a hard time getting through to you. So, it’s up to you to actively ask whether something feeds your spirit or not, whether it’s a movie date, a meal or meeting up with friends.
You are free to choose what you will but wrapping yourself up in the constant stream of negativity like you have been is going to keep you focused on negative energy. The more negative energy you tune into, the more it will drain your spirit and leave you feeling sad and empty.
25 Ways To Find Joy That Feeds Your Spirit
Here is how you can find that feeds your spirit.
Your breath is your life force and believe it or not, you’re probably doing it wrong. Find the correct rhythm to your breath and help yourself find calm, which will make it easier to find joy that will feed your spirit. Calming breaths should be your new best friend. Natural breathing is what you do all day – it’s a slow inhalation that only fills your lower lungs. Then you exhale. A calming breath sees you slowly inhale until your lower lungs are full and then continues to your upper lungs. Count to three and exhale. The latter can help you remain calm in difficult situations.
A bit of awareness goes a long way. You should be conscious of what you’re experiencing and what you’re doing in every moment, to allow you to fully appreciate the present. Don’t rush everything, unaware of what’s going on. You can be mindful of your actions and thoughts. Really, everything in life can be precious. So, take advantage of every opportunity to find the enjoyment, the beauty, the wonderment, and the joy in it. Allow all of your senses to get involved with everything that you experience, this opens the door to happiness, laughter, and most importantly, true joy.
You’ve probably heard the phrase live in the moment. There’s a real truth in that. The only way to live in the moment is to live with an awareness of what is going on as you do it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re spending time with family, friends, animals or in nature. You will appreciate all of it much more when you are fully present.
A great example of that, is the study from The University of California, Santa Cruz that found people who constantly take photos of events will remember less of it later on (ref). You’re missing out even when you think you’re present because you have found something else to occupy your attention. How often do you steal your own joy by doing this?
3| Daily Meditation
As we mentioned above, this modern life doesn’t really leave you with much wiggle room for living in the moment. One way to help yourself in this endeavor is to turn off any bothersome thoughts that you may experience. You can do that through daily meditation. When you practice being present you learn how to control your focus, problem-solving, concentration, and ultimately, find joy that will feed your spirit.
4| Self-Compassion and Nurturing
You shouldn’t need permission to put your needs before the needs of others, yet here we are. You absolutely must permit yourself to place your needs ahead of others. You want to spread your love, right? Well, how on earth can you do that if you can’t fulfill your own needs?
You will do better at loving others when you first love yourself. So, start showering yourself with compassion, nurturing, kindness, love, forgiveness, and patience just as you do everyone else in your life. You deserve it. You are a powerful person and you are capable of amazing things, but you have to put more into yourself if you want to give more.
If you want love to flow from you, then you have to let it flow in and within you. So, the first step to extending self-compassion is to recognize that personal struggles are just part of the human experience. Secondly, holding onto those feelings and thoughts should only be done in a state of mindful awareness before letting them go.
Through self-compassion you can learn how to positively respond to your thoughts. Rather than being yourself up over negative thoughts, you have to observe them from a point of non-judgment.
5| Extend Kindness
What does it really mean to express and extend kindness? How in tune are you with your gentle nature? Do you help other people through your good deeds and help? Do you bring them joy and happiness, as well as to yourself?
Simple acts of kindness bring both parties personal satisfaction, as well as human connection. Acts of kindness can relieve pain and increase your joy. A true act of kindness is one where the giver does not expect anything in return.
There are all different ways to express kindness. You can do so with words, by speaking kindly to everyone you encounter. You can also express kindness through your body language, offering a smile to everyone you see, and hugging friends in need. Then, there are acts of kindness in action, such as picking up shopping for someone, helping someone with a heavy load or volunteering for a charity.
6| Avoid Energy Thieves & Time Bandits
Do you have people in your life that leave you feeling drained? You look forward to grabbing lunch with them and by the end of it your head is pounding, and you feel dizzy with all of the information they’ve piled on your shoulders.
You soon realize that you’d rather run twelve back-to-back marathons than hang out with them again. Yeah, they’re a lot of the only way to recover from an energy thief like that is to sleep it off. That’s what an energy thief is, someone who drowns you in their negative thoughts and feelings, draining you of your energy. You have been working hard to feed your spirit, and it’s all undone in a single meeting with an energy thief.
It goes deeper than that. They are attracted to you because you have positive energy stores for them to drain. You get sucked into a conversation with a stream of their gossip, complaints, and troubles and you use all of your energy to try to build them back up. Of course, they aren’t just energy thieves, but they’re time bandits as well. People who steal your time, time you could be spending elsewhere.
If you can’t avoid these people altogether, there are ways you can counteract their effects. When you come into contact with one, create a force-field around yourself, visualize this shield as one that will allow positivity to flow outside of it, but doesn’t allow negativity to come in. Make sure you remain present in your conversations, you will know exactly when it starts to turn into an energy drainer, and you can steer it in a different direction.
7| Your Diet
All food comes with its own fuel and energy. When you choose high energy foods like vegetables and fruit, it will nourish both your body and your spirit. Items like processed, junk foods are low in nutrients and these are low energy foods that drag you down, in both spirit and body. So, consider your diet. Is your diet serving your spirit and your joy? Your diet can help you find joy that feeds your spirit.
There aren’t a whole lot of recipe books out there that address your body and spirit, but it’s important to understand how important a role your diet plays in feeding your spirit.
What you eat is a reflection of how you feel, and how you feel often reflects the diet that you choose. We tend to eat what we’re familiar with, so if you were raised on unhealthy foods, then there’s a good chance you will continue to be drawn to them as you get older.
Food is one of the only things in your life that you have total control over. Unfortunately, that can result in negative decisions. It’s so important that you inform yourself on food. For example, in an ideal world, you’d only buy organic fruits and vegetables. That might not be possible, budget-wise.
However, you can pick organic for produce with thin skin or skins that you eat and buy non-organic for the rest. It’s a start. If you do eat meat, you should try to scale back how much you eat and go meat-free a couple of days a week. On those nights, consider making a giant salad with lots of fixings. It’s filling and incredibly healthy.
8| A Blessing
You don’t have to be religious to say a short blessing for your food. Saying a quick blessing for your food is an excellent way to find joy that feeds your spirit. It’s forcing you to remember the many hands that went into providing the food that is in front of you and Mother Nature’s role in it as well.
Really, a blessing is just an act of gratitude, a reminder of how much you have to be thankful for, even in tough times. It also makes you more mindful as you eat, which means you are more likely to stop when you’re full, instead of overeating.
9| Rest & Exercise
You probably don’t consider exercise to be something that brings joy or feeds your spirit, yet, it does both of those things. Think about it. How can you cultivate a feeling of unconditional self-love if you aren’t providing your body with something as basic as exercise? We know the benefits of exercise are plenty, just ten minutes of vigorous activity on a daily basis can do you the world of good. Exercise chases disease away and it feeds your soul.
Just as exercise is crucial to the health of your body and soul, so is sleep. Sleep deprivation is like a flame that ignites anxiety, stress, depression, and beyond. Unfortunately, when we are trapped in this cycle there’s a strong likelihood of relying on stimulants to get us through, which means caffeine, and other substances.
You deprive yourself of sleep, maybe not intentionally, but it’s in a bid to work more and work harder. You have to push yourself to be as productive as possible because it’s what society has instilled in us.
The problem with that is that what you really need is rest. If you struggle with sleep, then create a nightly routine that will help your body prepare for rest. Thank your body for the job you force it to do, thank it properly and thank it with rest and exercise, too.
10| Relaxation & Pampering
If we are being honest, none of us are practicing self-love often enough. We all deserve rest, relaxation, and a bit of pampering. You don’t have to sacrifice in order to serve your spirit, that is an antiquated idea.
That noxious mindset tells you that in order to grow your spirit and move forward, you have to shun all pleasure. Now, it is true that an attachment to the material goods the world has to offer is linked to our ego, that doesn’t mean you have to shun pleasure to feed your spirit. Life is supposed to be joyous, which means taking pleasure out of it.
Nourish your soul (and body) with love. Go for a massage, enjoy yoga, go swimming, get a mani-pedi, take a hike, walk in the park or take a hot, bubble bath. Whatever you do, choose it for its restorative properties.
For example, if you spend a lot of time on your feet, then a mani-pedi is a great way to serve yourself. This isn’t a luxury, it’s just taking care of yourself. Self-care is an essential part of restoring yourself. How does pampering your body affect your spirit? Well, it’s a great reminder to your spirit of how worth you are, how worth of receiving you are and how much you deserve joy.
Unfortunately, we often feel guilty for practicing relaxation. We feel as though we don’t deserve it or didn’t earn it. We struggle with worthiness. You encourage others to do it, yet you cannot take the same advice.
11| The Connection
Your mind, body, and spirit are connected and that’s something you should never forget. We’ve already discussed how important it is to your spirit to look after your body. You have to also protect your mind.
Practice healthy habits for your mental health, including dietary choices like nuts and oily fishes that contain plenty of omega 3 fatty acids. We already touched on sleep and creating a healthy sleep routine involves cutting back on screen time in the run-up to bedtime.
There is nothing like getting lost in a good book. Books provide us with escape from the real-world, they plunge you into a completely different world and refresh your spirit. Think about the types of books that you like and how they make you feel.
There are so many different genres out there, you are sure to find one that you enjoy and is also good for your spirit. If you have trouble finding the time for books, carve out a short period before bed – just make sure it’s not a story that’s riveting enough to keep you up all night!
Do you know what will repress your spirit and steal your joy? An inability to forgive. When a lot of people talk about forgiveness, they encourage you to forgive someone who has wronged you. Forgiveness is not for the benefit of the other person, though they do benefit from it. The point of forgiveness is to release your own burden.
14| Animal Time
Nothing provides you with a greater sense of relaxation than chilling out with a pet, whether it’s your own or you visit a friend or shelter. If you do visit a shelter, you are also helping others out, which is a great way to give of yourself.
15| New Scenery
As great as routine can be, sometimes it’s important to get out of your rut and catch some new scenery. How about a museum in the next town over? Or, hop in the car and head to a city you’ve never visited before. Just stimulate your senses by exposing yourself to fresh stimuli.
There is a lot of benefit in maintaining a journal. In this specific technique, you will write out all of your uncertainties and your fears. Then, from there you write a response from a different perspective, one from a confident position, your inspired self. Use the most loving voice you can to respond, and respond as though you are speaking to your best friend, someone you really believe in. This exercise helps you disconnect from anxiety and worry and allows you to gain clarity.
Music can provide you with so much joy. Think of an artist, song or album that fills you with so much joy you just want to get up and dance (or sit back and close your eyes). Sometimes it’s impossible to make time for your friends, you might be working to a tight deadline and your total focus is work. In these types of situations, music can be your best friend. It will provide you with calm and joy. Music can serve as a reassuring heartbeat keeping you in time. It nurtures, it sparks joy. You can turn to it in any situation.
18| Enjoy Art
Go to a museum, find a local gallery, and just take it all in. Art is a great way to find joy that feeds your spirit. Art isn’t limited to paintings or sculptures, consider poetry and prose as well. With this, you can put yourself in the shoes of the artist and create your own art in order to process negative feelings and emotions.
19| Switch it Up
If the school run is a stressful period of your day, switch it up and make it your meditation time. Put some music on and let it envelop you as you shut everything else out.
20| Pleasant Aromas
What smells do you love? Pick up a plant or essential oil that will provide you with that aroma. Take a nice breath of it and transport yourself to another place, away from stress and trouble. You can dab some essential oil into a hankie and just keep it handy so you can grab it when you need it.
21| Practice Gratitude
Take time out each day to write down a few things that you’re truly grateful for.
22| It Isn’t All or Nothing
This idea that it’s all or nothing is so damaging to your spirit. The idea that you can be perfect and obtain perfection is dragging you down. Your spirit will appreciate you more if you could erase this thought from your brain.
23| Live Life in the Present
Head to the nearest park and find yourself a comfortable bench. Close your eyes and listen to the natural sounds of birds chirping, the breeze winding its way through the trees, dogs barking, and children playing. Now open your eyes and watch as dogs run happily through the grass, enjoy the sight of squirrels scampering, and just let yourself be.
Not everyone is cut out for meditation. If you aren’t sure whether it is or you struggle to maintain your focus, this exercise may be more suited to you. This allows you to stay in the present and is actually a form of meditation in and of itself. It will help you connect with your spirit and find joy.
You can’t count the number of grains of sand you’ll find at the beach, they seem never-ending. Yet, there are even more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand. It’s quite remarkable when you think about it like that. Just like the beach can be a relaxing place to spend time, so can staring at the stars. Lay a blanket down in your backyard and enjoy a bit of stargazing. Even better if you have a telescope to get a closer look.
We all have dreams, and those dreams often fuel our actions. Sometimes our dreams don’t come to fruition, and while that’s frustrating it’s really important that we continue to dream. Your dreams nourish your spirit, they feel your soul, and they bring you joy. There’s a lot of joy in achieving those dreams, too. Your spirit will wither and die if you don’t provide it with dreams to dream.
Let’s provide you with some quick tips to find joy that feeds your spirit.
- Spend quality time with people you love and cherish.
- Set boundaries and stick to them.
- It’s okay to admit when you’re tired and take a time out to practice self-care.
- Take time to listen to your inner child, your inner voice, and your gut.
Often, joy feels like a distant dream. In reality, joy is all around you and there are so many different ways that you can find it in order to feed your spirit. Not everything you chase will serve you well.
So, part of finding joy that feeds your spirit is learning how to discern what is good and right for you and what is moving you away from your path.
Like everything, it all starts with eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. From there, you can use the suggestions above to continue building to find joy that will feed your spirit.
You can start now by putting on some joyful music and enjoying a brief moment of meditation before you pick up a good book. See, finding joy isn’t as difficult as you first imagined it would be, is it?