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Woman’s World Magazine asked me me to weigh in modern mood boosters—how we bump up our level of joy ever day.

Here are 7 ways you can experience more joy beginning today.

No. 1: Broaden your definition of joy.

To embrace the fullness of joy, we need to broaden, rather than narrow, our understanding of joy. Joy involves a spectrum of emotions, actions, and responses that include gladness, cheer, happiness, merriment, delighting, dancing, shouting, laughing, and playing.  Sometimes you will feel joy, and sometimes you don’t. But you can still act in joy even when you don’t feel like it.

When you start to dance or play on your greyest day—that’s powerful. 

No. 2: Take a joy inventory.

Making a top 10 list of things that boost your mood. Pin it on your bathroom mirror. What’s on your list? Friends. Date night. Time with besties. Pilates. Getting outside. Play dates. Chai tea. Make your list and schedule time for at least two joy boosters every day.

No. 3: Recognize the power of joy.

More than whimsy, joy is the weapon we use to fight’s life’s battle.

You can’t choose your circumstances, but you can choose your response. The next time you find yourself in a sticky situation, uncomfortable circumstances, or sinking despair, hunt for ways to poke holes in the darkness until it bleeds light. Be silly. Love beyond the confines. Do something wildly generous.

No. 4: Stop the negative spirals.

When does your mind spin downward? When do you jump from I forgot to pack my kiddos a lunch to I’m worst mom of the ever? When do you spiral from I had mustard on my chin during my lunch date to I’m going to die alone?

Whenever you notice yourself jumping to tragic conclusions, stop yourself. Giggle at the unreality. Refocus on the areas of “wins” in your life—in relationships, work, faith, and the reality that if no one has told you today, you’re killin’ it!

No. 5: Smile at every face you see today.

Did you know smiling increases our happiness level and makes us more productive. One catch. The grin must be genuine.

Start at home. Smile at your kids. Your spouse. Your family. Look each person in the eyes. Allow your eyes to light up. Let your hidden teeth show.

No. 6: Radiate grace.

When you see a coworker, spouse, or child making a mistake, doing something clumsy, or breaking something valuable, rather than become angry, bring levity through the situation with laughter and compassion. Help the person clean up the mess with a big smile and verbally affirm the person’s value and worth.

No. 7: Add an exclamation point to today.

Don’t let this be another average day. Pause for a moment and consider what simple acts you can do to make today special for you and those you love.

You don’t need much time or money. Pick wildflowers. Gather some fresh tree branches. Place them in a vase on the table. Light a few candles. Pull out the white Christmas tree lights and hang them around your living room. Pull out the fancy dishes. Wear your favorite blouse. Put on some blingy earrings. Today deserves an exclamation! 

If you’re looking for more ways to expand your joy bandwidth, check out the Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears book and 6-session DVD Bible study.