Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
You don’t have to work for happiness. It’s already here to be experienced in every moment.
Use this practice to rediscover your natural connection with joy.
The more you practice invoking states of well-being, the more available they are. Use the following practice to teach your mind and body to experience joy in the moment. As you invite happiness into your life in this way, you will have more access to a joyful life.
1. Get comfortable and, if you wish, close your eyes. Become aware of your breath, and breathe slowly and deeply. Breathe in relaxation and a sense of ease. Let go of any tension as you exhale. Let the warmth of relaxation flow through your whole body, from your head all the way down to your feet.
2. Find your own way to the still, quiet center of your being, with your body relaxed, your emotions calm, your mind peaceful and spacious.
3. Think of a time when you experienced great joy and well-being, perhaps when you were in a beautiful place or with a good friend.
4. Recall your experience with as much detail as you can. If possible, bring an image of that moment to mind. What was happening? What was the environment like? Were you alone or with others? What sights or sounds can you remember?
5. Remember how the experience of well-being or joy felt in your body. Did your body feel light? Energetic? Expansive? What did joy feel like in your mind? Did your mind feel open? Present? Clear? Take a few moments to let your awareness feel the sensations in your body and the mood in your mind. Let them fully register as you breathe in this feeling of well-being. Relax into it with each exhalation.
6. Practice calling up this image and the feelings of well-being regularly each day for one week. At times, you may find you can simply invoke and sustain those feelings of well-being without having to re-create the specific memory.
Use this practice whenever you are feeling stuck and want to shift to a more uplifted state of mind, or simply want to open yourself to joy.