These last few years have been difficult for many people. Sickness, isolation, and the near-constant barrage of bad news from the media have certainly taken their toll on our physical, emotional, and mental health. It’s enough to make anyone feel down or depressed.

While struggling with these feelings can be tough, the good news is that there is hope: joy is just around the corner. As hard to believe as it may be sometimes, joy is always available to us – you simply have to choose it.

Here are some tips to help you tap into joy.

Listen for Joy

Sometimes you just have to slow down and listen to your inner voice. The outside world is busy and noisy, and can therefore distract us from the joy that may be bubbling right below the surface. By taking the time to be more present in the moment, you can tap into those feelings of joy that are just waiting to be found within yourself.

One good way to try listening for joy is by practicing mindfulness, as it focuses on being in the present. Research shows that mindfulness is linked to increased happiness, lower depression and anxiety, and an overall sense of purpose in life.

Look for Joy

Joy can be found just about everywhere. Look for signs of joy in your friends, family, or even strangers out in the world. When we start seeing joy on the faces of others, perhaps especially loved ones, it’s hard not to experience feelings of joy ourselves.

For example, how do you feel when watching a close family member do something they love? You may find it tough to be sad when you’re seeing so much joy in the present moment. The love and joy radiating off of people can be simply infectious, so do your best to recognize it and use it to your advantage.

Laugh for Joy

Is it even possible to not experience some kind of joy while laughing? Even if you are feeling down, a moment of laughter can bring you a moment of joy, and that’s certainly better than nothing. In fact, it can be a great starting point to lighten your mood and encourage you to seek out even more sources of joy.

Laughter is something that is always available to you, and there’s no limit to how often you can get the giggles. You can laugh by yourself, turn around and laugh with a friend, and then turn around again and laugh with your pet! Joy and laughter are absolutely linked, so the next time you’re feeling down and remember to tap into joy, try putting on a funny movie or telling some jokes with your friends. It really can be that easy to unlock those feelings of joy.

Remind Yourself about Joy

As you can see from the previous examples, tapping into joy doesn’t have to be a complicated process. You don’t have to go searching for it in books, podcasts, and expensive retreats. Sometimes it is simply a matter of reminding yourself that joy already lives within you – you’ve just got to find it.