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Rediscover the joie de vivre: 17 tips for more happiness in everyday life

Gain more joie de vivre - who doesn't want that? After all, we can enjoy life to the full, start the day motivated and fully exploit our potential. In short: Joy of life is a key to success. Unfortunately it is ephemeral. Anger, quarrels, life crises, job loss - all of this can take our joy away. If it does not happen for a longer period of time, we should take action and ask ourselves how we can find and regain our joie de vivre. Permanent! You can find more than 17 tips and suggestions here ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

What is joie de vivre?

Joy of life manifests itself in a subjective, positive feeling. We are overjoyed - blissful, feel alive, have fun in life, in the mood for adventure, are grateful and full of energy. Some feel it as something that floods them warmly, calms them down and relaxes them. Others experience it invigorating, exuberant, almost ecstatic. The feeling of joie de vivre is closely related to other positive attributes, such as self-confidence, vitality, optimism, creativity and happiness. If you have everything together, you would love to dance for joy and hug the whole world.

Joy of life gives us excessive strength and energy, gives us confidence, awakens hope and gives us deep satisfaction. Joy of life can take over and meet us in a moment - on the couch with a cup of coffee or while taking a walk with our partner.

Joy of life is our interpretation of the circumstances

The same applies when we have achieved a goal or have successfully completed a professional project and receive broad recognition for it. However, one thing is immediately noticeable: It is less the circumstances that trigger the joie de vivre. Rather, it is our interpretation of the circumstances.

Is zest for life a decision?

Joy of life depends crucially on how we judge things ourselves. Even strokes of fate and serious accidents with dramatic physical consequences do not necessarily have to plunge people into disaster. Many a (r) experience the proverbial "luck in misfortune". Whether we feel the joy of life or not - it is less the circumstances that decide, but rather how we react to these circumstances, what significance we give them. How we experience it and how we adjust to it. And whoever thinks, for example, that they are in control of their own happiness, is usually more joyful.

How is joy of life created?

Everyone associates a different meaning with the term “joie de vivre”. The triggers are individually different. It can be caused by external circumstances, by other people or simply from within ourselves. The events that can awaken the joy of life include, for example:

➠ Love returned
➠ tenderness and security
➠ An honest compliment
➠ A smile from a stranger
➠ An important finding
➠ Nice music
➠ A sunny day by the sea
➠ A walk in nature
➠ An unexpected win
➠ Have a good conversation
➠ A nice contact
➠ Professional / personal success
➠ A hoped-for, good news

No more joie de vivre - why lost?

Unfortunately, joie de vivre is not a permanent condition. It is ephemeral and needs to be cared for in order to preserve it. Scientists still do not know exactly why some people suddenly feel less zest for life or no longer feel it at all. One thing is certain: the individual situation and personality of each person have a major influence on how happy we are, how we react to strokes of fate and how much joy we generally feel in life.

Some start every day with a smile and the feeling of being able to do anything, while others have hardly any energy to do anything at all. Expectations that are too high, persistent pessimism, jealousy, anger and fears as well as the constant focus on the negative things in life can also weaken the joy of life.

2 causes of decreasing zest for life

However, there are two important differences in the causes of a decrease in the joy of life:

  • There is a specific trigger. If you are going through a difficult time, you can be frustrated and joyless. But then we also know why this is and can deal with the situation or try to process it. Here the joie de vivre often comes back on its own after a while and over time we become more balanced again.
  • It becomes a permanent state. If there is no trigger that could explain why the fun and joy of life is lacking, the cause can lie deeper. Behind this, there can be a serious psychological problem that makes it difficult for those affected to experience joy. It is then important to secure the support of those around you and, if necessary, to consult a doctor, since a lack of zest for life can also be a sign of the onset of depression.

Quite a few then numb their grief with alcohol or pills. They begin to smoke, overeat, pay less attention to their health and fitness, sleep less and poorly. But none of that makes it any better, on the contrary: It is the beginning of a dangerous downward spiral that should be recognized and broken as early as possible.


Zest for life is a tailor-made suit. Unhappy people are those who try to wear someone else's tailored suit.

How do I get more zest for life?

There are plenty of zest for life quotes. Many of these aphorisms and wisdoms have a motivating effect. For the moment. Joy of life sayings do not help in the long term as long as they remain just sayings. The implementation of the clever sayings and quotes is decisive. Anyone who wants to find and maintain the joy of life has to be active.

As individual as the causes of the joie de vivre are, so are the paths that lead to more joie de vivre. Joy of life can be trained, but there is no general recipe for it with a fixed 3-step plan.

Find fulfillment and happiness in the here and now

In addition, the joy of life is nothing that can be broken over the knee. To find joy in life and to regain energy, it takes time and a little patience. The good news is: You don't have to go on an extensive trip around the world, celebrate daily exercises or make a dent in the universe. Joy of life, fulfillment and happiness are rather the result of a different (self) awareness, of daily mindfulness and serenity and a life in the here and now.

Rediscover joie de vivre: 17 tips

Even small changes in everyday life are enough to rediscover or regain your own zest for life. Just small things - but with a big effect. You will find a total of 17 of them below:

1. Get to know yourself better

Self-knowledge is a fundamental step to regain your joy of life. We often spend too much time with things or people that are not good for us. If this condition lasts too long, the whole well-being suffers. Ask yourself what you enjoy, what makes you feel good and what activities do you recharge your batteries. The answer to this question is different for everyone. You may need exercise to counterbalance stress, you may need more time with your friends, or you may indulge in relaxation in the bathtub or a visit to the sauna.

2. Take your time

Everyone is always somehow stressed, everything has to be done as quickly as possible and most of them don't have time for breaks. But it is precisely these that are necessary to calm down and process negative thoughts. Therefore try as often as possible - ideally every day - to schedule times that you only keep free. Either to consciously relax, to meditate (for example with metta meditation) and simply to devote yourself to doing nothing. You can just as easily pursue activities that are good for you and contribute to the joy of life. Make these time outs a habit - and you will keep the joy.

3. Exercise

It is a well-known tip, but it does not lose its relevance or relevance. Sport can increase the joy of life by releasing happiness hormones. In addition, you are doing something for your health and you can be proud of the results if you can continue to improve over time and set new personal bests.

4. Rise above yourself

If you want to achieve more joie de vivre, you can work on yourself. By overcoming challenges, solving problems, and achieving goals, you add new value to your actions that you can be proud of. You may feel good in your comfort zone, but you can often find a lot of new joie de vivre outside of the familiar routines. Dare to look for it and surpass yourself in the process.

5. Surround yourself with the right people

Not all people are good for you. For more joie de vivre, you should above all surround yourself with people who are good for you, with whom you are happy and, above all, with whom you can be completely yourself. On the other hand, you should withdraw from toxic people and banish them from the environment. Unfortunately, this is not always easy, but for more zest for life it is worth the effort.

6. Help other people

You can increase your zest for life not only by concentrating on yourself, but also by helping other people and making their lives easier or better. Helpfulness can start with the little things. Offer a favor and help when you find that someone else might need help. To see that your own actions make a difference or to hear a serious thank you can arouse great joie de vivre and help to discover meaning in your own actions.

7. Smile as often as you can

Frequent smiles have a positive effect on the joy of life. Even if you don't have a specific reason to smile. The same reactions are triggered in the body that release happiness hormones and thus increase the joy of life. At first it is unfamiliar to just smile like that, but if you do it regularly, it is a simple exercise that can bring you more zest for life.

8. Accept the bad days

Maintaining the joy of life should not be confused with a permanent state of happiness. Anyone who expects this can only be disappointed and then think at some point that they are doing something wrong. It is important to recognize that negative feelings do not stand in the way of the joy of life - especially not in the long run. Times when we process our negative emotions are important for dealing with them properly. We also learn to deal better with defeats or setbacks. True joie de vivre is not tied to a life in the sunshine - it can at most fill up with some energy.

9. Lower your expectations

Perfectionism makes it extremely difficult to feel the joy of life. With such high expectations you will always find a fly in the ointment, you will never be really satisfied and you will only ever concentrate on what has not turned out perfectly. It is better if you lower your expectations and are already satisfied with less than the absolute optimum. This prevents disappointment and helps you to enjoy life more.

10. Indulge in positive memories

For a little more zest for life, it is often enough to remember particularly good times or things from the past. Find a memory that is particularly positive for you and let it affect you. Try to remember intensely, imagine scenes and pictures in detail and re-feel happiness and joy. In this way, positive emotions from the past can be revived in order to increase the joy of life in the present.

11. Always discover something new

Curiosity can be an important factor in how you enjoy life. If you try something new and keep setting new goals, you can increase your sense of happiness. On the one hand, it increases the joy of life anyway, not to lapse into standstill, but to continue to grow and think outside the box. On the other hand, through your curiosity, you may find something that you really enjoy. For example, it could be a new hobby that you are enthusiastic about.

12. Be good to yourself

Being able to deal with yourself well is a basic prerequisite for enjoying life. Don't make life difficult for yourself, treat yourself as best you can. Don't blame yourself unjustified, be fair with yourself and don't ask for anything you can't do. Treat yourself to something nice every now and then to please yourself or to reward yourself for an effort. Even little things can increase the joy of life or help to find it again.

13. End disputes

Many people are naturally in need of harmony. The more arguments and disagreements they experience, the more the joy of life suffers from the situation. Take the first step and try to resolve old disputes and reconcile with the people concerned. Often you do not need to say much to do this; the gesture of approaching the other can be enough to resolve conflicts that may have arisen over small things.

14. Listen to your favorite music

Music can have a positive effect on your joie de vivre in a short period of time. This is mainly because it can evoke and amplify emotions. This works both ways - both sad and happy. If you want to increase your zest for life, you should therefore hear the right songs that will put a smile on your face immediately.

15. Develop more gratitude

Often we only see the things that go wrong or what is missing. In doing so, we not only create a negative mood, but also develop a view of deficiencies. Gratitude draws our gaze back and gives us satisfaction. Instead of complaining, we recognize our real wealth: health, friends, food, a roof over our heads ... All of these are not taken for granted, but great happiness. If you find the grateful attitude difficult, you can write down a list of the things he or she is grateful for in life. You can also write a so-called success diary. Take this up as soon as you get lost in negative thoughts.

16. Use the power of your memories

When did you feel really well? Which moment in the past do you associate with great joie de vivre and pure happiness? Put yourself consciously and concentrated back to this point in time and try to make the memory as vivid as possible. So you can relive the emotions associated with it.

17. Work on your self-esteem

A lack of zest for life can often be traced back to a wrong self-image. If there is a lack of self-esteem and you think badly of yourself, happiness and satisfaction automatically decrease. The only antidote: learn to appreciate yourself again. Be aware of what others would also notice positively about you (there is always something!); put yourself under less pressure and lower your expectations of your own performance. In this way you give yourself the chance to develop more fun and motivation and to concentrate on your good sides.

Free download: 25 things that make you happy

We have also created an additional catalog with 25 little things in life that make you happy. You can also download a PDF guide on how we can be happier at work. There are also the results of a study (Glücksatlas) on what makes Germans currently happy at work:

Zest for life killer: What is guaranteed to make you unhappy

Of course, there is also the downside - ways into unhappiness. Sometimes we don't necessarily have to do MORE in order to gain or find more joy in life. Rather, at times we should have LESS those habits and mindsets that make us unhappy. These include, for example:

  • Humiliation
    Life is not a popularity contest. Anyone who still takes part can only lose. You can never please EVERYONE. Better keep your backbone.
  • Control addiction
    Man plans - fate laughs. Wanting to control everything at all times only robs quality of life. Those who learn to embrace change become more joyful.
  • Addiction
    In search of confirmation we become slaves to others. But our self-worth is autonomous. And joie de vivre is something very personal, that is nobody's business.
  • bitterness
    Every minute we get angry, we lose 60 seconds of happiness.That only leads to a kind of tunnel vision. But it's always dark at the end of it. Resentment only harms ourselves without changing anything.
  • Brooding
    There are two things we should be less worried about: things we can't control anyway. And: things that we can control. Instead of “What if?” We should ask: “Why not ?!”
  • Egocentricity
    You can jump through any hoop someone else holds out to us. But you don't have to. Anyone who thinks the world revolves around him is also loaded with all the frustration in the world. It's your own fault.
  • Hold tight
    There is no harm in being wronged. You just have to be able to forget it. Those who stick to the past miss the present and the future. Being able to forgive and forget shows greatness and is a balm for relationships.

Constant comparison with others is just as detrimental to our joie de vivre. There will always be people who are (apparently or objectively) better off, who have more or who are more successful. So what?! Joy of life is not relative or a zero-sum game. When others do better, we do not automatically fare worse. Unless we let it get us down. But that is again a pure matter of decision.

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