Seasons Change: Tip #3 Nourish Yourself with Joy Daily
Welcome back! We are on the third tip for how to flourish through changing seasons. So far we have talked about setting your intention for the season by finding your word and paying attention to the purpose. Said another way we have talked about going through changing times in life by setting your mind from the get-go on what you want that season to be and then paying attention, as you walk through the journey, to the purpose in the experience or what you need to learn or absorb from the experience.
Now, we are going to talk about making each step of that journey better. Again, we are talking about something we will do ON PURPOSE. Regardless of whether your season is a difficult, monotonous but harmless, or wonderful season of life this tip can be beneficial. I have a sign in my office that says “I think I’ll just be happy today.” It reminds me every day that I own the rights to the script of my life each day and I can choose to write scenes that result in happiness or I can choose to write scenes that don’t. Many people are under the misconception that feelings are controllers much like the remote control to your television. This leads to the misconception that feelings are outside of our personal control. Both of these are false. Feelings are important and necessary. We were given the spectrum of feelings we experience for a purpose. Anxiety helps you protect yourself in response to danger. Anger helps you protect yourself in times of boundary crossing. Sadness helps you experience what the pleasure of happiness is. All emotions are beneficial but not all emotional reactions are. We can create emotional experiences and thus they are not a control switch that flips without our influence that we must react to. With this being understood let’s move on to how you can nourish yourself with joy.
Joy is different than happiness. Did you know that joy (and not happy) can be a verb. That tells me that it has action potential. It is not a passive state of feeling that happens to you based on external circumstances, like happiness. Joy is an internal state of being and thinking that is completely in your bubble of control. There is a a wise old command that says to “count it all joy” meaning no matter what you face, find the benefit in it and count it joy. Sounds a lot like paying attention to the purpose huh? So basically we are building a second layer onto that intention with a little oomph. If we can create joy by our mindset and our actions then we can create a state of being that no matter what comes our way we can rest in joy. I am going to suggest that to do this you follow tip #2 (Pay Attention to the Purpose) AND do one thing every day that you ENJOY. Interesting side-note both joy and enjoy originated from the same Latin word (gaudere) meaning to rejoice or take pleasure in. Using that definition we can practice nourishing ourselves with joy in two ways.
- Put on the attitude of JOY daily by intentionally walking in a posture of joy. This would present as a standing tall posture, a soft smile when greeting others or experiencing something you enjoy, and a relaxed body that might be induced by physical exercises such as yoga or relaxation exercises such as progressive muscle relaxation.
2. Engage in 1 activity per day that you take pleasure in/ENJOY. This might include the following but of course each person’s list will be unique:
- Start each morning with the perfect cup of coffee.
- Activate a helpful mindset for the day by beginning with a daily devotion or other inspirational reading.
- Make your daily “getting ready” routine more enjoyable by identifying clothing you feel good in and creating an appearance you are confident with.
- Close your eyes and inhale a deep cleansing breath when you first step outside. Exhale and open your eyes. Take just a few seconds to notice anything beautiful or remarkable.
- Pack a lunch you enjoy eating and savor it without doing anything else.
- Watch a television show that makes you laugh, cry, guess, whatever works for you.
- Subscribe to funny video pages on social media and check one out every day.
- Subscribe to inspirational pages on social media and flood yourself with these messages while unfollowing people or pages that bring about inner-tension when you see them.
- Take a bubble-bath.
- Say aloud one thing you are grateful for every day.
- Once per month do something extra to treat yourself. Perhaps it would be a massage or new hair-cut? For options that do not cost money, treat yourself to a walk around the lake or a visit to play with puppies at the local rescue or pet-store (if you can resist and not bring them home 😉 ).
All of these are practical things that anyone can do every day. Do not let not having time or other people’s demands on you prevent you from creating JOY in your life. Remember, this is a choice of intentional action. We make time for what matters in our lives. The suggestions I offer here will take a few minutes of our daily time and can result in more experiences of joy in daily life. Isn’t that worth it?
Choose JOY, create JOY, nourish yourself with JOY today!
Take it a step further:
If you have read this and are thinking of a million reasons (or perhaps excuses) why you can not try this tip, I challenge you to take one day to act as though those reasons don’t exist. If you are thinking I don’t have time then tomorrow wake up 5 minutes early and add just one daily thing you enjoy for the 5 minutes extra you have in the day.
Think about your experience of joy over the past week. Rate the level of joy you experienced on a scale of 1-10 (10 being extremely joyful) and write it down somewhere you can refer back to it later. Add two enjoyable events to your daily schedule every day for the next week. After that week, re-rates your experience of joy over those 7 days on the same 1-10 scale. What were the results? If your score went up, even by one point, you have made progress. Keep doing what worked for you!