We can all agree that the past year, well two years, have been tough in many different ways. The whirlwind of emotions has been never ending – the most overwhelming emotions have been anxiety and fear. While trying to navigate those two emotions I lost my ability to fully feel and hold on to positive emotions. I spent some time reflecting on one of the best emotions, joy and why it has always felt fleeting and unattainable.
Joy is often fleeting but not for the lack of joy in this world but rather for our ability to hold onto and choose joy. Joy isn’t something that falls into our laps, or something that we earn - rather it is something we can choose to have, hold and own for ourselves. This year I’m not letting anxiety and fear control my mind, yes I will feel those emotions but the emotion I will circle back to and choose time and time again is joy. Making a conscious choice to feel joy doesn’t happen overnight so I’ve found a few ways to recentre myself in order to choose joy. When you feel yourself swirling in negative emotions, remember you can choose to feel something else, like joy!
Our day to day lives get filled up with responsibilities, commitments and let’s be honest, worries. We often move from one task to the next without realizing what our internal dialogue is fixated on. Without creating space to be aware of our thoughts and feelings we will allow ourselves to focus on the negative feelings. Be intentional and create space for you to explore your emotions - whether it be 10 minutes in the morning while you’re making your coffee or when you end work for the day and can decompress the day before you enjoy your evening. During this time jot down a list of emotions you felt that day. As each day passes, reflect on the prominent emotions and reflect on what brought those emotions on.
Childlike joy is something so special that we lose even younger because of the weight of the world. When was the last time you daydreamed and let your mind wander? When we stop thinking about what’s practical or realistic we allow ourselves to explore our subconscious. Daydreaming allows your mind to create a world that is focused on what would bring you joy - maybe that’s traveling more, changing your career, finding a new hobby, etc. Let yourself shake off the responsibilities of life and explore your dreams.
Make a Joy List
A joy list is really just that, a list of things that bring you joy. Maybe it’s going for a walk and listening to a podcast - I can recommend many good ones! It could be watching a comedy special or movie that no matter what always cracks you up. I created a bookmark folder with all my favourite youtube videos, bloopers from tv shows and articles that bring me joy. On those days that I feel low and like nothing can get me out of my spiral, I open this folder and rewatch all those clips that are guaranteed to make me laugh and feel lighter.
Do you remember playing as a child and hours would fly by? We need more of that in our lives. Play can take many forms from literally playing a game - Yahtzee is one of my favourites or playing video games and allowing yourself to get out of reality. Play can also be picking up a new hobby for fun - not to start a side hustle or achieve something. It can often be hard to bring play back into your life but remember that play shouldn’t have an outcome or a level of achievement. If you feel stuck this is the perfect time to ask your friends and family what they do for play and try new things!
Speak it into Existence
We’ve heard this before, but it’s true, speaking things into existence is very real. Take 5 minutes in the morning and speak to yourself in the mirror, tell yourself what you want out of the day and what you expect to happen. Speak positivity into your life at the top of your day, say it out loud and like you mean it. As you move through the day, revisit your little pep talk you had in the morning, repeat it to yourself when things feel like they’re getting off track and refocus on what you’re choosing for yourself. Each day choose how you want to feel and choose joy.
Very positive Mary. We all need to hear this and refocus on our daily
Lives. ❤️. I try to pass it on each day to others. ❤️