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Why You Need a JOY List Right Now

10 days of joy anxiety confidence happiness worthiness yoga Dec 22, 2020

When was the last time you made a list of the things that make you feel really good? Or, if you already have that list when was the last time you looked at it?

Some of us are working so hard to "fix" the things we see as "wrong" with ourselves and our lives that we simply don't know what brings us joy. Those special things that feed our heart and soul.

Many of us are striving for a better experience somewhere down the road that we haven't developed the skill to be here now or to take control of our thoughts, emotions--and our joy. 

Yes, happiness IS a skill we can learn. And don't worry, there is always time to learn! (I didn't start really understanding most of this until I was 32, and I am almost 49 right now). 

Our joy is not an "or" proposition. Instead, it's an "and" equation. We can have challenges in our lives and still experience joy. Life can be uncertain, confusing, and difficult and we can still know peace.

But somewhere along the way, we learned to mostly (if not always) look around ourselves for permission, based solely on our conditions, to experience peace-of-mind, and joy. But that is a difficult and disempowering way to live because there are just too many factors in life that are out of our control.

Within the eight limbs of yoga is the life-affirming and freedom-enhancing teaching and practice of contentment. A feeling very similar to joy and harmony. Contentment is a deep knowing that you are enough. It's the feeling that you are connected to God, Source, nature, the people you love, and your own soul. Contentment is the knowledge and sensation that you are worthy, whole, and perfect at your core.

Joy is a skill we can practice and master independent of outside influences. And when we make it a habit to connect daily to our joy, and to the things that bring us joy, we can rewire our brains and our bodies for more happiness and peace. Habitual feelings like self-doubt and anxiety (which are not your true nature) give way to a new, wonderful, and harmonious emotional home base and that is a beautiful way to live. 

“If you knew your potential to feel good, you would ask no one to be different so that you can feel good. You would free yourself of all of that cumbersome impossibility of needing to control the world, or control your mate, or control your child. You are the only one who creates your reality. For no one else can think for you, no one else can do it. It is only you, every bit of it you.” - Esther Hicks

Positive emotions, like joy, open us up for greater inspirations, insights, and awareness of all the good that is inherent in life, in ourselves, and others. 

Day Four, Happiness Booster

Make Your Joy List

Make a list of 10 things that bring you joy. These can be things that cost money or totally free things. Here is an example of my JOY list.

  1. Reading a good book
  2. Doing yoga
  3. Day road trips with my husband, Eric
  4. Playing board games with my family
  5. Going on a hike
  6. Having a cup of tea with friends
  7. Dancing in my living room with Jack
  8. Organizing my house!
  9. Writing
  10. Having conversations about life with Jack and hearing his perspective (he is 6)

Okay, go make yours! And make TIME to do the things that light up your soul

Day Four, Anxiety Buster

Practice coherent breathing throughout your day  

Our breath is intimately connected to our wellbeing and our joy. We can literally change our nervous system, which influences our mind and our joy by the way we breathe. 

Deep belly breathing, called coherent breathing, through your nose will stimulate your relaxation response which is one way to gain greater access to contentment and joy without having to change anyone or anything around you. 

So today, pause and take three deep breaths. 

  • Breath in through your nose for a count of five until you feel your belly expand
  • Hold your breath in for a count of 5 and keep your body relaxed
  • Exhale through your nose for a count of 5 until you feel your belly contract
  •  Hold your breath out for a count of 5 and keep your body and mind relaxed
  • Repeat the breath cycle 3 times or more until you feel grounded and content...
  • Repeat several times during the day 

*** This blog post is part of a 10-DAY SERIES, Titled "10 DAYS OF JOY"

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P.S. Let's spread the joy, together. Please SHARE this post with any of the women (or men) in your life!

 

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