The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.
A good piece of advice I received in therapy a while ago was that whenever I’m in a low moment, I need to try like hell to do something that brings me joy, peace, and/or happiness.
My therapist used all the technical chemical terms but I don’t remember them so I’ll paraphrase. When you do things that bring you joy, you release that good energy into your body. The more you do it, the more normal it feels, and the more your body and mind expects it to happen.
When We’re Low
Often, when we’re in those times where we feel low, we try to simply “let it pass”. When we try to let those low moments pass by doing nothing, our body normalizes that negative energy and it becomes the norm, and we tell our bodies to expect these feelings because we indirectly allow them to grow.
The last thing we want to do when we’re feeling low is focus on doing happy things. Well, I’ll speak for myself and say I know I don’t always want to. We don’t really think about how that affects us because all we can focus on in that moment is how bad we feel. I continue to use we because I do it too. Some days I just want to lay up on my couch with some ice cream and sulk until those feelings pass and I’m “happy” again.
The problem with that is that it becomes the body’s norm and what it expects each and every time you have a low moment. So how do we work on counteracting this? We do things that bring us joy, every day and all day. ESPECIALLY when we feel like doing them the least.
Find Your Joy
Make a list of all the things you enjoy doing, and that makes your heart smile. This is something my therapist made me do during our first session and she constantly refers back to it. Go for a walk, go color, listen to some good music, hang with a friend, do a service project, do a backflip, watch videos of babies laughing on YouTube.. whatever it is, just do it. It may feel forced or like a chore in the moment but your body will come to love and expect it and you will notice changes in your moods.
Based on the time of the year, life events, and changes, it can be easy to get stuck in a low place feeling like it won’t pass. Work at your happy. Find your joy.
As always, sending love and light to you all.