Think of a positive memory from the last week or the last month and let yourself bask in it. Soak up the calm and use the good memories to help chase dark moods away and hopefully hold on longer to recent good and positive feelings you’ve had.
One of my favorite memories from the past month was sitting and feeling comfortable (a big thing given back pain,) while looking out at the Pacific ocean from the Annenberg beach house and watching the sun hopscotch on the waves. Not having to be anywhere that moment and knowing that when I came home later, there would not be an upset teenager in tantrum mode was also a part of this. And the knowledge that there would be a fully stocked refrigerator from all the grocery runs of late, to keep me grateful and sated, also added an extra layer of “aaah” joyful care free feelings. It was a subtle realization that all was copacetic for that moment.
Just the waves. Just the calm. A friend or my sister on the phone, a book or magazine to read. Calm and not having to rush to go, to do, to be, to accomplish. A good recent memory is also of talking to my grandmother and feeling happy, not upset and cranky and not in a hurry.
Another thing that gave me joy this past month was having a peaceful time with my husband. Having time to myself and having some quiet time with him, where the music of life was not blaring and I was rested.
One thing that is important in bringing yourself ‘back to the good’ in your life is thinking about how you talk to yourself and what memories and thoughts you choose to focus on because you just might believe them! Be careful…it’s the old adage of whatever you tell yourself, you just might believe it.
My choices about how to talk to myself, whether in a positive or, at least, encouraging type of way, will help my work or my communications go more successfully. If I choose to stay in fear of what I see or hear on the daily news or, then it will be harder for me to choose hope and be proactively and realistically positive in my daily life in the world and may make me feel like rain clouds are forming over my head. Now, even as we need to take time to address difficult and painful things going on in our lives and the world in which we function, an outlook that incorporates and brings us back to good and positive often can help us to remain resilient and happier in the midst of everything.
We can, even if the work is slow, try to change things in how we, (I,) interpret the world around ourselves and the thoughts we tell ourselves to be happier and more positive and help move projects and goals or ourselves forward in good ways so the rising tide floats all boats.
One example of this is small, If I choose to sing the line from the old Justin Timberlake song, “I got that sunshine in my pocket/ Got that good soul in my feet,” then I putting myself in a brighter place than I may have been a minute before. A little ditty, a few moments, but music, exercise, focusing on bright moments in our day(s) are all healthy ways to bring yourself to a good place!
According to the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/podcasts/item/3_good_things the practice of trying to recall three good things that have happened in your day and what led to them and then reflecting back on that in your life is a simple practice to try to help you hold onto, retain and incorporate more of the good and positive things in your life. You could also try this for things that have happened in the past week or month.
I find that when I talk to myself in a calmer, kinder, gentler voice, my heart rate goes down, I feel happier, calmer, kinder and gentler in the world at large. When I turn to faith and ask for help there, I find myself comforted in troubling times. These are not new methodologies for coping, but in the buffet style of choosing ways to assist ourselves to be more joyful and thrive amidst challenges, they work together in tandem to create a harmonious meal in my life!
One idea is to set a timer on my smartphone to send little reminders to “talk nicer to yourself,” “tune out the bad news cycle for a few minutes,” “gently nurture your dreams and squash your fears,” instead of the other way around! Maybe in the language of my speech, I can aim to remember to cogitate on the good and positive and let my pleasant memories and dreams fly.
Dialoging joy, or how to speak to yourself in more positive ways about anything going on in your personal or global world, seems to me to be a bit of an internal dialogue that has a ripple effect on the world.
A friend reminded me of this on our morning walk, “You know how you always quote from something attributed to the late Maya Angelou, about how ‘People will not remember what you said or what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel.’”? Her point was well-taken. The quote goes for me towards myself as well.
I hope that YOU are finding ways to “capture” and hold onto the good and more positive and upbeat emotions and memories in these tumultuous days and times. Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas via email to [email protected]
Before you go
Be sure and scoot over to my JOYFESTIVAL Shop and check out my DIY Joy Kits!
I’ve always believed that your personal mission to Raise Your Joy Quotient can take many forms. They can be gatherings at a home that includes music, poetry, comedy, vision boarding, some interesting speech, meditation and other activities led by you or friends.
Or they can be subtle and gentle like a quiet dinner with friends or the creation of a mobile pop-up Happiness Room in the public sector. There is no right or wrong way to facilitate your own JOYFESTIVAL, but it does need to have the common ingredients of gratitude, joy, positivity, connection, and activity for it to work best!
Luckily, I’ve taken much of the guesswork out of creating your own JOYFESTIVAL with the creation of my DIY Joy Kits. Within these kits, you will find all the tips, ideas, processes and activities to take the angst out of throwing the “meaningful-party” enabling you to share your own inner joy with the world around you, whether you’re in the midst of darkness or light, busy lives or lives that need a jumpstart. Click the image above to visit the JOYFESTIVAL Shop or go here.