Some people seem to have a propensity to enjoy life. Do you know someone like this Someone that seems to find ways to enjoy the things that make up their day? Others (and sadly, it is too many others) have stopped pursuing the things in this world that bring them joy.
Learning (or re-learning) how to enjoy parts of our life is a crucial component to one’s ability to rewire their mind. For some this comes so naturally, while for many others it is only something that they vaguely remember from some time gone by. In fact, I have worked with many people who not only have forgotten how to experience joy in life, but have gone as far as to develop a sense of guilt whenever joy comes even remotely close. This is one of the sad byproducts of a busy world where doing and achieving are the ultimate goals.
So what is it that you would say you really enjoy doing? Is it being outdoors? Is it being with a friend? Is it planning and going on a trip? Is it knitting a hat? Is it reading a great book? Gardening? Whatever it is, we must find a way to keep these things in our lives.
When I work with groups of people, I sometimes like to perform the following exercise, and I'd like to try it with you all right now. It'll just take a minute and it's very simple.
Get a pen and piece of paper (If you can't get to one right now, just use your finger and a flat surface for this exercise)
Make a list of seven things you really enjoy doing. Just take your time and think about each thing as you write it. Don't rush it. I'll just hang out while you do this.....
Take a few moments to look over the items on your list again.
Now....how do you feel? How are you thinking about your day and your weekend? If you're anything like me, you're thinking about it differently now. You're possibly feeling differently now too.
It’s a crazy deal to think we would ever come to a place where we need to struggle to find joy, but that is exactly where some are. It is a good fight. Positive change will come out of finding a space in our worlds for the things that bring us joy.