This week I have been consciously increasing my joy capacity by actively gathering Moments of Joy. As a result, I have been more positive, laughed more, managed my busy schedule better with less stress, been more consistent with my fitness goals and I have noticed my desire for chocolate has decreased!
What I have found most interesting this week is when I slowed down, I saw the small things or moments in my day that normally I would pass over. I’m actually pausing and enjoying them. This also satisfies my need for immediate gratification!
As I posted last week, taking small breaks during the day to move the brain from stress to balance stops the stress response and engages our pre-frontal cortex. We then access eudonic rewards, which not only enhance how we feel and operate in the current moment, but also increase our physical and mental health in the long term.
Try all three methods below to see which one you like best!
Past, present, future
1. Take several deep breaths, relax your body then bring up a memory from your past where you felt joy. Bring up that memory where you felt loved, happy, content, etc and roll it around in your mind until you feel yourself relax even more or get that sensation of warmth in your body.
The great thing about the brain is that it can’t distinguish between what is currently happening or what happened the past so we can relive positive experiences over and over and increase our joy capacity and health.
2. Gather one from the present moment. Take several deep breaths, relax your body then notice something about the presence that engages your compassion for yourself or others, or bring a smile to your face and you feel yourself being more connected in the present moment.
3. You probably figured out what’s next…take a few deep body breaths, relax your body and connect with yourself and then bring up something that you are anticipating and looking forward to. Think about it enough until you feel your body relax or that release of feel good neurotransmitters.
I find I don’t let myself get as excited about things as I did when I was younger… but, it’s time to get excited!
Does thinking about the past, present or future bring you the most joy?
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