Do you have a JOY list!
Wait a what? What is a JOY list?
Well let’s first start with what is JOY because I think a lot of people think JOY is simply being happy or happiness in general, but it’s much deeper than that. In Brene’ Browns book Atlas of the Heart, Mapping Meaningful Connection, and the Language of Human Experience, she defines JOY as “the good mood of the soul…an intense feeling of deep spiritual connection, pleasure, and appreciation” She goes on to quote researcher Matthew Kuan Johnson saying “while experiencing JOY, we don’t lose ourselves, we become more truly ourselves. With JOY, colors seem brighter, physical movements feel freer and easier, and smiling happens involuntarily.”
This is how I know when something brings me JOY, I get that excited feeling in my chest or my stomach, almost like butterflies and like Johnson said a true smile just happens. Everyone should have a list of these things that give you pure JOY!
Okay back to the JOY list, what is it? Well, it is exactly as it sounds a list of things that bring you JOY and this list should grow as you discover new things and try new things.
But why is it important to have one? Life is filled with ups and downs, fun, and grief, while we go through this thing called life we should always focus on what makes our life worth living. As we get older I think we all realize, nothing is promised to us and we need to live our lives doing things that bring us JOY.
Having a JOY list is also a great way to align your life goals and motivate you to keep working towards the milestones that will ultimately bring you the most JOY. Again, your goals should give you that “butterfly” feeling I was talking about, your dreams should fill you with excitement, even if they scare you a little. So when you are creating your list, it should also reflect the vision you have of your life, what fulfills you, your passion, what gives you the feeling of achievement.
Your JOY list will not look like other peoples JOY list, but guess what? It’s not supposed to, its YOUR list not theirs. Here are some prompts to help you come up with your list:
- When do you feel most relaxed?
- When and what makes you feel safe?
- When do you get that excited feeling in your stomach?
- Where/when do you feel happy?
- What do you daydream about?
- Has there been a time when you just smile involuntarily? When was that?
I hope these questions help you to create your own JOY list. I am going to give you some examples of my JOY list.
- Laying at the beach, listening to the ocean
- Snuggling with my children
- Time with my dog
- My morning alone time
- Working out
- Having a really good conversation with a family member or friend
- Helping people live better
- Reading and learning
- Vacations with my family
Make your own JOY list and when you find yourself stressed, anxious or just blah, pull it out and do something that brings you JOY. Tracking when you do things that bring you JOY also helps keep balance in your life. We are all so busy that sometimes we forget to slow day and focus on JOY. Make it a priority!
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