Don’t live life on repeat: Why we need to put joy first

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Take time at the end of each day to look back and focus on three things you are glad about that day. PHOTO: Paul Stachowiack/Pixabay

You know you feel better after an evening spent laughing – really belly-achingly laughing – with good friends.
You go home, sleep well and wake ready for the new day with an extra spring in your step and affection in your heart.
It’s all to do with the endorphins you released as you laughed.
Endorphins reduce stress. Hence how you feel.
Barbara Fredrickson, American Professor and author, scientifically links positivity and resilience.
In one of her studies, results showed those who scored higher on a resilience question in a study run immediately after the 9/11 attacks generally experienced more positive emotions of empathy, gratitude and love than those participants with lower resilience scores.
The two paths are inextricably linked.
The habit of practising gratitude is widely beneficial.
I see it with a lot of clients.
Taking time at the end of each day to look back and focus on three things you are glad about that day brings together pausing, processing, positive thinking, stillness.
All reminding yourself there were things that day to be happy about and that it wasn’t just made up of a broken washing machine and no milk in the fridge, for example.
I was talking to a client a few weeks ago about writing.
They enjoyed writing but didn’t allocate time for writing about their area of expertise because ‘the world is cluttered with writers on this subject’.
I felt that was missing the point of writing.
If you gain value, contentment, pleasure or joy from writing – or walking, or playing squash, or collecting old motorbikes – do it.
Not because it has value beyond your four walls but because it brings depth to your life.
Now more than ever, I’m pretty sure that is a good enough reason.
To quote Shannon Kennedy, author and fellow life coach: “There is gold around you all the time if you choose to look for it, engage and be present.
This is what gives depth to our lives.”
I think that depth is the nugget we all need to keep looking for.
Take away the depth and what are you left with? Just everyday life on repeat.
Let’s make time for the things that add the depth or our lives.
Alice Johnsen is a life coach based near Sherborne (07961 080513; alicejohnsen.co.uk)

by Alice Johnsen

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