The last thing anyone wants to hear when they are having a difficult time, is a pithy quotation of positive thinking. "Choose Joy!" doesn't go so far when you're practically falling from an airplane (emotionally speaking). In those moments, truly it's more comforting to hear something like..."Hold on, honey, it will be over soon!" And it will.
So choosing joy doesn't happen in the middle of the very worst parts, there is just too much momentum going against joy at that point. So when does choosing joy happen? Its much more subtle and practiced. We choose joy one better feeling thought at a time. When we get that very first distressful thought- boom, THAT's the time to stop and choose joy. When we barely start to feel the smallest bit of anxiety or unease. THAT's the most important moment of your day to STOP everything and find a better feeling if you can.
2. Thought inquiry (link to my free downloadable worksheets)
3. Self Soothing
4. Find a better feeling thought by going general
5. Distract yourself
6. Change the subject in your mind
7. Take a nap or go to bed (this stops all thought momentum)
When we first get started in healing, choosing joy is an uncomfortable thing to practice. We are not used to feeling good and in many aspects, it makes us feel vulnerable and uneasy when we feel joy. This is because our brains and bodies have so often become adjusted and even reliant (or addicted) on the stress chemicals related to stress and drama. In a sense your body begins to CRAVE the emotional soup that it's come to expect from you. So yeah, it gets uncomfy for a bit as we begin to ease that pattern.
The thing is, it's awkward, but it really does feel better. So to be clear, I'm not saying to do or things that actually make you feel WORSE, but rather that getting better can simply feel strange and uncomfortable for a bit.
However, trying new things (like the things listed above) will be the best way to get new and different results in your life!
Change comes in little by little, which is good because we don't want it to come all at once, right!? Take the time to relax your way into better and better thoughts, then better and better feelings. Before you know it, momentum will be on your side and the ease will come more naturally to you.
I support my clients to gain the confidence they need to choose joy for themselves and let go of all the excuses they have for not choosing joy when it matters most. I'd love to work with you in counseling, click below for a free 25 minute phone consultation!