If you’ve lost sight of what brings you “joy” then keep reading…

If you’ve lost sight of what brings you “joy” then keep reading…

Joy is such an important part of happiness and of life.

I mean, can we really live our best lives without joy? I think not.

But some of us, for a variety of reasons, have lost touch with joy and what brings us joy.

Which is why I’m happy to share this great article that includes 3 cool questions to help you find your way back…

This week, we launched the Joy Jumpstart, a 7-day, self-guided journey to rekindle your joy and rediscover what makes you feel alive. I wanted to create it after hearing from so many people who’ve felt hollowed out by the pandemic. The sense of burnout and exhaustion is pervasive, and yet it sometimes feels like no amount of rest or self-care will fix it.

I think this is because we’re not just tired. We’ve been drained of joy.

We lost so many simple, daily sources of joy during the last 18 months — social events, travel, spontaneous conversations with coworkers and acquaintances, little routines that we now see meant more than we thought. We also experienced devastating losses, from the hundreds of thousands of lives lost due to the pandemic to lost jobs and careers and savings to diminished health due to long Covid. At the same time, there is also another kind of loss (a loss of innocence perhaps?) as many of us look at the fallout from the pandemic and realize that our old ways of life were not sustainable. I mean this not just individually, but as a collective. The reckoning we are having around work with the Great Resignation is vital, yet also traumatic, as we survey the damage it has done for so many years, and are left to our own devices to try to forge a new way forward.

The problem is that when we’re burned out or depleted, we tend to shrink inward. We have so little energy, it’s like we go into powersave mode. No extra activities, no superfluous expenditures. (More on this in my post on emotional spirals.) So we bingewatch instead of doing a hobby. We eat takeout instead of trying a new recipe. We let the house go, and feel depressed when we look at the piles of unfolded clothes and half-decorated rooms we were too tired to finish. And that leads us into a downward spiral where we feel even more tired and stuck.

All of which to say, yeah, we need to be able to stay in bed and pull the covers up over our heads sometimes, but we need more than that. We need liveliness, inspiration, and FUN in our days — the kind of spark that makes it worth getting out of bed even when the world is broken.

In other words, a jumpstart! A burst of energy that reconnects us to that well of joy within us that we haven’t been able to access in awhile, and reminds us we still have the potential to feel that joy in our lives.

Earlier this year, we ran a pilot of this new program with a group of beta testers. To see if the program worked as intended, we did a series of pre- and post- measures. The simplest was to see if the exercises increased how often people were feeling joy, because research shows that the frequency of positive emotions can have an influence on overall happiness and well-being. In the intake survey, 46 percent of participants hadn’t felt joy in more than a week. By the end of the program, 100 percent of participants had felt joy in the week prior, and more than half had felt joy that day.

In conversations with our beta testers, I noticed a common thread. One of the pilot participants told me how midway through the week, she pulled out her paints and started working on an artwork she’d been thinking about for months. Another said that instead of just scrolling on her phone during her baby’s naps like she usually did, she opened up a book that had been sitting on her to-read pile. Another started actively asking her daughter to play with her, rather than the other way around.

In other words, the Joy Jumpstart had moved our pilot participants out of that powersave mode and prompted them to actively do things to create joy. In the words of Mary, a soon-to-be mom and librarian: “[Before the program] I was feeling very stuck, and pretty disconnected from my sense of self. I’d been feeling very tired and lethargic. And it reminded me that there have been times in my life where I felt very connected to my sense of self, and able to fill my days with things that filled my cup.” But she wasn’t doing those things anymore, and she wondered if that was why her days were so tiring, and why she felt so adrift. Since the program, she said, “I’ve started doing the things that make me feel good again.”

Mary’s comment was a lightbulb moment for me. It made me realize that while we often see the things that bring us joy as trivial or unimportant, in fact they’re often the things that are most closely tied to our sense of self. They’re the things that make us feel alive, whether that’s by making us feel creative, or reminding us of our purpose, or connecting us with those we love. When we do those things, it’s not just that we feel more joyful. We feel more like ourselves — or at least the version of ourselves we most want to be.

Joy is the emotion that signals we’re thriving, or at least moving in the direction of things that will help us thrive. So it’s not surprising that when we do the things that bring us joy, we feel more like that flourishing version of ourselves. For example, if you see yourself as adventurous, but you’ve gotten into a rut where you never leave the house, you end up with a big disconnect. Doing even a few small things that feel adventurous — taking a field trip once a week, getting out for a nature walk, trying a new spice — can make your actions feel more aligned with who you want to be, and daily life feel more fulfilling.

So, if you’ve gotten disconnected from joy, how do you find your way back? In the Joy Jumpstart, we begin with an exercise called Find the Sparks, which uses guided journaling to explore a range of untapped sources of joy in your life. I thought it would be helpful to share a sample of these with you, so here you’ll find three questions you can ask to help you reconnect to joy — and yourself. If you find these inspire joy for you, definitely check out the full Joy Jumpstart program, which has lots of creative tools and fun, focused exercises to help you get back in touch with your most joyful self…

… keep reading the full & original article by Ingrid Fetell Lee HERE