Last week, we discussed getting bogged down by “shoulds” and how that effects our mood and how we feel about ourselves. It is often helpful to have a positive focus for the energy we are trying to shift away from should thoughts. Today, we are going to focus our energy on infusing joy into our lives and parenting wherever possible.
We will cultivate several areas of focus when we consider what brings us joy; small day to day moments, memories, and choices.
Moments of Joy
What are a few small daily moments that bring joy to your heart? My list of daily moments:
- Hot morning coffee, the smell while it’s brewing, the first warm sip, holding the warm cup in my hands
- Hugging my kids when they really mean it and squeeze tight like they never want to let me go
- The moment everyone is dropped off and they are safely where they are supposed to be. We made it through the morning shuffle and everyone is at school with backpacks, clothes, and shoes on. Success!!
Make a list of as many joyful moments as you can. Choose two or three and close your eyes to really let the goodness of these moments soak in. Imagine yourself in that moment. Imagine who (or what) you are with. What do they smell like? Can you feel the warmth of their skin? What do see in their eyes or body language? What color are they wearing? Bring the memory alive in your mind. What do you feel inside as this memory comes to life in your mind? For example, warmth, ease, safety, softness, love, etc.
The iPhone has the perfect application for this in your photos. Take a moment to watch one of the memory videos where they put a trip or portraits of an important person in your life to music. You might also have a photo book you have made. Again take a moment to let time stand still and let these memories soak in. Remember the joy, excitement, and happiness you felt during this trip or how it feels to have this important person in your life. Close your eyes for 30 seconds and remember this event or person with clarity.
Create a Joyful Moment
As parents our days are often filled with minutiae. It is easy to get bogged down in the day to day routine and not feel many, if any joyful moments. This is your opportunity to create them. In an effort to keep this from feeling like a should what is something you enjoy, that if you got to do, you would feel like you were getting away with something. With me, for example, it’s letting my kids watch an hour of TV on a week night while I do whatever I want. Not dishes or make lunches but whatever I want. It’s also sitting in car rider line doing nothing, just relaxing, being silly with my youngest while we wait for her big brother and sister. It is wondering around Home Goods just because without a schedule of when I have to be home. What are the joyful moments you relish? See if you can do one thing this week that is fun and just for you. Even better if you feel like you are getting away with something because you really should be …
These moments of joy help balance our natural negativity bias and help us put our oxygen mask on first. The more we feel filled up the more we have to offer those who we love the most.
I hope you enjoy your joyful moments this week. I am looking forward to connecting with you next week.
Michelle Puster M.Ed., LPC
Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist
Certified Clinical Trauma Professional
Katy Couples & Wellness Counseling
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