If you haven’t received this tidbit on your treatment plan from me yet, consider it hereby prescribed: make a Joy List. A Joy List is simply a list of items, however large or small, that personally bring you joy. Put anything you like on it: taking a warm bath, enjoying a cup of tea before bed, catching the sunrise, walking around Greenlake, hiking in nature, wrestling with your kid, hugging your loved ones deeply, lying on the beach with a good book… you get the idea. Go wild, make your list long, and make sure to include small items that are easy to do.
Making the Joy List is only step 1, of course. The corollary is to treat yourself to a minimum of one item from your joy list every single day! You might think this is a trivial prescription, but I really mean it: this is serious treatment. Love, laughter and joy are not only key determinants of health, but to many of us, are an important part of what makes life worth living. If you’re not getting out of your life the happiness and joy you deserve, ask yourself what you’re putting in. Input + Attitude = Output.
This exercise in no way, of course, diminishes the importance of more difficult emotions, such as sadness, anger, fear or grief. The exercise does not ask you to suppress or ignore your challenges. E-motion is Energy in Motion and good health requires the free flow of it – both energy and the range of emotions. It merely asks you to notice whether you are also allowing for the opportunities to bring joy and happiness in your life. And if not, I bet you know what to do.
In the meantime, please add a comment to share: What’s on Your Joy List?
May you enjoy luminous good health,
Dr. Deborah Epstein