Fighting back against chronic pain with a simple, creative, & healthy lifestyle. Inspiring others to become warriors.

Monday, February 11, 2019

7 Steps for Learning to Live with Joy

I am learning to really live with Joy and Gratitude because I honestly think it's going to help with my pain.

That sounds weird simply because I have always thought I have been happy but the truth of the matter is that I'm not.

I have been coming to this conclusion for a while now, and what really blows my mind is that I don't think I've ever been joyful and happy. I don't know how to live in joy.

Sure I've had joyous moments like getting accepted to grad school, meeting my husband, getting engaged, getting married. However, I don't actually live in joy. Joy in the good times and the bad.

My mom always told me when I was growing up the story of the wrecked car. You can be happy and have a wrecked car or you can be upset and have a wrecked car, but either way, you have a wrecked car.

I couldn't ever do it though. I have been a slave to my emotional state since, um, forever.

7 Steps for Learning to Live with Joy

I've completed You Are The Placebo and am clued into the fact that to get out of pain I have to literally become a completely different person. Living in negativity for my entire life got me here, I turned on genes that are damaging by being addicted to stress and when tragedy struck, pain.

That's right.

Addicted.

You know how I truly figured this out in the last week?!? I honestly have been doing so well with my pain and working on transitioning to my new positive self that I totally sabotaged this direction by thinking that #leohusband is secretly having an affair everytime he works late.

How insane is that?

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I'm doing better in my consistency and my positivity that my brain simply said no I need stress like a crack whore on the street.

I want to bitch slap my conscious brain so hard.

Honestly though, how do you live each day in joy?

Well, this is what has worked for me.


1. Happy Memories

I like to first conjure up a moment of pure joy. Oftentimes I picture me walking down the aisle toward my soon to be husband. As soon as I came out I peeked around the corner because I just couldn't wait to see him. We locked eyes and it took my breath away.

I can feel the overwhelming happiness enter my chest and almost explode out of my limbs. Everything is affected and I feel my energy change. I feel lighter.

2. Joy for All Occasions

I know what you are thinking, how can I be joyful all the damn time? Well, it's a choice. I had a ton of stuff planned to do today. In fact, I even had this post completely written out and somehow deleated it. After one choice word, I reached inside and pulled up some joy. I was able to recover and not go into Disterville USA. The old me (literally a few days ago) would have bemoaned the rest of the day losing all that good writing.

So I turned to laundry, and I know what you are thinking, seriously Adina, how does laundry bring you joy?

A. First go watch Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (which is a joy bringer in and of itself)
B. It feels good to pour love into and thank my clothes

3. Breathe and Step Back

Part of this journey of learning to pull those joyful feelings up throughout the day is forgiving yourself when you fail. Be flexible with your emotions and don't feel guilty for a slip back into negativity. I've spent the last 30+ years being negative, this is going to be a long process. For instance, the day I had my breakthough I ended up driving almost 200 miles around my city.

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There's nothing like a little road rage to put you new positive, joyful, mindset like terrible traffic. When someone cut me off I felt that negativity and anger fill me and then I took a breath and pulled up that joy. I told myself that I actually had plenty of time to get where I'm going but the person ahead of me might not. I didn't berate myself for my slip.

4. Know your Triggers

Learning to live with joy everyday is also about knowing your triggers. Too much on my plate is mine. I feel overwhelmed and that leads to stress. Negative people could be one as well, or surrounding yourself with drama...sorry Handmaid's Tale you are just going to have to be put on the back burner.

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5. Immerse Yourself in Happiness

On that note, drive into fun and happiness. Start a family game night or spend time with entertainment that makes you laugh. We've started watching Brooklyn 99 and it's one of the funniest shows I've ever watched. You know the old addage about The Laughing Cure where the man healed himself from cancer by immersing himself in comedies. Then try it for you.

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6. Practice

So let's recap. To live in joy remember one of your happiest moments. Feel that feeling. Then try in 5 minutes to bring up that feeling without the memory. Practice throughout the day. If you don't succeed the first time then repeat the memory or try a different one and start again. Practice bringing up the joy throughout the day, especially if it's a task you don't want to do. Try bringing up the joy first. I find it amazing for my energy level as well as my ability to do more throughout the day.

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7. Bring Someone on your Journey


Tell friends and family, journey's are always more fun when shared with others. You are changing into a new, more positive person. Who do you want to bring on this journey? It will benefit the both of you more than you know.

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Tell me about your Joy Journey in the comments!

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