Monday Mojo – Bring the Joy

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What makes you happy?  It’s a big question isn’t it.

When I ask this in my classes, people (rightly) say, it’s different for everyone.  What makes me happy, might be the complete opposite for you. As I offered in last week’s Mojo, where some people love solitude, others thrive and even recharge in the company of others.

I also make the distinction between happiness and joy.  For me, happiness is a feeling of contentment where, no matter how bad things get, we can return to a place in our minds that says “but I am a good human”.  

Joy, on the other hand can be temporary.  
Like winning £2 on a scratch card, going to a concert, or treating yourself to a new pair of shoes. It still counts though, especially if it improves our well-being and helps us find our mojo and get our sparkle back.  

Here’s some ideas:

This week, maybe set the intention to Bring the Joy.  Martin Seligman is described as the father of ‘Positive Psychology’, and not because he believes we should all just ‘think happy’.  In fact, Seligman suggested there are several layers to well-being, he called this his PERMA model.

The ‘P’ is about making room for positive experiences; this would mean, for example, making room for healthy emotions like joy, interest and compassion. You could keep a diary and note how many times in a week you feel these things, and then think about what might increase your exposure to them.   Set a reminder in your ‘phone, periodically throughout the day to check in with how you feel.  

The ‘E’ in PERMA stands for engagement, feeling part of and belonging to something, as well as experiencing ‘flow’ .  Flow, discussed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (you can listen to your Mojo above if you want to know how to pronounce this 😄), also includes the notion of an ‘autotelic personality’ – that we do things for the experience, rather than ‘to win’.  You’ll know this if you’ve ever played a board game with your family, and just the experience of being together was enough, regardless of who won.  

This feeds in to the ‘R’ of PERMA which is for relationships and incudes your social environment.  Sometimes, without even realising it, our ‘tribe’ can be contributing to our feelings in a healthy or unhealthy way.  Think about who lifts you up and who brings you down.

M is for meaning, having a sense of value and worth with goals that align with your vision and values.  And last, but not least, is A for accomplishment; feelings of achievement, success and ‘mastery’ (knowing that when you do something, you do it well).  

Of course, this is just one model for thinking about how you can bring more joy and happiness in to your life, the most important thing is that you know you deserve that.  Even on the days when things are not going well, remember – who you are at your core is a good human.

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You might also like: my book Answers In The Dark: Grief, Sleep and How Dreams Can Help You Heal, out now.  

© Delphi Ellis 2022