A friend and colleague of mine is a massage therapist in the Midwest. She begins each massage therapy session by touching the shoulder of her client and asking a statement: Name your joy! When she asked me this the first time, I must have gone for about 10 minutes citing all of my favorite things… until she told me to shut up (smile). Then she paused and said, “You know, when I ask people to name their joy, by and large, most people can’t. If you cannot name your joy (those things that bring happiness in your life) how can you possibly live your joy?” We both agreed that it appears the vast majority of people are NOT living their joy these days. And this can only be a bad thing! So…what brings you joy and happiness? Can you name your joy? If so, are you living your joy? Stress tends to act like blinders in that it obscures people from seeing the big picture. Instead stress creates a myopic view where it tends to magnifies itself. Naming your joy is a concept to bring some emotional levity to your day. It’s a way to find emotional and spiritual balance. Naming our joy, then living it is one of the first steps to enhancing the health of the human spirit.
• Stress Tip for the Day:
Today, consider making a “stress management first aid kit” (I call these “Relaxation kits”). Start collecting things that allow you to relax through the five senses (a vile of lavender—smell, chocolate—taste, a Mozart CD-sound, bubble wrap-touch, a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon book—humor, a collection of funny jokes). Gather two items for each of the five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch and smell—don’t forget your sense of humor!), plus anything else you wish. Place these in a tote bag, a lunch box, or any container that will contain all of these items. You might even consider having one at home and one at the office. These are also great to make together as a family project. When you are feeling stressed, grab the kit and sooth one or more of the fives senses until you are headed toward homeostasis, possibly joy!
• Links Worth Noting:
If you are suffering from depression (and current estimates suggest that over 25% of Americans are), joy may be the last thing you are thinking about. This link came my way as I was writing this and took the hint to include it here. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091023163346.htm
Why Antidepressants Don’t Work For So Many
Science Daily (Oct. 27, 2009) More than half the people who take antidepressants for depression never get relief.
• Photo of the Day:
Coffee milk shakes on a hot summer day, downhill skiing at Copper Mt, potluck dinners with friends and live music, walking my dog, Logan at sunrise. . The list is quite long, but a few years ago I added one more thing to my list: Surfing. This photo was taken the day learned to surf, a few hours after my first lesson. The waves on the north shore of Oahu were really high and all the hotshots were out in style… which made for some great photography.
• Quote for the Day:
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” —Abraham Lincoln
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.