When my kids were little, I loved the IDEA of Christmas. But, once it came to executing it, I was an emotional mess.
The emotional chaos from my personal expectations just led me to eat and drink (not water…) A LOT to try to feel better.
By the time Christmas day came, I was about ready to have the season over.
Maybe this might be a little extreme for you. Hear me out, though.
Yes, I said EVERYDAY joy.
If you're not feeling a little joy every day, we probably need to have a chat.
I learned a lot from my lackluster holidays of the past. Now, I am so thankful I learned those lessons because I LOVE feeling joy daily and helping others do the same.
Here are the top 5 key components that have created more joy in my life and in the lives of my clients. I pray you to focus on these areas so you don't have to turn to food and drinks for "joy".
By basics, I mean water, sleep, and movement.
Think about how your body feels fully hydrated, fully rested, and fully energized.
Pretty neat, right?
Kind of easy to have joy when you physically feel good. But, Satan knows this and puts a lot of obstacles in your way.
One of the best tools I give my clients in this area…
If you love your water ice cold and drinking it before a meal, have your water that way. If you love reading before you go to sleep, do it.
If you love dancing, move your body that way.
If you love how you get the basics in, the more likely you'll do them consistently and create a habit.
Did you know that even a forced smile can release dopamine in your brain? Yep.
We all just need to smile more and NOT TAKE OURSELVES SO SERIOUSLY.
I screw up ALL THE TIME.
I use to get so upset, especially if the mistake was noticed by someone else. That frustration would fester for days. I would spin it around in my head.
It sucked a lot of joy.
Now, I intentionally laugh or make a joke about myself. I don't allow myself to take myself too seriously. It never ends well when I do.
Did you know there are a TON of holiday jokes and memes out there?
Start laughing and let that body relax, burn some calories, and release some feel-good hormones.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
I can't stress this one enough.
There is no point in worrying about things we cannot control. Still, most women have a tendency to do so, especially around the holidays.
Prayer is meditation, and meditation helps us to dispel the habit of worry. Scientists at Harvard University found that meditation actually changes the brain's structure, especially in areas relating to emotion.
t improves our mental well-being. As you become happier and more balanced through prayer, it becomes easier to forgive, appreciate, and share a greater understanding of the people around you.
Who could use more understanding of those crazy people around us?!
Gratitude is just an extra boost to prayer. It shines a light on the blessings so that we are more apt to recognize and receive them.
And when we feel blessed, it is usually followed by joy.
I bet you could guess this one if you've read anything written by me.
But here is why planning brings joy…
When we plan, we use a part of our brain to think critically about the advantages and disadvantages. This way, we make better decisions for ourselves.
It also saves time by removing indecision.
Lastly, it pulls us out of our automatic responses so that we can be intentional and present.
Planning basically frees up your brain to focus on HIM instead of the insignificant worldly things that get in the way. When our eyes are fixed on JESUS, that when He pours out this blessing of joy on us.
Think if you gave me a dirty sock and I gave you a brand-new car. How much joy would you have?
What I find is that most women have very little grace for themselves. They screw-up and then beat themselves over the head with it.
Beating ourselves up from a misstep doesn't actually encourage us to do any better. Actually, the opposite is true; we often just slip-up more.
Think about a child that spills milk. What if you yelled and told the child how dumb they were and should be more careful next time? Compare it to helping the child clean it up and discussing HOW to be more cautious next time.
Which approach do you think is more effective in the long term?
Now, why don't you do that for yourself?
You may not deserve grace, but you need it.
The more grace you extend to yourself, the more grace you extend to others, and the more grace is extended back.
Are you ready to be more joyful in everyday life? Imagine what you would do if you felt more joy! I bet you wouldn't be overeating.
Click HERE to get started with feeling more JOY every day!