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Find what brings you joy
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Find what brings you joy

Find What Brings You Joy
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One of the most valuable tools on my healing journey from chronic illness has been a willingness to shift my attitude and focus. The process that has worked best for me goes something like this:

• Find things that bring me joy to do or think about (gardening, art, cats, nature)
• Do them as often as I can
• When I can’t do them, think of doing them – imagine and envision it as richly as I can

and also, very importantly:

• Note what does not bring me joy (thinking about MCS stuff, limitations)
• Refrain from doing or thinking about it whenever possible
• When I notice myself thinking about something that doesn’t bring me joy, STOP
• … and consciously choose to think about (or better yet do) one of the things that does bring me joy

This may seem extremely simplistic or sound like those irritating people who tell us to “think positive” but it has done wonders for me on my healing journey.

There is a real mind/body connection – and not in a “new-agey” sense.
When we do things that feed our joy, a whole bunch of positive things happen physiologically in our bodies – making them much more able to heal or deal with stressors, exposures etc.

When we feed our pain, a whole bunch of negative things happen in the body – encouraging illness.

I have read that when we simply think of doing something, similar things happen in the brain and body. So if we cannot actually DO the things that bring us joy, merely thinking of doing them can have wonderful physical effects – not to mention the great effect on our mood!

Shifting my focus to the things that bring me joy has been an essential part of my healing journey.

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posted on August 29, 2010 | tags: , , ,

Comments

  • Michelle Hartt

    August 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    This is such a great post! You have clearly, concisely summed up a very good plan for living with MCS. After being sick for more than 12 years with this grievous illness, I only recently began finding peace, joy, acceptance, and purpose via the idea/process you propose here!

  • julia

    August 31, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Thank you for your post. This is so important and something I have been thinking of writing about. we can instantly put our body and mind/soul into that state of joy by choice . What a shift it makes. I remember sitting by a tree praying in central park- very seriously, and child jumped out from behind a tree and yelled “Peek a boo” and laughed. It as a great reminder that often our answer lies in that simplicity of child like joy- we forget joy, when joy was once so easy and part of our nature….thank you for the reminder.

  • Libby

    August 31, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Hi Michelle,

    Thank you for commenting.
    I am so glad that you have begun finding joy, peace acceptance and purpose. I believe those can all be so healing to our heart and our body.
    If you feel like sharing some of the things that bring you joy in this comment area, I would love to read about them!!!
    take care,
    Libby

  • Libby

    August 31, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Hi Julia,

    You’re welcome!

    Thank *you* for sharing your experience in the park. Reading it created a vivid image in my mind – a joyful one!
    I hope that you do write about this topic – the more people who write about this, the better in my mind!
    If one is in a dark place, it can be hard to find sparks of joy. When I began this process, the only joyful thing I could think of was gardening. Due to MCS, I couldn’t garden yet but I *thought* about gardening as much as possible, daydreaming of what I would grow when I could garden again. It worked to reconnect me to joy and I began healing. (now I can garden :)

    If you write online somewhere, I’d love if you posted a link in the comment section here so we can visit :-)

    take care,
    Libby

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