Simplify Sundays Vol. 2
It's Sunday!? I curse the dreaded realization, this happens every Sunday. As if I should magically expect a third day to be tacked onto the weekend. I'm unconsciously training myself to be anxious.
Well, I'm done getting the raw end of the deal. Simplify Sundays are an open invitation to combat Sunday angst. Fuel to start your week with intention. I'll let the experts give the advice. I'm the experimenter.
I hope you learn something you didn't expect. We can all benefit from a little outside help.
As my good pal Schwarzenegger said, "The worst thing you can ever do is think that you know enough. Never stop learning. Ever."
When you practice the joy of loving kindness...
How to Overcome Stress by Seeing Other People’s Joy - If you are feeling similarly overwhelmed by how affected you are by the emotions of others, I’d like to offer another possibility for preserving your well-being: Double down on your capacity for empathy. Instead of trying to become immune to other people’s stress, increase your susceptibility to catch other people’s joy.
As you begin to look for joy, you will notice more and more of them. There is the joy of pleasures, simple or sublime, such as enjoying a delicious meal, listening to music, or savouring how it feels to hold a baby in your arms. There is the joy of purpose, and how it feels to contribute, work hard, learn, and grow. There is the joy of being connected to something bigger than yourself, be it nature, family, or faith. There is the joy of wonder—being curious, experiencing new things, and feeling awe or surprise.
Here are five of my favourite everyday practices for catching joy. As you strengthen your intention to notice joy, you will surely discover your own favourite ways to witness and share in the happiness of others.
Watch a child or animal play. Delight in their joy, energy, and wonder. Let yourself smile or laugh as their playfulness awakens a similar spirit in you.
Watch an athletic, artistic, or other kind of competition without taking sides. Appreciate the effort, skill, or artistry of all competitors—and celebrate the joy of whoever wins. Feel glad for their success, and watch how they celebrate it with others. See if you can extend your empathic joy to how they share the moment with friends, family, coaches, or teammates.
Help someone else celebrate their happiness. If someone shares good news, ask them to tell you more, and listen whole-heartedly. If you become aware of an accomplishment or milestone in a person’s life, write them a congratulatory email or Facebook post. Go beyond “pro forma” congratulations and really feel the joy of helping someone savor something positive.
Witness the good in others. Set the goal to notice when others display character strengths like kindness, honesty, courage, or perseverance. Take joy in seeing the good. Feel heart-glad about what you observe. Let yourself feel inspired by their actions to do good yourself.
Let someone else do something nice for you. This might not seem like a practice of empathic joy, but it becomes one when you begin to pay attention to how happy it makes the other person. Sometimes our own discomfort with receiving kindness, or fear of being a burden to others, gets in the way of seeing that joy.
When you discover you've already arrived...
You've arrived. It's easy to fall in love with the GPS version of the universe. There, just ahead, after that curve. Drive a little further, your destination is almost here.
When you read something that shakes you to the core...
I'm here to help. Shoot me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you're working on!