Six Habits That Are Secretly Stealing Your Joy
What brings you joy? Take a breath and feel it in your heart right now. Hold it tight and now answer, what steals your joy?
Teaching dance, fitness and yoga are joyful to me. It steals my joy when people spread negativity about it or me. I am fully aware of this heart ache. As I mature I learn to accept that I and the things I do are not everyone’s cup of tea. Furthermore, their feelings are more about them than me.
There are other little things that are stealing your joy and you may not even realize it. This week I’m considering six things author Nir Eyal says we may not be aware are making us miserable.
First up, Constantly Checking Your Phone. Have you ever been in a waiting room or somewhere people are standing around and most have their heads buried in their cell phones. Maybe they’re avoiding interaction or maybe the monkey mind wants distraction. It is a missed opportunity to connect or at least observe the environment. The next time you’re in this type of situation I dare you to put your phone away and allow yourself to be. Take it to another level and give a smile to any person you make eye contact. Forget your phone at home sometime and feel the freedom of being lost and out of touch.
Procrastination! I know this is stealing my joy! When I put things off it’s like a dark heavy shadow following me around until I get it done. But Eyal make a great point. We’re usually okay and even encouraged to continue this behavior if we have a deadline. That’s when we focus, pull an all nighter, and get the task done. You might feel like you work better with a deadline! I do! But what about when there is no deadline? How long are you going to procrastinate on learning to ride a motorcycle? Hiking a 14er? taking that naked yoga class? (I’m still putting that one off. But one day… lol). Don’t miss out! Stop waiting to live your life!
Thanks to social media the next habit is growing especially among the teens. Comparing yourself to others definitely steals joy. I have to admit I’m envious of the photos of exotic travel I see on Instagram. I want to be traveling too! But then again maybe I’m not seeing the struggle behind the photo. Misplaced luggage? Tense relationships? Affording the money for the trip? No need to be green, my time will come and hopefully it will be the right time so I can enjoy stress free. As my mother would say, don’t be jealous of someone else because you don’t know what they went through to get there (That’s the clean version of that. Ask me in person for the real quote).
Focusing on the negatives is a no brainer for joy stealing. I can have 10 people compliment me on teaching a great class. Then if one person complains, I usually dwell on that one comment instead of the others and let it ruin my day. We’re kind of wired to give attention to fear and pain so that we avoid it. But with a little effort we can learn to give more weight to the good in our lives and not be ruled by the bad.
Not Setting Boundaries steals your joy but can also steal your time. I’m a sucker for allowing people to hijack my time. The Buddha taught, the most important person in the world is the one in front of you. However, we still need to set limits so we don’t neglect our own well being and then become angry because we missed doing something else we were supposed to do.
The biggest joy stealer in my opinion is Neglecting Self-Care. Failing to take care of our physical and mental health leads to feelings of exhaustion and unhappiness not to mention stress and illness. Exercising, sleeping, eating healthy meals, and spending time on a hobby, like reading, knitting, or gardening, are all ways to invest in ourselves.
Don’t take yourself for granted. Take care of you. I’m hosting a relaxing women’s weekend retreat this April where we’ll go deep in to self care and how we can add it “simply” into our lives. Please consider joining as a gift to yourself. Otherwise, I’ll see you on your yoga mat or on the dance floor.