What happens when we focus on feeling better? What if we actually trust what science says; when we focus on what we want, we get more of what we want.
Do we want to focus on mass shootings, 322 so far this year at the time of this writing? Do we want more Veterans taking their lives, 22 committing suicide daily? Do we want more gun violence, domestic abuse, kids with anxiety, and suicide among our teens?
OR do we want to focus on feeling better to get more of what we really want?
Perhaps you have heard of the condition called cherophobia? It is the fear of being happy, and it is a real thing! Of course, there are a myriad of physical and psychological symptoms associated with cherophobia, but ultimately it is a dopamine blocker and leads to things like depression, despair, sadness, and misery. These are all synonyms avoiding feeling better, and not prioritizing what we want, which for most, is to feel better and feel joyful. We have a cyclical society of feeling bad, rotten, stressed and overwhelmed. It is always, a different season, different reason to be a mental and emotional wreck. Are we addicted to turmoil as a society?
If dopamine is the “feel good” hormone, and stress and trauma lower dopamine, why do we often sulk in those negative feelings and forget to choose positive reinforcements that help us “feel better” about work, life, and creating balance?
In contrast, we are often denying the opportunity to invite good feelings into our lives! For me, it feels like I am currently in one of those trenches, and to be honest, as a usually optimistic person, optimism and feeling good are feelings that are hard to find right now.
As of today, it has been 42 days since I lost my brother, my best friend, my nest-mate. It has been hard to smile. I sometimes feel myself resisting a smile, even avoiding it. I don’t feel like I am allowed to have joy in my life right now. Somedays I feel like a zombie, or a robot, just going through the necessary motions to keep my head above water. I miss him so much. My heart breaks for his kids, his wife, our mom. This sucks. It is the absolute worst and I want everyone to know.
Toby was a hard worker, a carpenter by trade, with a new business on the rise. He loved talking, to everyone! He was naturally an optimistic person and didn’t judge anyone. He had a diverse and extensive friends list and was loyal to his city, Allentown, Pennsylvania. He loved the outdoors, and above anything, he was so in love and passionate about his family. His three kids and wife at foremost, but also his immediate and extended family.
I have been in dark places before and this event takes the cake for the potential to wipe me out, however, I know that mood and emotional well-being are proponents of perspective and a result of choice. I also know that happiness is a lifestyle decision that is often not easy and can be a perpetual cycle of labor, yet, is so entirely worth it. I want to pay attention to my choices. I know it is important to my brother that I feel better.
I have made the decision that I am going to choose the light in life and focus on feeling better. I know my brother wouldn’t want to see me live in sadness. He always wanted the best for us and he would be disappointed if we let life pass us by and choose to drown in sorrow. I have to think of ways to give myself permission to feel better on a daily basis, even moment by moment, even without my brother being on this earth with me.
I understand that happiness is subjective and my personal choices are crucial. What a successful day of feeling good is for me is wayyyyy differently than it might look to you. The same thing goes for our triggers. We all shape our perspectives based on our individual experiences. Each one of us has unique criteria and a rating scale to measure our own levels of joy. According to a world happiness report, as of 2017, the average rating of happiness on a 0 to 10 scale was 5. To add fuel to the fire, some studies suggest depression influences elevated levels violence.
We can improve these statistics and calm down feelings of desperation and loss. We all have our moments, our days, and our seasons. It is going to happen because we are emotional human beings. Not many of us are prepared, we are not armed internally to face those times. We must work individually AND collectively to build that armor, our suits of survival. Our minds are our most powerful muscle, and it is often the one we neglect to build a relationship with. Our mindsets and core values are the key to having more of what we want. They shape how we live, feel, and treat others. It can affect our progress or be the cause of regression. We are affect all areas of our lives. Most importantly it can help us navigate uncertainty and overcome many of our deepest struggles.
Recently I had the opportunity to learn about the Chair of Joy™. My Chair of Joy™ came with simple instructions on how to become more self-aware of my emotions – and when I want to feel better or feel more of them, I am drawn to sit in my Chair of Joy™. I got comfortable in my Chair of Joy™ and by doing that act alone, I already felt better. I go through the 4 easy steps, literally in few minutes I am empowered to begin again and not linger in the funk. Here is a little insight to my first Chair of Joy™ experience:
Sit : My chair is in my living room. It is the chaise part of my grey L-shaped couch. It is usually where I like to sink into while binge-watching TV series on my free time. It is by the doors to my balcony which gives it a beautiful spray of natural sunlight during the day and it is easily assessable by my tuxedo cat named Magic when he wants to snuggle.
Breathe : With closed eyes, relaxed shoulders, and an open mind, I begin to breathe. Focused, deep, calculated breaths. If you are not familiar to meditation, honestly, this part may be challenging to get into, but once you put a little trust in yourself, it is very powerful. Breath-control is a proven method to reduce stress and anxiety while increasing comfort and relaxation
Think : As I began thinking and envisioning my immediate environment, I pictured the sun shining brightly and when I looked to my left there he was, my brother. My moment of joy in the chair included him! We were hanging out, having a drink together, and talking about our plans to go to the beach later.
Feel : At first, I thought I was going to be sad, but I was so excited. I built a new moment with my brother! It gave me so much motivation to keep going, especially knowing that I have the power and can always take a moment, sit, breathe, think, and grow a moment of comfort, just with my thoughts. Taking time to feel this new higher level of emotion was actually fun and gave me a sense of hope and healing.
Joyely and the Chair of Joy™ movement is a resource to help us get there. For all you plant parents, we are vines, we have infinite potential for growth. We just need to take the steps to get there, and we can. Together, and even alone, we CAN when we focus on what we want. It is possible, as long as we have an easy way to access joy, and the Chair of Joy™ certainly is that for me.
The possibility to feel better and live life more fully is available to all of us. Joy is in infectious and because this is true, it is almost our duty to sit in our Chair of Joy™ so we can feel better now, for ourselves, our children, our families, our significant others, and the people that matter in all areas of our life. We say we want to help solve world issues, the thing we can do to help is to feel better ourselves first!
Joyely provides us a concept and a framework to manifest triumphs daily while confronting our battles head-on. As we engage in our world, we can use the Chair of Joy™ Experience to embrace our power and our ever-evolving universal yearning for joy,. We can feel better through giving ourselves permission to know how to live Joyely.
Here’s to Toby! Let’s all put a smile on our face for him right now, knowing he inspired us feel better today.