How do you choose joy? I don’t mean how do you, personally, choose joy. Rather, what are the best methods?
Begin by being aware that joy has flown. It’s not easy to be watching yourself constantly – monitoring every thought.
What are the triggers that let you know you’ve lost the joy?
Triggers could be physical – heat, pounding heart, tension. They could be mental – violent thoughts or stories with no joy in them. They could be emotional – feeling angry or unsettled.
What’s the threshold where any of these triggers kicks in? Try to lower those thresholds – we need to notice when joy is moving away because it’s easier to choose joy before real trouble takes hold of us.
Now you noticed you’ve lost your joy. Stop. Stop acting. Stop thinking. Stop your stories. Just stop everything. Stop!
As you stop, the triggers flow past you but do not stick. The heart still pounds, but you’re watching it pound – you’re no longer the pounding. A thought or story may come – just let it go by. Notice the triggers separating from you. They are the triggers. You are you.
Now you’re giving less attention to the triggers. You notice them – and then let them go. They’re losing their sting. They’re not feeding your upset any longer.
A space is opening around you – a space of quiet. Something in your situation set you off. That triggered an upset in you that took the place of your joy. Now you’re taking energy away from the situation and the upset. What’s taking their place is a sense of peace.
In this space of peace, choose joy.
Fill the space with your intention to choose joy. Bring forward something in your experience that you immediately associate with joy. Pay attention to the joy that’s coming. Continue filling the space with your joy until the triggers subside – your body, mind, and feelings calm down. Keep with it until your joy is strong.
Then, get back to work!