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Why Do We Forget To Give Ourselves Little Joys? - Self-development
Why Do We Forget To Give Ourselves Little Joys? - Self-development

Video: Why Do We Forget To Give Ourselves Little Joys? - Self-development

Video: Why Do We Forget To Give Ourselves Little Joys? - Self-development
Video: Parenting: Raise Yourself Before You Raise Your Kids - Sadhguru 2023, April

Joy, happiness, pleasure - for many, these states are the criteria of the norm or even ideal. As if people are naturally obliged to be harmonious and enjoy every moment of their existence. And if I can't do that, then something is wrong with me. In pursuit of the illusion of overwhelming happiness, we often devalue the little things that actually make up the mosaic of our cheerfulness. What prevents us from giving ourselves small joys and pleasures every day?

Unattainable ideal

Now as you read this article, try to pause and think about how you envision happiness. What is it for you? How do you know when you are happy? Maybe you will be able to remember situations from life when you were happy with what was happening around and inside. Are these situations connected with something grandiose - great achievements, global changes in life? Or are they filled with little joys, such as the embrace of a loved one, the smell of the hair of a daughter or son, the crackle of a fire on a youthful hike, the rose gold of clouds at sunset?

Perhaps we all perceive happiness in our own way, and this is normal. But if now only large-scale situations have surfaced in your memory, then there is a high probability that they set the bar for joy in your life. And other, more mundane life events find it difficult to compete with large and usually few shocks like a wedding, getting a leadership position or buying a home. And what happens? Small pleasures seem unworthy to pay attention to them and enjoy them, if the inner pedestal is filled with memories of past successes?

Comparison is not in their favor

We all tend to compare - this is how our mind works. It is as if such a small accountant sits inside, who makes calculations: “Yeah, two years ago the waist was 10 centimeters thinner. But the neighbor's apartment is 20 meters more spacious. She has 15 more likes than me. As a child, it was 200% more fun for me to celebrate my birthday. " And it would be okay to be limited to facts and figures alone - but the Internal Accountant transfers this data to the Internal Analyst, who issues a harsh verdict: “Bad. You have to try harder."

This mode of internal comparison leads to the fact that we are left with a feeling of constant dissatisfaction. What is happening right now pales in comparison to our expectations, memories or other people's examples. When our mind wanders in the past or future, we do not notice what is happening to us now, we are not aware of our needs and current reactions. We lose touch with what really matters to us.

Return of the prodigal mind

How can you help yourself return to your present, stop comparing and start enjoying your current little joys? To do this, you can be armed with a simple question: "How do I understand right now that I like this?"

This is a question you can ask yourself whenever you notice even a fleeting shade of pleasure. It can be a beautiful view, a pleasant to the touch thing, delicious food, a favorite smell. Perhaps it will be a welcome conversation or an interesting activity.

Even if the Internal Accountant rates the level of pleasure at 2 out of 10, it will still be a signal to ask yourself this question. And the more attention you pay to the nuances of this pleasure at this very moment, the more likely this subjective assessment will increase over time.

If you wish, you can even try to conduct a more detailed analysis of pleasant experiences by filling out the following table (or at least mentally answering these questions for yourself):

What was this experience? Describe in detail what exactly you felt in your body at the moment of this experience? What mood and feelings accompanied the event? What thoughts came up in your head? What thoughts come now when you are making these recordings?
Example I was walking home after work, stopped and heard a bird singing. Lightness on the face, felt the shoulders drop, the corners of the mouth rise. Relief, pleasure. “It's good”, “what a cute (bird) she is”, “how nice it is to be outside”. It was such a small thing, but I'm glad I noticed it.
Date Time

No time to rejoice

Another excuse that often gets in the way of simple joys is lack of time. Perhaps this is one of the most common answers to the question of why people find it difficult to integrate sports, meditation, or other useful activities into their lives. We sometimes drown in the idea that we are too busy, and even forget that it is vital for us to replenish the body's resources.

Why we forget to give ourselves little joys 2
Why we forget to give ourselves little joys 2

But the immutable truth is that our body is not rubber. Our nervous system tends to be depleted if we don't feed it. As a result, we become vulnerable to depression, anxiety, and burnout. Without taking care of ourselves, it’s much harder for us to deal with our day-to-day activities - especially since not everyone can boast of supportive, safe, resourceful relationships in which we receive the necessary care from the outside.

Where do you get extra minutes in a day in order to have time to please yourself - with little things or something more significant? The answer is predictable: plan ahead. Free time for pleasure will not come out of nowhere if you do not deliberately include it in your routine.

The technique of behavioral activation helps to cope with this task, which was developed in the framework of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy to support life changes. What is needed for this:

  • Plan your day in the evening and write down your plans in the table. The more you are prone to depression, anxiety, rumination, fussing, or forgetfulness, the more detailed this plan can become. It can be a table in which you will write down what you are going to do, for example: “10-11 breakfast; 11-12 gatherings for a walk; 12-13 walk; 13-14 walk; 14-15 lunch ", etc.
  • Throughout the next day, in the next column, you can mark what you really did. It is perfectly normal that the plan will often not be fully implemented. It is important to treat yourself with understanding and goodwill, so as not to beat yourself up for unfulfilled expectations.
  • Next to each record of what you have done, write two grades on a scale from 0 to 10: "M" and "Y". Let the Internal Accountant enjoy the numbers.

    "M" is "skill", that is, how well you did it, where 10 is your own limit of possibilities, and not the result of a world champion in this case.

    "U" is a pleasure, that is, how much you liked it.

    The result may look like this: “10-11 breakfast М3 У5; 11–12 TV M9 U1; 12–13 trip to the M2 U2 store ", etc.

Keeping such a diary of skill and pleasure for just a couple of weeks will create a wealth of data for your Inner Analyst to study. And he will definitely be able to trace some patterns: what gives you the most pleasure? What comes easiest? What is difficult but pleasant? What is easy but unpleasant?

Based on this information, you can build your schedule of little joys much more accurately. For example, you might schedule at least one easy and enjoyable activity per day. Or planning easy and enjoyable activities as a reward for difficult and unpleasant ones.

Planning many easy but unpleasant activities will greatly reinforce your confidence in yourself. Who knows, maybe looking back on this day, you will enjoy a sense of accomplishment? Gradually, such a schedule will nourish you enough so that you more and more often decide to give yourself difficult but pleasant events - after all, it is from them that we get the most tangible return.

I'm not worthy of pleasure

The greatest difficulties with getting pleasure from little things arise in people who tend to make high demands on themselves and the world around them. If you are prone to perfectionism and criticize yourself for any oversights, then you are unlikely to agree to allow yourself pleasant experiences “just like that”, for no reason. Even if you write them down in special diaries and tables.

Maybe in your life experience there have been situations or people who have convinced you that joy must be earned. Maybe now you don't even notice those moments when this internal rule pops up in your mind and forbids you to relax, relax, watch your favorite movie, spend time and money on massage or hobbies.

Many of us were brought up in strictness and exactingness, and now it is difficult even to imagine that we can treat ourselves with greater benevolence. But try to imagine right now your closest friend, or beloved relative, or partner.

Let his or her face appear as detailed as possible in imagination: tired, stubborn, irritated, sad, or simply focused. Imagine the pose of this person, mired in work or household chores. And so he or she says to you, “I don't deserve to be pleased. I need to do something great before I allow myself to enjoy life. " How do you feel in response to these words? How do you want to support such a person?

Why we forget to give ourselves little joys 3
Why we forget to give ourselves little joys 3

It can be difficult and sad for all of us. We are all unfair to ourselves. But it's important to remember that no one knows you and your needs the way you do. Therefore, it is you who are able to truly take care of yourself and give yourself those little joys that can charge and support you.

Developing self-friendliness can be difficult, but only at first. The more often you mentally wish yourself to be as healthy and happy as possible for you right now, the easier it will be for you to grope within yourself for this good intention. And it will be followed by the simple joys of life, which will form a motley canvas of happy moments.

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