Are you able to find joy in someone else’s goodness? Say what? In a world mired in the message of self, I and me this goes against the grain a bit. Or maybe a lot. There is a direct connection in having a more fulfilling outlook on life and healthier relationships when we are able to shift to maintaining a scope of life that is includes others besides ourselves. The benefits in finding joy in someone else’s goodness is an area we don’t dig into nearly enough.
The truth is…
The really amazing thing about our quality of life is that it is influenced by relationships. As human beings we need human interaction. Life is desperately lonely when this is absent. If we have eyes fixed on us, our needs and our significance we miss out. Big time.
For many people, they may not ‘get this’ concept until much later in life. For some, they never do. That’s a heart breaking truth. So how the heck do we kick things up a notch? How can we add some tweaks to make our days and years hold more substance?
The benefits in finding joy in someone else’s goodness….
It can be easy to fall into the trap of allowing the joys and accomplishments of those we care for to either be something we feel threatened by or reinforcing our own inadequacies. We can make life about competition and self worth or we can readjust our thinking. But that switch is a conscious choice to be made.
When we switch our thinking up here are just a few of the ‘perks’ involved:
- A positive state of thinking
- Heightened sense of appreciation for life and the people in it
- Physical benefits: lessened level of stress, angst and anger
- Ability to solidify healthier (and longer term) relationships
- Greater enjoyment in the little things in life
- Tendency to veer from negative people and trivial situations
How to kick this way of thinking into high gear…
Our mind may wander to what we may lack or desire when a friend, family member or colleague announces some form of goodness in their own life. This is the crossroads where we can marinate on the negatives or we can shift to the positives. For some of us, the switch up of thinking does not come naturally. It is then setting the tone for readjusting our thought process.
This can start with being observant of our physical reaction when we hear of a positive from another person that can evoke negative. Whether our heart rate increases, our palms sweat or we tense up; our body gives us ample notice when we feel threatened or uncomfortable. It is then taking the proper steps to retrain our bodies reaction. A few ways to get this rolling may be deep breathing for 60 seconds, closing our eyes and releasing deep breaths, going for a walk or even squishing a stress ball. Being in tune with our body is important.
We may have negative thoughts creep in our minds. I am a big advocate of retraining our thought process. An easy, semi-painful way to get this going is to place a somewhat loose fitting rubber band around your wrist. Any time a negative thought may pop into mind snap that sucker. Pull the rubber band back and…snap! Ouch! It may sound silly, but we are often unaware of how prevalent our negative thoughts are. There’s also the truth that negative thinking is also toxic. It creeps into all aspects of our life. The rubber band strategy? I’ve recommended it thousands of times and the feedback is nearly 100% positive and causes some serious re-evaluation of thinking.
Getting word out there…
What can help remind us to be joyful for others is actually reminding ourselves to be joyful. Seriously. Whether it’s a post it note to trigger these thoughts or mentally going through your social media with friend’s posts to remind you of the goodness that may be going on in their lives. This may sound strange, but sometimes we simply need a little reminder on what’s going on. For those of you that don’t need reminding, that’s awesome and worthy of a golf clap.
If we write down these intended accolades or even program them into our daily calendar reminders it gets the ball rolling. We can text, call or do face to face exchanges of goodness. Let those you care for know that you are happy and joyful for them. This is a simple way to spread joy and train our minds in focusing a little more on others than we may be accustomed to.
In the next few days and following weeks you can begin the pursuit of finding joy in someone else’s goodness. It may take a little time and effort, but I promise you the benefits are well worth it.
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Wishing you a week of peace, love and goodness!