Comparison is the thief of joy.Theodore Roosevelt
Sometimes, people may put a damper on our good feelings, either directly or indirectly. And then there are those times that we may also, either knowingly or not, deflate someone else’s joy. But by taking responsibility for our own inner state of being, we can protect ourselves from these “yucks”, and also make sure that we aren’t out in the world “yucking” on anyone else’s “yum”, either.
Are there mornings when you wake up and you just feel wonderful? You may have had an amazing time with your partner the night before, or had a particularly delicious experience with your children, or the day is just glorious, or just because?
Then you walk into the office, the grocery store, or you get stuck in traffic. At the office a co-worker is bitching and moaning about the boss. At the grocery store a customer is yelling at the cashier. In traffic, someone cuts off the person in front of you and gives them the finger.
Even though the negativity is not being directed towards us directly, it may be challenging to not be affected by it and for us to hold on to our “yum”. In our fast-paced world, there are so many potentially stressful situations and negativity that we are exposed to that it takes real effort and consciousness to stay connected to our “yum”.
Then there are those experiences in our life that are directed towards us specifically. For example:
- Perhaps our partner had a bad day at work and takes it out on us, or ...
- The neighbor is grumpy and criticizes us for allowing our dog to be on their lawn, or ...
- The boss is unsupportive of our ideas that day, etc.
So even though we’re in a great place ourselves, these things come up and directly impact us.
Protecting Our Yum
Consider the following tips:
- The first step is recognizing what is happening. As soon as we can begin to notice (and this is the hardest part) that we are being pulled out of our “yum”, we can start to evaluate our thoughts and where we are emotionally.
- We can learn how to disconnect from that other energy and find where we are inside. It might help to tell ourselves: This is their stuff, not mine.
The biggest trick, though, is to be present throughout the irritation or interaction. For instance, once we start to notice some “yuck”, do a couple of deep breaths, and really catch yourself feeling something other than joy.
As soon as we notice that we have been pulled out or are being pulled out of that awesome space, then we quickly bring the attention back to ourselves. If we can just allow all of our emotions to simply be experienced without attaching ourselves to any of them, then we will be way ahead of the game.
This is the first in a series of four articles. For updates, stay tuned to our anonymous Facebook page (likes are not seen by the public): https://www.facebook.com/nassauguidance?fref=ts
My wish for you today is that you hold on to your “yum”, no matter what may come!
---- Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD, Director.