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A Useful Habit for the Pandemic?

June '20

Life can be frustrating! External events (like a global pandemic) can leave you with the feeling of no control over your life. But you do have one person you can affect with great power—yourself! In days that can seem pretty bleak, you can always work at cultivating your own ground. Every morning you have the opportunity to develop habits that lead to a quality of life that reflects your own true values.

In this month’s newsletter, I’m going to focus on a habit that may you surprise you—the habit of delight. I think it may be the perfect habit to cultivate during this CoVid pandemic.
delight: 1: high degree of gratification: JOY also: extreme satisfaction 2: something that gives great pleasure 3: the power of affording pleasurable emotion.

Think about it! Without daily delight in whatever work you do, or how you spend your days, I suspect you are not contributing much to the quality of your own life, or to the world around you. We all need to take pleasure in our daily activities, and to share that pleasure and joy with others. This makes the world a better place and that’s not a bad result!

The attitude with which you perform any task can transform the task and yourself. Marion Woodman, a Jungian analyst, pointed out that you can scrub a floor with grim determination in an irritated mood because you have to do this activity, or you can turn on some of your favorite music and create a time for a physical workout and contemplation.

The images you bring into your life on various screens can also affect your daily mood. Carl Jung suggests that images are closer to the unconscious than words, so it’s no surprise they are powerful. Perhaps this is why research shows that walks in nature like “forest bathing” yield such positive physiological and psychological effects.

You can also take time for satisfaction in your daily life. If you are a doer and a high achiever, you may have a tendency to ‘up the ante.’ In other words the minute you complete one project, you jump onto the next one. Taking time for satisfaction is an important way to ‘up the ante’ of delight—even if it’s as simple as sitting quietly in your chair and raising a clenched first with a “Yes, I did it!”

I also remember reading once, (regretfully, I don’t remember where), that the creative process has two cycles: an “up” and a “down.” On the “up cycle, you invent, create and implement your ideas; on the “down” cycle you relish the fruits of your labors. According to this theory, if you don’t take the time to celebrate your accomplishments, you literally abort the creative process, and further will not be able to tap into this creativity as efficiently for your next project.

So how have you been cultivating the habit of delight during this pandemic? What strategies have you found helpful, and what has brought you delight, or how have you brought happiness to someone else?

Stay safe, stay strong, stay sane!
Bonnie

P.S. Would be delighted to hear your answer to these questions and so might others!

P.P.S. You can still obtain my nine-week journaling program, “Reinvent Your Life ~ Write Now” for at its 20% discounted pandemic price. Learn more here.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Claire Shaw said on June 30, 2020:

    Hi, Bonnie . . .
    I have noticed that people who are normally quite productive have slowed down significantly since COVID-19 joined the party, which has led me to believe that while uncertainty is a constant in our lives, it has not, at least in recent history, been so very much “in our face”. I’m wondering if the constant presence of uncertainty has led people into the ennui that seems so prevalent. Just a thought.

  2. Bonnie said on July 1, 2020:

    Hi Claire!
    So nice to hear from you! As May’s newsletter reveals, I observed that procrastination you noted. What I had not considered is your idea of the constant presence of uncertainty as a cause. That’s a really interesting thought! When this pandemic is over, we may learn a lot more about the human psyche as we examine all of our reactions to it. Thanks for this contribution to our thinking!
    Bonnie

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