It’s a stressful time at the moment. We are freshly out of two years of pandemic restrictions, there is war in Europe, and families' economic situations are worsening by the day as prices rise. When you add to all of this the usual tensions and transitions of life, of births, illnesses, deaths, of get togethers and break ups, of job moves, house moves etc etc, it’s easy to understand why more people are feeling the pressure more of the time.
When I was reflecting on what I wanted to say in the midst of the collective contexts we face, I recalled that I was recently invited to notice the things in my life that bring me joy and uplift me. While simple, it was a wonderful gift that really changed what I was noticing. From the feel of the wind, to the vibrance of my azaleas, from the softness of my kitten’s fur to the giggle of a delighted child, I was surprised to find many, many glimmers of joy in my day.
Don’t get me wrong, these glimmers don’t bring world peace or bump up your bank balance, the stresses of life are still there. What they do though is broaden what is noticed, and this can bring more balance to your state of mind. Sometimes these simple, fleeting moments of delight can remind us of what else is also true, along with those things we find uncomfortable and difficult to resolve.
We all need moments of joy, and moments of calm. Grounding into these emotions can be useful, it’s a reminder really that all feelings change continually, emotions are energy in motion after all.
In the months ahead there will for most of us be good days, and tougher days. Days when we worry more, and days when it’s easier to lift our heads and choose our focus. Making it a daily practice to notice glimmers of joy, and to count gratitudes, can be good disciplines for mental health. And when self-help is not enough, do remember psychotherapy is there to help you find ways to make space for all of your experience, and to find ways to make peace with what’s happened or happening, and in time to thrive.