Life is busy. There is no shortage of things, people and activities to compete for space in our schedules. How can we match our values with our calendar?
Sometimes our best intentions, no matter how hard we try, fall short of desired results. Just remember how hard dieting, exercising, Bible studies or even prayer times can be.
We are the only ones who can protect our schedules. Saying no frees us to say yes in the important matters of life. For many of us, fear drives our decisions. Keeping busy makes us feel important. Avoiding rest may be a futile attempt to deal with low-joy. We do well to talk with Immanuel about what motivates our decisions and schedules.
Seek to stay relational
Once our relational circuits go dim our ability to gauge what is important is greatly hindered. Our ability to follow through is compromised. We may lack the motivation to proactively take steps to increase our joy.We may be overwhelmed by life and unable to distinguish trees from a forest. Whatever the reason for our distraction, solutions that fit with how the brain works best will produce more desirable results. Good intentions fall short for good reasons.
The brain has a remarkable reward system
It relies on dopamine and oxytocin to sustain our joy. When activated, we are motivated to take the steps, pursue the people and create the conditions that brought us joy in the past. Overwhelm becomes more manageable. We find clarity when we or others ask, “What creates your joy?” We identify what joy feels like in our mind and body. We share joy stories with other people. As we foster joy and return to a flexible relational mode, we see satisfying results in our thoughts and behaviors. We learn from past failures and aim for better results next time.
Appreciation and joy keep us relational, efficient and wise.
We can assess how frequently we function in a given day with our relational circuits active. We identify the people or activities that bump us out of a relational space. With practical steps underway, we keep our heads above water and surf the high seas of life with greater purpose, energy and creativity. Let’s explore suggestions to disarm the distractions in our lives.
Six Suggestions to Disarm Distractions
- Practice your Shalom My Body exercises, Initiate appreciation moments to shift your brain into your best, flexible, relational state. Notice moments you lose your peace and quickly return.
- Identify obstacles that hinder you from sustaining joy.
- Pursue strategic solutions. Invite accountability. Joy is one of the best investments you can make with your time and energy. Expect challenges to achieving your goals but stay relational as you discover creative solutions.
- Recharge with rest and quiet to avoid burnout.
- Practice with a group of people to gain momentum so you reach your optimum joy levels.
- Assess “pseudo-joy” levels with the new JOYQ at joystartshere.com.
Did you know that a painful lack of maturity can reduce your ability to sustain joy? Unfinished maturity tasks hinder our joy levels. Check out Exercise 8.2 in the THRIVE Basic Skill Guide to learn more about maturity goals or read more about maturity formation with The Complete Guide to Living with Men by Dr. Jim Wilder.
How do you disarm distraction?
Learn more in Thrive Training
Want to live with sustained joy? Be sure to read the rest of this series (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.)