The List of Pure Joy


The List of Pure Joy

There are moments when life overwhelms us. We lose focus, speed up and forget to breath. At 3am, the panic hour, our minds switch on and we either succumb to panic or begin the process of fighting it. (For those that succumb, I highly recommend the 4, 7, 8 breathing method)


We all have these moments of panic. Even I do, and I work as a coach and counsellor, helping professionals through burnout and big change. It’s important to understand that the panic is not your list of stuff to do, or the situation you’re in. It is the way you respond to it. I know this sounds nuts, but you can be a person with no responsibilities or someone with all the responsibility in the world and feel exactly the same.


So how can you respond better and start to build resilience? One suggestion is starting to focus on the stuff that brings you joy in your life. Take a step back and remember who you were as a child and what made you laugh out loud. What you loved to do more than anything. What makes you feel amazing? What relaxes you?


I call this exercise, creating your List of Pure Joy. Once you have it clear in your mind, it will be a little easier to take a step when you’re suffering from stress paralysis.


Here are some examples of things you could have on your list:


  1. Listen to the Little You.

If you were 8 again, what would you need right now? What emotions do you need to feel and release instantly? Do you need to laugh your face off or cry your eyes out? Ask yourself what you need and try to do it.


  1. Go With It

Take should out of your vocabulary. Yes, maybe you SHOULD be doing something, but what if you’re feeling completely inspired to do something else? I’m giving you permission to do it. Let the creative inspiration out so you can move on with your day. Sometimes those moments contain pure brilliance.


  1. Let It Go

Let it go [insert your name here]. Take a deep slow breath in and out and try again. Let. It. Go. Now do it again. Deep breath in filling yourself up, and slowly let out all the air and stress from your body – even let out a big sigh as you do it.  Let it go. Most likely you can’t do anything about it right now. If you can – then do it. Easy.


  1. Get Excited

No energy? This works every time! Do three high kicks in the air and yell SHAAAAZAM! with each kick. Just like Batman and Robin. Yes, it’s ridiculous – but you feel joyful and energized, and ready to take on the world. (I’m not joking!)


  1. Be Nice

I guarantee this works! Every time. Spread the love. Compliment a stranger. Say thank you with all your heart and look them in the eyes. Appreciate someone’s time. Care for your partner. Phone your family and friends. Make everyone feel welcome. You will feel alive and joyful when you receive a genuine smile and feel like you’ve made their day.


  1. Be Lucky

Why are you so lucky? Think of all the reasons why. The amazing people in your life and the awesome country you live in. The fresh air you breathe, the food in your belly and the love in your life. The list is endless really.  Feel blessed and more blessings will come to you.


Does this inspire you? Are you thinking about the stuff that makes you feel amazing? Of course my list may not work for you, the point is you have to create your very own List of Pure Joy. It could contain things such as riding your bike at full speed, eating really good food, chatting with a specific friend. It’s totally up to you. Have fun with it.


So write it down! Do it now. Keep it simple and put it somewhere easy to reach for those moments when you need it.




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