Ellis, the founder of rational emotive behavior therapy, explains that the mundane encounters which we all experience each day constitute unpleasant, even stressful, events. And the ubiquity of these events, he writes, may make them even more potent contributors to the stress of modern life than has previously been assumed.
All the more reason to take greater agency over joy. To bring as much perceptible lightness to the otherwise oppressive situations of life as we can.
Hell, there are millions of people who live their entire lives without anything that brings them joy. Probably because they don’t deem themselves worthy of it. Why not go out of our way to offer that gift to them? Why not perform the simple act of giving ourselves away before we need to or are asked to?
One of the most satisfying parts about wearing a nametag all day every day is that it’s a vehicle for creating moments of micro joy. A hello from a bus driver, a conversation with a cashier, a joke from a complete stranger, each of these encounters make both people rise up with a greater lightness of being.
We feel that little thrill, as if the cells in our body are slowly rising. Our exchange lasts a few seconds, but for one brief moment, there is an emancipation from the anxiety which takes the joy out of life.
We have yet another reason to make life a true celebration.
If that sounds pretentious and schmaltzy and suspiciously earnest to you, then maybe ask yourself what kind of relationship you have with joy.
Ask yourself where in your life you might be cynically blanketing every spark and flicker of delight.
Because if you want to get out of that destructive stress loop and into a more fulfilling existence, mundane encounters are an easy and free place to start.
It’s cheaper than therapy.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How are you taking greater agency over joy?