Dear Candy Q & A: Not waiting until you're better to start enjoying life

Updated: Sep 26

A recent conversation with a coaching client reminded me of this important principle (which so often goes unheeded). We don't need to wait until we are better to start enjoying life or having some quality of life. Life is happening now, in this moment, and there are lots of things we can do to make it meaningful. Sometimes we get so focused on what we want to change and on doing the steps to make that happen that we get distracted from making the most of the present and starting to bring in quality of life now. It is crucial to have things that fill you up, feed your soul, bring contentment, humour, or enjoyment on a regular basis. Take a look at what you can do presently that fits this criteria. Make a list for yourself and post it somewhere visible as a reminder to bring these things in regularly.


It is not so much about the specific act or activity itself, it is about how you perceive it. If it brings you to any kind of elevated state, then great! The things that might elevate or feed one person may be entirely different for the next person. It is about what matters to you specifically. It doesn't have to be big things or take a lot of time. It could be the simple pleasures in life (or things you used to find pleasurable if you are having trouble connecting with positive emotions). It might be things you used to do when you were younger. It might be bringing a different level of awareness to some of the things you are already doing. Whatever you choose, the key is to do it with as much presence and openness as possible so you are fully receiving the enjoyment or fulfillment of it. We can go through the motions of things we find pleasurable while being fully checked out and thinking about other things. When that happens, we do not receive the benefits. It is important to bring yourself into the present moment, slow it down and savour whatever it is you are choosing to do.


If you are really struggling currently, part of you may be wondering what the point is of doing this. You may dismiss it as less important than the other retraining practices. Your limbic system may resist the idea of doing something fun because of your symptoms. You may be having trouble pulling yourself out of your current negative thought/emotional state, or it may feel like it's just another thing on the to-do list. All of these are a product of limbic system dysregulation and the pathways that are currently dominating in the brain. When we are in this state, our happy-feel-good neurochemicals are low, and we don't "feel like" doing positive or fun things. This is why it is so important to think greater than how we feel and do the things that are helpful for rewiring despite what your brain is telling you or despite whether or not you "feel like it". The way out of this funk is to step into the curious observer, recognize this is where you are at, accept that fact, then choose to do something that fills your bucket regardless. The thoughts/feeling can be there but they do not have to dictate our behaviour or choices. You are not your thoughts or your emotions. You are so much more.


So with that in mind, start to bring in more of what you value and enjoy. This will enhance your quality of life while you are in there process of rewiring. You don't have to wait to start bringing more enjoyment & fulfillment into your life. You may still be working towards an ideal of what you want that to look like. Think of this like stepping stones to help you get there.


Wishing you all the best on your journey :)


Until next time!


If you have a question, please email me at dearcandyquestions@gmail.com

 

Candy Widdifield is Registered Clinical Counsellor, Wellness Coach, and Registered Reiki Master Teacher in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. She has a background in nervous system regulation, trauma, grief & loss, mindfulness, somatic therapy, & positive psychology. She taught the DNRS in-person program for 5 years, has over a decade of experience coaching brain re-trainers & provides mentorship to other coaches. Candy works with people all over the world, helping them to optimize their wellbeing and thrive in their lives. More information about Candy can be found at www.candywiddifield.com

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