JOYkwondo Exercise #20: It’s OK to be Sad, Just Don’t Stay There

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

— Albus Dumbledore

joykwondo Exercise

What are some negative emotions that have been nagging at you lately? What’s trying to bring you down? Today, instead of turning away from it and ignoring the negative emotions, I want you to treat them to ten minutes of undivided attention. That’s right! You know when you’re trying to get someone’s attention by calling their name over and over again until they finally turn around and say “OK! Fine! What do you want!? I’m HERE!!” That’s what you get to do with those nagging, persistent thoughts.

Set a timer. Preferably something with a loud bell that’ll snap you out of it when it’s time. This will give you a safe, controlled time to explore your sadness without committing to it. Ten minutes may not seem like a lot, but have you ever tried focusing on ONE thing, and NOTHING else, for ten whole minutes? It feels like an eternity.

Take these ten minutes and explore those thoughts and feelings. Be curious! Where are they coming from? Why are they always there? What’s triggering them? Is there a solution that you’re avoiding for some reason? Are you grieving something? Have you allowed yourself time to heal? Face it. Focus on it. Dig down way deep and enjoy some good old fashioned wallowing.

If this is a time you’d like to remember in the future as part of your joy journey, then go ahead and write your thoughts down. Write your questions and the answers you’ve come up with. Tell if the experience helped your troubles become less scary. Were five minutes enough? You’re also welcome to share whatever you’d like about this in the comments section below. Don’t be afraid to get deep with us. You’re in a safe space! We’re all in this together.

Once you’ve pulled yourself back out of the dark, don’t forget to find something happy to write about today in your Joy Journal! You’ll thank yourself later.

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