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This is one of my favorite topics. Thanks to Marie Kondo and her Netflix sensation, Tidy Up, the world is looking at life through the lens of one powerful concept, joy.

At the top of the year, I decided to take action and empty out my closets, dump everything on my bed and pick up each item of clothing, one by one asking do you bring me joy? Soon I had a pile of so many things that moments ago had been taking up unnecessary space in my closet and life. Sure they were nice, they had served a purpose at a point in time, but did they still bring me joy in the moment and to my surprise the answer was a clear no.

Self- efficacy is our ability to believe in ourselves and achieving our goals. The exercise of asking what brings you joy, is a journey into expanding what is possible for you.

I wanted to know if cleaning out my closet could bring me greater states of joy. Cleaning, isn’t that exciting to me, yet I loved the process. It really did allow me to access another part of myself and look at my day to day world through a different lens.

Once the items that no longer brought me joy were identified, the next step was to simply thank the item for all that it had been and given me, so I could gratefully release it and let it go. This is huge- instead of thinking we need to get rid of things because of a negative reason, implying we have to feel bad to feel good- this concept is totally aligned with you feeling good the entire way through. It’s about honoring the things in your life that no longer bring you joy with gratitude. It’s about saying thank you and it’s more about recognizing that you have evolved, grown and are different today than you were even yesterday.

Think about this for a moment… What if instead of getting caught up in right and wrong, trauma and drama, guilt, blame or shame, what if you gave yourself permission to simply ask, does this bring me joy? If the answer is yes, awesome!!!! Embrace, allow and celebrate all that DOES bring you joy in your life. Do more of that, support more of that, align and allow more of that into your life.

On the flip side, if the answer is no- this does not bring me joy, then say thank you and let it go. Does this argument bring you joy? No- then in your mind say a thank you for the recognition that you don’t like fighting and you desire more connection, joy and ease. It’s a barometer that allows you to be at the helm of your destiny.

It’s the pairing of positive psychology and the science of epigenetics. Our perception drives our emotions. If you perceive something is less than joyful, the emotions it can create within you are less than positive, lets just make a general statement to call these “stress”. Stress can disrupt your internal environment which can then impact the very expression of your genetic code and full potential to thrive.

The more you identify what brings you joy in your life and nurture it, the more joy you feel and the greater your internal health will respond. The less joy, the more stress, the greater the impact on your health and self.

Stress is not bad, lack of joy isn’t “bad” it’s just feedback. Yet, if you can choose, and you can – why not choose joy?

What not give yourself full permission to flourish and thrive in living your healthiest and happiest life?

It all begins with awareness from within yourself to stop, look and ask, does this bring me joy?

For each joyful item, person, situation and opportunity that presents in your life, give a moment of appreciation and gratitude. This benefits you and is a simple way to live life optimized.

Research validates that gratitude enhances health and wellbeing. When you let the joy into your life and feel the gratitude, you align with greater states of flourishing so you can live life optimized!

Tell me what brings you joy in the comments below… for me, it’s my son, my husband, my fur babies, the mountains I look at every morning, the sound of the birds as they sing, a great cup of coffee, avocados, great friendships, and let’s not forget a great glass of wine 🙂

xx- DR. MGP