The Benefit of a Little Bit
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
This weekend I took a class where we learned how to create our own journals. When the pages of our journals were assembled and bound our instructor encouraged us to just focus on completing one page. She talked about how this simple act was a way to boost dopamine which is a type of neurotransmitter and hormone that allows us to feel pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation. I loved this invitation to scale back on the pressure that we sometimes place on ourselves to complete massive projects or tasks in one sitting. Now I’ve added one page of art journaling to my daily routine to contribute to my journey of joy and healing.
Here are some strategies to support you as you plan for reaping the benefit of breaking things down into little bits.
Prioritize Play. What if we gave ourselves permission to prioritize play over perfection? This would free up mental and emotional space to simply enjoy the process instead of only focusing on the outcomes. When play is the objective, we get to dip and dabble in things that delight us. I love watching my niece move from one toy or game to another. It reminds me that we are not always obligated to tether ourselves to any one task and that it’s ok to allow ourselves the freedom to flitter about until we find what fuels our fancy. This strategy is often what energizes me and gives me the inspiration I need to create and complete important personal and professional projects and commitments.
How will you prioritize bits of play throughout your day?
Serenity Shots. Think of the things that give you feelings of peace and calm. It may be that thing you’ve led yourself to believe that you no longer have time for. Perhaps it is creating art, time outdoors, making or listening to music, engaging in your favorite form of movement, or simply breathing beyond the basic short gulps of air necessary to stay alive. What if we released the restrictive idea that we must spend a considerable amount of time doing these activities for them to count? Schedule or set a timer for anywhere from one to five minutes to immerse yourself in that soothing activity once a day or throughout the day for a quick boost of bliss.
What sort of serenity shot will you sip?
Mini Mantras. Since gratitude, prayer, and the words we think, speak, and write have been proven to carry so much power, we may set our expectations too high for what these should look or sound like. I remember being self-conscious about leading prayers out loud in spiritual settings because I wanted to do it the “right way.” Similar feelings may also be holding you back when it comes to starting and sustaining a gratitude, journaling, or affirmation practice. Now I know that simply saying, “Use me” as prayer before a speaking engagement, or “Thank you” as a gratitude mantra during my meditation practice are just as powerful as long, drawn-out messages made to meet unnecessary expectations.
What are your mini mantras?
This week I challenge you to explore and identify different ways to break down daunting deliverables and desires into nibbles, nuggets, bits, or bites that support you in reducing feelings of overwhelm and enhancing your experiences of peace and joy.
I am prioritizing play over perfection.
I am sipping on shots of serenity to boost my bliss.
I am making mini mantras a part of my prayer, meditation, and gratitude practices.