- Do you ever find yourself consistently dreading a part of your day, week, or even life? In this video, Christy shares a tool she uses to take our focus off of dread and create a focus of joy instead.
Do you ever have part of your day that you just dread? Maybe it’s an everyday thing like going to work or a class. Maybe it’s a special occasion like a family get-together and you know uncle so-and-so is going to act out as he always does.
Maybe it’s something as simple as your drive home. No one wants to live even part of their day in dread, much less experience it on a regular basis. So today I’m going to share with you something I do to help me switch my focus and turn around my thinking to the point where I am actually looking forward to a situation that I may have dreaded before. It’s a little tool I use that I call Joy Markers.
The idea is really very simple. Take something you are dreading and create something to look forward to within it, a joy marker. Then, whenever you find yourself feeling that dread, shift your thoughts to the joy marker instead.
For example, let’s say you have a long drive home each day and you dread the traffic. This is a great time to catch up on listening to Bible notes, listen to the audio version of Bible readings, or jam out to praise music! I put on some amazing car concerts!
You can easily claim all this time and give it to the Father and I promise, He will make it yield the sweetest of fruit. Soon, you’ll find yourself excited to be caught at a light and traffic backups will only add to your testimony!
A more straightforward example is If you find yourself dreading getting up early in the morning. Now, fair warning, my advice for this may seem crazy at first, but I suggest that you get up even earlier in order to give yourself time to have your favorite coffee or tea while sitting on your back porch and spending time with the Father, even it’s just for five to ten minutes. That is your joy marker.
Then, whenever you find yourself dreading getting up in the morning, immediately think of the soothing warmth of your tea and the encouragement you will feel from spending time in prayer. So you see the principle being put into practice here: whenever you think of the thing you dread, switch your thoughts to the joy marker you’ve attached to it.
Now, a joy marker doesn’t have to always be spiritual, it’s just an extra bonus when it is. For example, I had a friend who told me she dreaded going to work each day. She would go to sleep dreading it and wake up dreading it. She actually liked her job but it had gotten to the point where her dread was feeding her dread. So I began to look for a joy marker for her. I asked her what her favorite drink was. She said it was this certain brand of carbonated water that she didn’t get very often and she especially liked it in the glass bottles. Blessedly, this was not expensive so I suggested she get a case of it, put it in her fridge at work, and drink one each morning when she arrived at work. Then, whenever she thought about dreading work, she immediately shifted her thoughts to thinking about getting to drink her favorite beverage and how good it would taste and feel.
Within the first week, she noticed a shift in her thoughts, her attitude, and her stress levels. Now, instead of her negative thoughts breeding more negative thoughts, she was learning how to take control of them and shift them from dread to gratitude.
So, again, the idea is you take something you dread and attach it to something you can look forward to. Then, whenever you find yourself dreading, just shift your thinking to your joy marker. Over time, usually quicker than you think, your thinking will begin to shift naturally. I know it sounds so simple, but honestly, the most effective tools are really simple to implement.
If we make a habit of using them, they can yield a lifetime of change. So go ahead, work some joy markers into your day. This is an effective way to take your negative thoughts captive and turn them to thoughts of joy and thanksgiving.
I’ll see ya next time, love y’all.