The Joy Diet- Ingredient #1- Do Nothing at All

In our Facebook Group, The Joy Diet, a group of fantastic ladies and I are going through the book, The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life written by one of my favorite authors, Martha Beck.  The book claims to lead you to a happier life if you follow the “10 Ingredients” in the order listed.  You are supposed to do each “Ingredient” for at least one week before going on to the next.

This week we are beginning the first ingredient, titled “Do Nothing.” This is a play on words, do nothing is another way to say meditation or mindfulness.  It’s called Do Nothing, because that’s what it looks like you are doing.

Martha first explains that in a society that is always doing and going and keeping ourselves busy, we often feel like we are missing something.  The solution to finding that thing is to put aside at least 15 minutes every day to practice mindfulness.  She goes on to give some practical steps on how to make this happen.

Step 1: Put up a “No Vacancy” sign.

This is a reminder to make mindfulness a priority and set aside the time and find a place where no one will bother you.

Step 2: Let your body vacate.

Option 1:
Sit quietly and allow your body to relax. (Your regular old meditation.)

Option 2:
Engage in any repetitive, mindless physical activity such as jogging, swimming, or walking.

Option 3:
Find a place to watch some natural motion such as fire or running water.

Step 3: Vacate your mind.

Detach from your thoughts by watching them. Visualize them as written words on a ticker tape (my favorite), a stream of traffic in a room, a waterfall, a parade, or any other procession of words and objects.

Step 4: Learn to Return.

Create a strong, vivid memory of a place where you felt utterly at ease. Return there mentally whenever you do nothing.

That’s the “Do Nothing” menu item in a nutshell.  I recommend that you get the book and join in with us as we follow the 10 Ingredients for a Happier Life.  Then, below this post, in the comments section answer this question:

“How do you make time for yourself?”

Remember, you will get the most out of this discussion if you interact with us!  Join our group or leave a question or comment below.


YouTube Video of this discussion

The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life by Martha Beck

Songza– There are a couple of great meditation playlists, just Browse under Activities to Yoga.  My favorite so far is “Tranquil Landscapes.”

Martha Beck’s Website– this site has a ton of great info, including this worksheet to help you go through the book, The Joy Diet. article on Why We Should Meditate.  The website is also full of great information.  I use it often.

As mentioned at the end of my video- Crashpower has a great following on YouTube and you should check him out, especially if you’re a gamer!

Author: Mary Preston, LMFT

I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Life Coach. Through dealing with my own anxiety and attention difficulties over the years I have discovered many useful practices and tools to help regain focus, shift my attention to what’s important and to stay organized enough to get the life that I want. In my practice I work primarily with women and children with Anxiety, ADHD and Depression and I share what I’ve learned to get them back on track to living a full, purpose filled life.

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