In Part 2, I showed you the complete scale with all the emotions and emoticons needed for a better visual understanding of what The Joy Scale is and how it works. I also explained how to benefit from it and showed you how to rate your mood.
In this part 3, and final article about the presentation of the Joy Scale, I’m showing you:
- How to recognize when you’re in a downward spiral of negative emotions
- The 7 steps you can follow to start feeling better now
- An example using The Joy Scale
What is The Joy Scale?
The main purpose of the Joy Scale is to give you visual, and real time feedback, of your current emotional state. It also allows you to see and measure the progress you gain as you move from one emotional state to another.
Understand how you get in a downward spiral of negative emotions
First, you might feel uninterested in what you’re doing as a career. If you don’t pay attention and do something to stop it, you might start feeling annoyed and frustrated.
If still you did nothing to get out of that state, because you couldn’t think there was another option, because you just believe you can’t do anything else, or just because you don’t know how, then it’s very likely that you started feeling anxiety, then anger, then powerlessness, until arriving to feeling depressed or numb, or both.
This is how the downward spiral effect gets created. If we don’t stop to see where we are emotionally from the moment we start feeling bad, we loose control of our emotional wellbeing. I say we lose control because we are giving our power away either to others or to our own beliefs and thoughts.
The good news is that you can take your power back. You are the only one that can stop the downward spiral. People close to you might try to help, but until you are ready to take your power back, no one can really do much for you.
It’s your decision; it’s always your decision.
7 Steps to improve your life using The Joy Scale
That said, here are the steps.
- Print out or sketch The Joy Scale
- Identify and select areas of life
- Write one area of life on each one of the scales
- Rate your current emotions
- Set your emotional goal
- Get distracted
- Measure your improvement and re-assess
Using The Joy Scale
Step 2 – Identify and select areas of life. Areas of life are usually Health, Leisure, Growth/Career, Material Abundance/Finances, Relationships, Community and Environment. Find the four most important areas of your life at this moment. Make sure you include the area that is causing you feel emotionally bad right now. For instance, if you are having problems in your business or job, Growth/Career has to be included.
Step 3 – Write one area of life on each one of the scales. For this exercise, I will be using the areas of Health, Relationships, Leisure, and Growth/Career as if it's your situation. It's just so you get the idea of how to do it yourself.
Write one area of life on the line provided within scale. Do the same with the other ones; one per scale.
Step 4 – Rate your current emotions. On each scale, find the marker that represents your current emotional state for that particular area of life. For example if your health is fantastic and you’re happy with it, rate it somewhere between 60 and 100. If you are not very happy with your career, you can rate it somewhere between zero and 50 depending on your situation. Do the same with the other two areas of life.
Step 5 – Set your emotional goal. Decide which emotions you want to experience on each one of the areas you’re not happy with. Let’s say in your Career area you rated it at a 20. Look at the emotions of the 20 marker. Do you really want to be experiencing those emotions? I’m pretty sure you don’t.
Now, look at the scale and see where you would want to be in it. I'm sure you would like to be in a 60 at least, right? Then begin thinking as if you are already there. Start looking for hopeful and optimistic thoughts about your new goal and more hopeful and optimistic thoughts will come to you.
Step 6 – Get distracted. Do something to help you improve your emotions. You don’t have to fix the problem right now. Just do something to take your attention away from that emotional state. Here are some ideas that can help you:
- Don't think too much about it: If you keep thinking about the issue that caused you to be on the 20 state, it's very likely that you would go even further down. I explained earlier how the downward spiral works. So, don't think too much about it and try not to talk much about it either.
Instead focus on thoughts that can help you feel good and help you move to the rating you selected as your goal. If you think your thoughts are slipping away to the negative side, just gently focus again on your goal of how you want to feel.
- Do things you like to do: Do things that you enjoy doing and that will leave you feeling better after you're done doing them. Shopping and drinking are not good ideas at this point. Some good ideas are listening to music, dancing, reading, meditating, writing, painting, take a trip, visit a good friend. You get the idea.
- Take a nap: When you take a nap, the negativity coming out of you, for being in a negative emotional state, stops while you rest. Then when you wake up you have a choice of either continue with the way you were feeling the day before or go the other way instead.
- Focus on other scales: Focusing your attention on another scale that has a better emotional rating will help you tremendously. Just by appreciating the good rating from your other areas of life, it will help you feel that not everything in your life is lost; that there is hope. I mean your health is good, your family is good. You will be good soon too. Doing this helps you change your perspective very quickly.
- Define what you want: Going through negative experiences are usually a good time to check with yourself what you really want. I mean, maybe what happened is in reality what you needed so you can move toward what you really want.
Maybe what you need is just to take some training, applying for another job, or changing the marketing strategy of your business. Just make sure that you don’t make any major decisions when you are in a state lower than 50.
Step 7 – Re-assess and measure your improvement. At this point rate again, on the same scale, your current emotional state and measure the improvement you had. For example, if you initially rated your Career area at a 20, and after going through the steps you can confidently say that you feel like in a 50. That's a 30% improvement!.
After recording the improvement, go back to steps 4, 5 and 6 as many times are needed for you to get to your emotional goal. It is very common that quite a few iterations are needed until you reach a happier state on the scale.
This is because it’s impossible to make the jump from a 20 to an 80 in just one day. Imagine feeling hatred one day and then feeling happy the next day. That would be very nice but not very realistic. Our bodies and mind need time to heal.
So please be patient and keep repeating the steps. You should be feeling more optimistic by now because your emotions are already getting better at this point.
Master the use of The Joy Scale
Mastering the use of the Joy Scale does not mean that you should never go back to the negative side of the scale at all. In fact, sometimes we need to go back and spend some time in those emotions so we can grow spiritually, personally, and professionally.
I’m not saying that no growth comes from being happy and joyful, but rather that some of the deepest and lasting growths in our lives usually come from experiencing strong negative emotions.
So, I don’t want you to see negative emotions as bad. They are not. Just make sure that when you feel that the time to move on from the negative emotions has come, you do something to get you out of that emotional state.
So, don't judge yourself, don't criticize, or defend, or justify why you are there. Just know that it will be over soon.
I hope you remember these steps I’ve showed you and use The Joy Scale to help you move to the positive side of the scale more quickly every time. If you really want a successful and joyous life, you can do this. It is in your hands, go get it.
I would love to know your improvement percentage, doesn’t matter how small it is. Any improvement is always better that none. Let me know in the comments below or send me a message.