karen header 3

Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life.Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

[No unsolicited guest blogs accepted, thank you]

Diligent Joy

Here’s a phrase I came across and fell in love with instantly, more so when I found out what it means: “Diligent Joy.” It makes me smile to say it aloud, and comes from the book EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert (which had positive and negative points and which I’m not recommending). The phrase, however, is a keeper because it hits the nail so squarely on the head. Sure, we have genetic tendencies and formative experiences in childhood, but, thankfully, chemistry is far from the whole story when it comes to whether we’re smiley faces or not.

Diligent Joy, if I’m interpreting Gilbert correctly, means working to forge a happiness mindset every minute of every day. A lot of work? You betcha. But it also takes a heap of effort to make—and keep—yourself miserable as well. You have to repeatedly focus on life being unfair and how no one can help you, how you’re a victim, stuck, and bound to fail. For the same amount of energy, you can insist upon feeling happy. Gilbert writes that many people believe that “…happiness is a stroke of luck that will descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough.”

Stop and think—honestly—if your attitude about happiness sounds like this: you’re waiting for it to happen to you rather than ensuring that it does. This may be the same attitude you have about becoming a “normal” eater. You’re hoping to awaken one glorious morning with a different belief system about food and a whole new set of eating behaviors. Diligent Joy (or Diligent “Normal” Eating) means that you must make every moment count. You can’t sit back and enjoy yesterday’s happiness or spend your life hoping that happiness will drop in on you tomorrow.

Diligent Joy means cultivating a mindset that keeps you present and in operating mode 24/7. You can find joy in mistakes and failures because it’s the attitude you’ve chosen to embrace. After a binge, you can be joyful that you’re fighting to end destructive behavior. After a purge, you can be joyful that you have free will and that some day you will let go of self-harm. Finding joy means settling for nothing less. It doesn’t mean ignoring painful feelings and being upbeat all the time in a phony way. It means connecting to and experiencing painful feelings, but ultimately deciding that you would rather be happy than sad/upset/disappointed/angry/remorseful/anxious/ashamed.

Gilbert says we must make a “mighty effort” to be happy. I couldn’t agree with her more and will add that the more you practice being happy, the more naturally it will come.

Thinness and Lovability
Satisfying Food Choices

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.karenrkoenig.com/

shelf new

EBProfessionalBadgeLarge

This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.  Privacy Policy