Take back your more…
More joy, more bliss, more peace, more excitement, more clarity, more happiness 😊.
Sukha (pronounced sue-kah) is an ancient Sanskrit word used to describe a blissful contentment that fits & feels just right, that was made for you alone.
Each activity on Sukha Cards and in your journal should be done with intention or mindfully. Mindfulness means simply to be present in the present. We are usually agonizing about the past or worrying about the future. Here in the present, our happy chemicals go into overdrive. Mindfulness takes practice, and in the beginning, it may even be uncomfortable to be present in your brain.
Use your 5 senses to help slow down your brain when doing Sukha Cards. Don’t fight other thoughts that try to push their way through. Practice allowing them to mist through without struggling against them or getting frustrated with yourself for not being able to focus. Be patient and loving with yourself through the process of using Sukha Cards activities, being angry and gruff with yourself blocks happy chemicals!
Wherever you are, look around at your environment, pay attention to what you smell, concentrate on what you hear or play some music, listen for the different instruments, or even put a taste of something strong in your mouth (lemon juice, hard candies, or even a bit of mint toothpaste or mouthwash). Touch something that feels pleasant, have fun with being present and using the Sukha Cards activities! They are not about doing them perfectly.
Let me introduce our happy chemicals: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Together, they play a big role in determining Sukha, a pleasurable, blissful happiness that is unique for you. They impact our mood, sleep, motivation, and other bodily functions more than most of us understands. Symptoms of deficiency of these four chemicals are: lack of motivation, low energy/fatigue, brain fog, difficulty with attention span or ability to focus, impulsivity, mood swings, feeling hopeless, sadness/depression, anxiety/worry, feeling disconnected, loneliness, insomnia, and aches and pains. When these 4 chemicals & the system as a whole are in balance & functioning well, we experience improved mood, better sleep, & more clarity. Whatever your specific MORE is; more bliss, more peace, more love, more focus, more energy, more drive, or more joy; Sukha cards activities are the easy, backed by science way to achieve MORE.
Several factors of life can cause happy chemicals to get out of balance or not work properly. Some common things that can impact happy chemicals are depression, anxiety, traumatic events, poor self-worth, or stress. In my therapy practice, I often find that clients feel if their happy chemicals are in balance and producing as they should be that they will no longer be motivated or driven. The opposite is true; when happy chemicals are in balance, it improves energy level, the body and brain’s ability to function optimally, attention span and focus, and gives us a new level of clarity and ability to set and attain goals. Processing and healing trauma in counseling is even more successful when our happy chemical production is working well.
All 4 chemicals also impact other functions in our body. Serotonin impacts sleeping, eating and digestion; dopamine influences motor function and motivation; oxytocin helps mom’s recovery after child birth and makes us feel those warm fuzzy love emotions; and endorphins help with pain relief and lowers anxiety. Wrapped up together, these four happy chemicals play a huge part in a happy, content, pleasurable life (your sukha). Whatever your goals are; love, success, family, connection, understanding, wisdom, joy, or peace; improved happy chemical function can help you clarify, set and attain your goals to improve your Sukha!
Whether we’re getting our nails done, eating a delicious piece of cake, binging our favorite show, chatting with a friend, taking a bubble bath, or playing a video game; whatever coping strategies that we use to get through the day are VALID. But not all activities that we use to cope with life have the same side effects. Sukha cards activities are chemically proven to improve the chemical production that controls our mood. Scientists have discovered how to use MRI technology & brain mapping to determine which activities produce more happy chemicals or improve the workings of our pleasure system. While most of us spend a good bit of our day chasing small bumps of dopamine, Sukha cards have activities that when done daily, can instead produce an overall peaceful, blissful pleasure or Sukha! Stop chasing momentary pleasure and start experiencing MORE.
It is perfectly acceptable to grab 2, 3, 4, 6 or more Sukha Cards that sound good to you and do them for the day. However, if you’re the kind of person that would like a bit more guidance, here is a 2-week menu.
Again, the focus is not ensuring that you complete all the activities, it is much more important to do the activities with positive expectations! Do each card with intention, using the instructions for mindfulness and really try not to multi-task. Sukha cards are categorized so you can begin to pinpoint the types of cards that uniquely give you the most improvement in your Sukha score: self-care, anxiety busters, community/connections, and change your thinking. Adjust as you find the cards or categories that work the best for you.
Many of the cards can be repeated throughout the day for extra benefits. Always start and end your day by rating your Sukha using the 1-10 emoji Sukha scale below. Be as precise as possible, even using numbers such as 7.25 or 5.5 to really dial in how high your Sukha is. Sukha scoring means really taking a moment to ask yourself what your level of blissful contentedness is for that specific moment. To get a more precise idea of how your Sukha score is changing, you can even do it 1 or 2 additional times throughout the day.