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Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

A Radical Way to Bring More Joy into Your Life

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Nov 7th 2011

smileIt wasn’t so long ago that Abraham Joshua Heschel said, “Life is routine and routine is resistance to wonder.” The moment in that morning that consciousness starts to peer through our opening eyelids is the moment that routine begins. How our day begins has a significant impact on the rest of the hours that follow. So, it’s good to pop out of that routine from time to time and question, how do I start my day? I’m going to suggest something radical for you to consider trying for one week and seeing how this turns your days around. 

There’s no need to go over how most of us usually start our days because you live it. So here’s the suggestion:

Think of your favorite cartoon or comic strip that you read or watched when you were a kid? Was it Mickey Mouse, the Smurfs, Thunder Cats, or perhaps Jem and the Holograms? Or maybe you woke up early to catch the Flintstones, Transformers, or He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.  Whatever it was choose a couple of them. 

Now, every morning, for the next week, watch anywhere from 5 minutes to an entire show of one of these cartoons. I suggest watching the entire 20 minutes (no need for commercials). If you'd rather read the comics, you're welcome to do that. 

Yes, I am completely serious. 

As best you can, put your judgments aside of whether this is completely ridiculous or absolutely genius and just give it a shot. If you have someone you live with, get them in on it, and pick a cartoon you agree on, lay back and watch it first thing in the morning. 

Let your experience be your best teacher. As the old proverb says, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” 

What could happen is you light up the playful, silly and more comfortable areas of your brain. Allow these to be primed to guide you through your day.


As always, please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from. 

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

I'll give it a try - Janet Singer - Nov 15th 2011

Hmmm, not sure what this says about me. I never liked cartoons, but will just try substituting some snippets of my favorite animated movies...thanks for the idea!

Great idea - Mike - Nov 8th 2011

I think I may give this a shot. Thanks for the idea - please keep them coming!

I never stopped watching cartoons! - Crystal - Nov 8th 2011

I am 42 years old and will watch cartoons until the day I die.  Unfortunately the ones I grew up with are no longer on (no cable) so I have to watch them online.  Thanks for reminding me that its okay to be silly. When I tell people that I watch Sponge Bob, they look at me strangely.  My uptight coworkers need to read this. 

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