Former monk Jay Shetty and his wife, Radhi Devlukia-Shetty, joined Jill Martin for an Instagram live and shared some tips on how to embrace joy and find connection during stressful times.
Shetty, now a life coach and bestselling author, and Devlukia-Shetty, a plant-based recipe developer and fitness enthusiast, talked with Martin in a wide-ranging conversation. Shetty told Martin that in the same way it can be important to allow yourself to experience negative emotions like stress or pressure, it's important to give yourself the same permission to enjoy positive feelings, even though they may feel out of place.
"I think it's OK to have an experience of an emotion of joy and happiness and celebration," Shetty said. "I really hope that in this extended period of time that we've all experienced, I really do encourage people to find those little moments to celebrate, to take a moment to value an occasion, to really cherish your moment and allow it to be extended into more."
"I think it's so easy to not do that ... because we feel guilty, we feel we are not allowed," Shetty continued. "But actually, each and every one of us has permission and a right to feel joy whenever we need to feel it, and I hope that everyone is going to try and find that moment today and for the rest of the year."
Devlukia-Shetty added that people should not find positive and negative emotions to be mutually exclusive, and said that finding joy in stressful times allows her to spread that happiness to others.
"I always think even if there is sadness within me, even if I am feeling sad about things going on in the world, that doesn't mean we can't also, at the same time, be feeling joy," Devlukia-Shetty said. "If something makes us love, we shouldn't feel guilty. If somebody makes us happy or does something lovely for us, we should still feel that gratitude and that joy and, and not feel bad about it."
Devlukia-Shetty also said that bringing positive energy to life can balance out the negative emotions others are dealing with.
"For me, I see that as my responsibility of how I am being conscious about what I am putting into the world," Devlukia-Shetty said. "If one person had a bad day, and happened to be mean to me, I'm thinking, well, if I then reciprocate in the same way, that collective energy is always going to be negative. But if I address it or if I come at it with some sort of positivity, even if it's a struggle, at least it's a little bit balanced out. At least I'm neutralizing the situation."
The couple ended their conversation with Martin with two simple tricks that anyone can use to try to center themselves and relax.
Devlukia-Shetty recommended just taking a "simple deep breath" that allows you to "connect your mind back to your body and bring you back to the moment."
"I honestly just put my hand on my heart and I would take a deep breath in," Devlukia-Shetty said. "Fill your belly, your chest, your lungs, and then exhale everything that you possibly can, as much as you can get out. Usually what I'll do is with every breath in, I will think about a quality that I really want to embody ... And then as I'm exhaling I will intensely have the intention to release anything that doesn't serve me, whatever it is in my body that I'm holding on to that I no longer need."
Shetty recommended a psychologist-approved trick called the "5-4-3-2-1 technique," which involves focusing on the world around you. The routine takes just 30 seconds and can be repeated over and over until you feel better.
"What you want to do is when you're feeling there's too much going on, you want to just try and be where you are," Shetty explained. "... So you do five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing that you can taste. That just totally brings you back to right where you are right now. From this place of alignment and clarity, you can now focus on whatever you want to do. ... Taking a moment to even just hear the sounds around you just disconnects you from the noise in your head."