“Discover and do more of what lights you up.”

smiley flower pixabayThis has been the main focus of my coaching, teaching, and writing for many years ( for an example, see this article,  Want to Love Your Life? Make a “Lights List”)

Recently my colleague, Jackie Foskett, wrote an article on her process for making and using a “lights list” to decrease your stress and increase your aliveness and well-being. I thought it would be fun to share her perspective on this with you and she gave me permission to do so. Thanks, Jackie!

Stress Relief Tool #4: Make a “lights me up” list.

By Jackie Foskett

The “lights me up” list is fun and creative to do. You naturally get relief from stress when you are being present to “what lights you up.”  And, to boot, you’ll feel inspired to find solutions and actions to stay focused on those great feel good feelings!

Many people live their lives from a place of shoulds, have-to’s and musts, without adding in those aspects that give “juice” to their lives.

When there are too many “shoulds, have-to’s and musts, it feels overwhelming, burdensome, heavy and stressful. Our spirits need more lightness, ease and joy!

When you make a list of “what lights me up,” you see what gives you life, vitality and feelings of well being.

You also get to see if you are getting enough of those!! It’s very possible, you aren’t. When we are depriving ourselves of those energizing experiences, we will feel stressed out and not tuned into the joys of life.

Be proactive and start adding in more “lights me up” aspects in your life. You’ll be giving yourself relief from your stresses, you’ll start to feel more alive, “lit up” and more easily able to handle those hills of life when they show up.

7 Easy Steps

Here are 7 easy steps to support you in discovering what lights you up. This will allow you to identify and focus on what truly energizes you and gets you in the “zone.”

1) Have a notebook and pen ready, as you get yourself comfortably seated and ready to write.

2) Take 3 deep breaths…all the way down into your belly.

3) Now, write down everything that gives you feelings of well being and just “lights you up.”

For examples: Taking a walk in nature, talking with certain people, taking a bath, doing creative work, gardening; swimming, horseback riding, playing with your children, playing with your grandchildren, playing with your furry children, an aspect of your work that allows you to feel connected, heard and contributing to others…you get the drift. Keep that list going.

4) Now take a moment and notice how you are feeling after having made this list.
If you are staying present to the feelings each of these gives you, I imagine you are feeling pretty lit up by now!

If you find yourself thinking “gee, I never do that” or having any focus on the absence of those things that light you up, stop and simply focus on the positive feelings of one of the “lights me up” items you’ve listed.

5) After you’ve made your list, score each item on your list from 1-10 in relationship to how much this is in your life right now – how much “lights me up” you are giving yourself?

1=not at all       10=all the time

6) Now you are ready to make changes: You’ve brought in the awareness needed to make a shift. You’ve felt the energy of being “lit up.”  Now you can have more “lit up” time in your life!

Choose one item on your list you can definitely commit to having more of in your life.

7) Write that one item on a separate piece and put it where you can see it easily. Write it on around another piece that you can pull out of a pocket or purse when you are feeling stressed.

Simply focus on how it feels to be doing that or connected to that “lit up” aspect and you’ll get distracted from what is stressing you out, you’ll connect in to your feel good hormones, and you’ll be reminding yourself of how good it feels being “lit up!”

Hint: you’ll be inspired to keep having more “lit up” times!

Remember to make time to keep this commitment of adding in “lights up” aspects to your life and you will notice how much better you feel, how life seems to be brighter and how you are feeling generally just more “lit up.”


jackie foskett

Jackie Foskett, CH (Certified Hypnotherapist) & Hypno-Coach, founded  Healing Hypnotherapy,  in 1999 to help people change their behaviors and thinking processes in areas that were no longer working for them.

As a Stress Relief Specialist, Jackie facilitates her clients in using their powerful minds to release what is holding them back so they can discover new ways of behaving and responding that support their vision of their best healthiest selves in body, mind and spirit.

Jackie is in the process of writing a book, The Stress Relief Toolbox, for women who take care of everyone but themselves. Watch for its release in the near future.