Part 2: Let’s Switch on Our Joy!

How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

Part 2: How CARS Can Help Us! 

Today we have a special guest, Chris Coursey! He lives and does ministry in Michigan and is all about relationships! Just like us! Chris is the author of The Joy Switch  and is what we are focusing today’s conversation on his book! He shares the incredible correlations between our brains and our joy. Let’s jump in!

The Joy Switch

Chris said The Joy Switch is an introductory book. His ministry partner (Thrive) trains on 19 different relational skills. The Joy Switch is a foundational skill we all need to start with. He calls is “Skill Zero!” This skill is all about learning to turn on your relational brain. He shared how the book helps you understand the right side of your brain, which they call your relational circuit.  

The right side of your brain operates as an engine, or circuit breaker. We have the ability to put too many things inside it. Chris explained we can learn to recognize if it’s on or off. If it’s on, we are curious, peaceful, and wanting to connect with people. When it goes off, we go into problem solving MODE. We start looking at the world as a place full of enemies, not relationships.  

“On” (Relational) and “Off”  (Enemy) Mode 

When someone is in off mode, it will affect their relationships. They can create “relational road kill” because they breeze past people with no regard for feelings. Usually people in “off” or “enemy” mode have little to no joy. The right side of their brain has shut off and their “relational circuit” is off. Without our right brain working well, it is really hard to have joy within relationships.

Basically anything can create this enemy mode feeling and it’s our job to learn to recognize when it is happening. Parents, we are invited to learn this skill and teach it to our kids!

“On Mode” is also known as “relational mode.” Chris said it this way, Joy is our brain’s sweet spot.” God designed us to live within a state of joy, peace, and life-giving interactions with our relationships. 

What is CARS? 

  • Connection
  • Appreciation
  • Rest
  • Shalom

Each of these words are designed to help us slow down and recognize why our relational circuit is off. Chris walked us through each one and how we can practice them.

A Few Examples:

  • Connection is more about being seen, heard, and accepted
  • Connection focuses on listening NOT fixing the issue at hand
  • Appreciation is like opening up presents God has given us and choosing to thank Him 
  • Appreciation is asking our kids what were 3 highlights from their day
  • Rest is in our breathing; we choose to slow down and be aware of our inner-self
    • When Chris saw kids were out of control he would have his kids lay down with a book on their tummy. He would say, “who can make the book go highest on their tummy.” The goal was for them to breathe deep and relax. 
  • Rest is getting with God for a couple of minutes throughout the day and practicing CONNECTION and APPRECIATION
  • Shalom is receiving peace from King Jesus, who has put everything in its right place
  • Shalom is helping your heart and mind become quiet so you can stay in relational mode
Parents, can you pick one of these amazing tools and practice them this week? We challenge you to apply CARS to your daily life!

Wrap Up: 

Parents, we all want the best for our family. Often, we are using the wrong methods. What Chris provides are BETTER methods to achieve the result we want as parents. Be willing to change your methods because the Shalom peace and joy of our God is what our families are designed to thrive off of everyday.  

Connect With Chris & Thrive Ministries: 

How To Connect With Your Spouse During The Holidays

If you have a question or a parenting issue that you’d like us to discuss in a future podcast, email us at [email protected].

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