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4 Ways to Experience More Joy

by Beth on September 21st, 2018

Experiencing frequent positive emotions is an important aspect of well-being. Joy is a positive emotion that I’d like to experience more often. What about you? Here are a few ways to build more joy into your life:

  1. Savor joyful moments – When you experience a happy moment, notice it, feel it fully, and try to hold on to it for a few seconds before getting distracted by something else. Say to yourself, “Isn’t this great?” We are often so busy that we don’t take time to appreciate the moments of joy that we do experience. Savoring is a way of enhancing and prolonging positive experiences. According to Brené Brown, sometimes when we experience joy we start to worry that what caused our joy might be taken away. She calls this dress-rehearsing tragedy. I am definitely guilty of this. I used to think I would jinx something good if I were too happy about it. Now I make a point to practice gratitude each time I experience joy.
  2. Reminisce about joyful moments – According to psychologist Robert Biswas-Diener, your happiest days are behind you. In his TEDx talk he explains that while you can’t control when you will next experience a moment of joy, you can recall a happy memory to feel joy at any time. Reminiscing lets you experience joy more often. One trick to make it easier to access happy memories is to play a specific song during a joyful moment, like a vacation. This will make the memory stickier or easier to recall.
  3. Anticipate joyful moments – Looking forward to something good generates positive emotions. I just finished planning a family trip for the Christmas holidays. I enjoyed sharing the news with the kids, because I knew they would be excited about the trip and that thinking about it would bring them joy. One study found the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks. Planning things that you can look forward to is another way of experiencing more moments of joy in your life. Research shows that anticipation leads to more intense emotions than reminiscing.
  4. Celebrate the joy of others – It is natural to feel jealous at times when someone else experiences success. But a better way to respond is to share in their joy. Try not to compare yourself to others. That is a sure way to reduce the amount of joy you experience. Instead, use the good fortune of others to experience more joy yourself. Sharing in their happiness can elevate your own mood. So celebrate with them!

From → Emotions

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