JOY – A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something exceptionally festive or satisfying.
This page is designed to help you cultivate joy right now. Stop by anytime for tips and inspirational reading on the topic. If you want to read all of the joy posts go here or return home to see which topic we are studying this week.
Increase your experience of Joy today by trying one or more of these Joyful Bliss Initiatives:
- Do something you love – Don’t just say hi on Facebook, actually pick up the phone and call an old friend, share an ice cream with your child, get a massage, paint your nails… what ever it is that brings you joy. Be conscious and choose joy!
- Carry a pocket charm – I find that I forget about cultivating JOY as I navigate through my daily life. I carry this small totem around with me, and as I happen upon it, I am reminded that I am focusing on JOY. I found this small pewter stone with the word joy engraved on it but any small pocket sized item can work for you as long as you associate it with JOY.
- Smile at Strangers – We spend a lot of time ignoring the people around us. See what happens if you take on being friendly and kind to those around you. We’ve all heard stories about how a teacher who receives an unexpected smile goes on to be more present with her students, in turn encouraging them to learn more and to smile themselves… one smile can cause a ripple effect of kindness. Enjoy knowing that you have started such a ripple by smiling to those around you!
- Field work – Practice Joy! Pick something from Daphne Caperonis’s terrific list of 50 ways to find Joy. Click, even if you have no plans to do anything from her list. Just considering it is a joyous experience!
- Get in the mood for Joy – Watch this very short (less then 5 minutes!) Finding Joy Movie (currently have link only but am in process of getting permission to post the 4 minute film) which is a nice, meditative way to begin any JOY filled day. If time during the week permits, watch one of these feature Films on Joy.
- Join the conversation – Visit the Bliss Habits Facebook Page . Sharing your experiences of Joy with others is an excellent way to cultivate the Habit of Bliss.
Have a place to suggest for this list? Just let me know!
In “This is your Brian on Joy” Dr. Earl Henslin uses the term “Joy Boosters” to indicate things that have a Joyful Impact on the Brain. It clearly sums up what I want to offer here. I will be telling you about a few of my favorites both from “This is your Brain on Joy” as well as from other sources. Whenever you feel that joy might be lacking and/or you want to encourage more, refer to this page for a quick joy pick me up!
This is a universal choice. Music has the power to evoke strong feelings and reactions so use this power. to increase joy in your life. Dr Henslin recommends putting together a CD or ipod play list of music that makes you happy. Gather this array of songs and keep it handy for when ever you need a little jolt of joy. The entire process of collecting a joy library will in itself produce a lot of joy.
The Spirituality and Practice website offers a whole list of Joy inducing music which might help get you started. Searching on the key words happy and joy in You Tube will also net you numerous offerings.
Here is one from my personal list: Joy of Life by the Corrs
I have never been someone that has paid a lot of attention, at least consciously, to smell. I don’t wear perfume, I wash with unscented soaps and generally shy away from anything I deem too smelly. However as I learned from “This is Your Brain on Joy” smells “hit the brain first” and can be VERY powerful, if used properly, for imparting joy. We’ve probably all heard how the smell of apple pie and/or some other baked good contributes to a sense of well being and often reminds a person of home. The website AromaWeb has very detailed information on how to safely use this valuable tool. They even have a complete Aromatherapy Recipe Box which includes an entire batch of Aromatherapy to increase Joy preparations.
EXERCISE AND NUTRITION
I’m not going to say a lot about this. Get up and move your body. Take a walk, run, bike ride. Do something that gets the blood pumping. The endorphins, your self made joy drugs, are there for your taking!
Eat Joyfully! Consult the following sources as reccommended in “This is your Brain on Joy:” Dr. Daniel Amen’s books, “The Mood Cure” by Julia Ross and Nina Planck’s “Real Food.” All can guide you to foods that contribute to good brain health. When you eat this way, you can’t help but feel more joyful and you will be on your way to being healthier too!
Laughter is the jam on the toast of life. It adds flavor, keeps it from being too dry, and makes it easier to swallow.
— Diane Johnson quoted in Zen Soup by Laurence G. Boldt
Dr. Henslin says, “people who maintain a sense of humor out live those who don’t” and recommends laughing at yourself once a day. Humor can be practiced and learned. If you are having trouble getting started I refer you to this famous You Tube video:
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.—Anne Frank
Direct from “This is your Brain on Joy,””If little Anne Frank, hiding from the Nazis, could find pockets of beauty in her limited world, then surely we can upsize our ability to look for and absorb the beauty around us that brings an inner smile.”
Visit a museum, leaf through coffee table books with beautiful photos of your liking, send yourself flowers, visit a garden, go window shopping, look at the stars ( here is the amazing Hubble telescope gallery) etc. etc. Beauty is everywhere. Be conscious and on the look out for it and you will have more joy in your life!
This tidbit, also from “This is your Brain on Joy,” is particularly encouraging to me: “Rearranging or decorating is a pleasureable mental and physical excercise that packs a punch in increasing your daily joy quotient.”
LEARN SOMETHING NEW
This is my most satisfying Joy Booster. I am always happy when I am learning something. Dr. Henslin suggests, “Write down all the things you’d love to do before you die.” The Spirituality & Practice website recommends watching the film The Bucket List. After doing these things, get to work! Try doing one new thing a month or anytime you need a little jolt of happiness. You will be feeling Joyful in no time!