Joy

Culture/English
Photographer: Jill Wellington. Edited by Opulens

HAPPINESS. Do you remember how carefree you felt as a child during the holiday time? The smell of the tree, family gatherings and presents brought so much joy and excitement. Have you ever noticed how easy it is for children to experience joy? Most of them are practically walking representations of joy. Do we lose this ability as we grow up and transform ourselves into“serious” adults?

 

Today I realized that I rarely allow myself to truly experience joy. I do experience momentary joy but it passes too quickly and I roll back into the “serious state”. The only time I can fully immerse myself in joy is when I play with my children, that’s when I rewind the clock to how I felt as a child and truly allow myself to let go. It seems that as I was growing up, I took on all the “seriousness” that comes with being an adult.

According to a Harvard study, “good genes are nice, but joy is better” when it comes to life satisfaction as we age. It’s easy to lose joy but much harder to gain it back. We tend to focus on the negative and dismiss the positive. Positive experiences happen more often than we notice, but we are so preoccupied with what’s wrong that we simply don’t recognize what’s right. I’m not a proponent of excessive positivity because it’s simply not realistic.

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However, the ratio between the positive and the negative in our lives needs to change in order for us to tackle difficulties and stay resilient. According to long-term studies, the higher the ratio between your positive and negative emotions is, the more resilient you are in the face of difficulties, including health issues.

The research also shows that acknowledging and discussing positive experiences leads to improved psychological health and well-being. Additionally, sharing joy multiplies it!

Let’s power ourselves up with some real joy, the one we can recognize among other emotions and allow to take over. No matter how busy we are or what’s going on, we can take a moment and let ourselves experience some joyful moments. Who knows maybe we will make it a habit and it will turn into something extremely valuable with time?

Who can brag about their ability to be joyous?

MARIA SHENKMAN

Text was published in cooperation with the author via https://mindfreeing.com/

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