Increase Your Joy Aptitude

Happiness is just ONE of the many positive emotions we should try to create and experience.

Happiness is great, but so too is joy and contentment, satisfaction and even calm.

In this Psychology Today article by Carrie Caudill, simple and practical strategies are offered for increasing your joy.

If that sounds good, then read on …

KEY POINTS

  • Joy aptitude can be enhanced through cognitive mindsets.
  • An orientation toward gratitude can heighten one’s capacity for joy.
  • Replaying joyful experiences and encounters from the past can promote joy in the present.

Source: Jackson David/Pixabay

Decisively, I shut my laptop. I had committed to a 30-minute walk during lunch. Seventeen unanswered messages in my inbox nag at me—yet gritting with commitment, I lace up my shoes.

Walking a couple of city blocks between therapy clients has always been a mentally relaxing and much-needed reset for my sedentary, counseling days. As I walk, my attention shifts from client concerns and tiring to-do lists to mindful practice, noticing the green and shadows on the tree leaves.

Breathing a little more fully, I pause to graze the texture of the crepe myrtle bark. Casting my gaze upward to soak in the sunlight streaming through the trees, I hear a familiar bird sound of “whoo who who-who” that I once thought belonged to owls but is actually the song of the mourning dove. I find myself feeling grateful for my ears that differentiate between all the traffic and street noise to attune to nature.

Walking on for a few minutes, my thoughts wander elsewhere as I round a corner. To my delight, 30 yards above me across a telephone wire sit four, tranquil mourning doves. My happenchance discovery brings an instant smile and warmth to my heart.

Joy may appear as an unexpected delight—and oh, how wonderful are those serendipitous encounters with it. But is there a way to increase our aptitude to experience joy? Psychological studies provide some insight.

In a multidisciplinary initiative by Yale University to define and understand the emotion of joy, Roberts (2013) described “joy, as a positive emotion (an affective concern-based construal),” meaning that joy is affectedly positively experienced in response to an individual’s perception and evaluation of the situation. Therefore, there are cognitive aspects that influence one’s readiness to experience joy.

Mindsets for Joy

One cognitive antecedent to delight is the surprise of a perceived good (Miceli & Castelfranchi, 2010).

Do you have a picture in your mind of what is good? Specifically, what is the desired good for this particular day? What is the desired good for your relationship with your supervisor? What is the desired good for your physical health?

… keep reading the full & original article HERE



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