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  • Writer's pictureSarah M.

Enablers of Joy - Beyond Happiness

Oh, joy! That happy, buoyant emotion is a great feeling, whether it’s brought on by a big life event or something as simple as finding the perfect avocado.

On an emotional level, we may feel joy in a variety of ways - tearfully, euphoric, with a deep sense of contentment, and more.

On a scientific level, we feel joy in our neurotransmitters, which are tiny chemical “messenger” cells that transmit signals between neurons (nerves) and other bodily cells.

Benefits of feeling more joy

promotes a healthier lifestyle

boosts immune system

fights stress and pain

supports longevity

[but you knew that]

And that's why I have to ask, when was the last time you experienced joy?

To answer the question it helps to remember what joy feels like in your body. Like all other emotions, joy has its own unique biological signature. We memorize emotions in our bodies.

Maybe you should be asking – what does joy feel like to me? And that's a relevant, important question, because sometimes we get caught up in our every day lives and though we aren't really sad, are we really experiencing JOY?

Joy is one of those all in emotions. When you’re in, at least for a brief moment, you’re not in your head, you’re feeling it with your whole body.

But that feeling can come from a multitude of emotions like;


When we are surprised or delighted with an unanticipated good thing, joy follows. Think of the moment you enjoy a fantastic meal at a new restaurant or when you plan a visit with a good friend. Joy is a signal that the situation is safe and encourages us to embrace the experience and savor the moment.


Thankfulness is what emerges when we recognize that someone else’s effort created a benefit for us. We feel grateful for gifts given, kindnesses extended, and time invested.

The feeling of gratitude motivates us to consider ways that we might pay it forward by showing care and thoughtfulness to others.


When we accomplish a goal or contribute in an important way, we feel pride in our own abilities. Whether it’s getting the promotion you’ve worked hard for or sticking to a fitness goal for weeks, recognizing our own abilities provides us with the necessary motivation to continue setting and achieving goals in the future.


We feel serene or content when we find ourselves in circumstances that feel right and easy. Think of a lazy Sunday morning with the family or enjoying the calm and quiet of a walk through a garden. Serenity encourages us to savor the present moment, and reevaluate our priorities, deepening our understanding of ourselves.


We get curious about the world when we encounter something new and feel safe to explore it. Whether it’s binge-reading articles on your favorite subject or discovering a new neighborhood in your town, interest invites us to explore and learn so that we gain knowledge.


From refined wit to slapstick tricks, amusement or humor is the emotion tied to laughter. That feeling of being entertained and happy. And whatever it is that makes you chuckle, when we do it with others, we strengthen our bonds to those people even more.


Hope is the positive emotion we feel when we envision a brighter future and often helps us through hard times. Although it may be accompanied by fear or sadness, hope pushes us to take steps to create a better tomorrow through sustaining optimism and resilience.


When we see another person act from the best of themselves, we are inspired to strive for our best. Whether we witness an act of high moral character or a performance displaying excellence and mastery, inspiration helps us connect the greatness in others to the potential for greatness in ourselves.


Something is truly awesome when it pulls us in and brings us a sense of connectedness to something bigger than ourselves. Grandiose goodness or beauty, like a view of the starlit sky from a remote place, can stop us in our tracks, overpowered by wonder and respect. Awe transforms our views on the world and our place in it.


The most frequently felt positive emotion. Love is the shared experience of any of the above positive emotions with someone you care about. These moments allow us to know others more deeply and focus on their well-being. And over time in a caring relationship, forge intimacy, and trust.


Like your favorite shirt, let's not reserve these wonderful feelings for only special occasions - Life IS the special occasion.

Remember joy is not just for the lucky few. It’s a choice anyone can make.

Share you joyous experiences in the comments below or send me a message on Instagram. Let's connect.


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