Tuesday, October 28, 2014

3 ways to boost joy

Want to ramp up your joy and pleasure quotient a bit?

Sometimes we're down in the dumps because difficult things have happened to us, and we're worn out dealing with them. Sometimes we experience depression and need help. Other times, we've just stopped noticing all the good things that really are there all the time. That's when we can use a little jump-start.

First, when you awaken in the morning, try spending those first few moments thinking about what you most look forward to that day. Derive the pleasure of anticipation, which many times is 90 percent of the joy anyway. This will awaken your senses to other pleasures that day. You'll be watching for things. Expecting them. My guess is that you'll notice far more than you usually do. At night, too, it's good to review the day to remember all the joys.

Second, pay attention to your senses. Many of us have gotten pretty good at ignoring the signals our various senses are sending us. When you eat food, really focus on the taste of each thing—even if only for one minute. Feel the texture of your clothing or that soft blanket or coat. See how pleasant that feels. Smell the clean, fresh fall air. Or literally stop to smell the roses—or whatever flowers are in your environment.

Third, knowing that we all rush through our days with little awareness much of the time, put post-it notes around your home or office to remind you of something pleasurable. Or check your phone's wallpaper if you have a photo there of someone you love. It will remind you of good things in your life, and most likely it will spur you to look around for other good things. Do whatever will serve as a reminder to you.

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