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4 Ways to Experience More Joy

If you feel you could benefit from experiencing more joy in your life (and really, who among us couldn't??), we have some tips to help you feel happy, happy, happy (!!!) more often:

  1. Choose Gratitude.  By and large, people who maintain a gratitude practice report feeling happier than those who don't.  To make gratitude part of your regular outlook, we suggest you create a gratitude journal and write down 5 items you're grateful for in your journal every day.  Putting your thoughts on paper will prevent you from rushing through the exercise, allowing you to receive greater benefit.

  2. Imagine Happiness.  Research shows that by repeatedly imagining an activity, we actually change the neural structure of our brain.  To take advantage of this, spend time imagining yourself happy.  For instance, you might envision your day ahead as one where you have a pleasant drive to work, enjoyable interactions with your coworkers, a fun evening with friends after leaving the office, etc.  By imagining happy experiences, you're creating changes in your brain that will predispose you to create more joy in your daily activities, reports Experience Life magazine.

  3. Laugh.  It's not for nothing that laughter has been called the best medicine.  Research shows that laughter reduces stress, boosts immunity, and combats depression.  To experience more joy in your life, seek out opportunities to laugh, whether that means going to a comedy club, watching a sitcom you enjoy, or spending time with your funniest friend.

  4. Think Positively.  Sometimes it seems like our thoughts choose us, however, that isn't the case.  We choose what we think about, and research shows that optimists (those who choose positive thoughts) lead happier, healthier, longer lives than pessimists.  To lead a more joyful life, aim to see the good in others, look for things to appreciate, and imagine your life growing better and better.  In short, make an effort to see the glass as half-full—the more you practice viewing things from this perspective, the more joy you'll experience.