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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Joy Boosters

JOY - A source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something exceptionally festive or satisfying.
[Click here to review this week's Bliss Initiatives.]

I really like Earl Henslin's term "Joy Bosters." It clearly sums up what I want to offer in this post.  I will be telling you about a few of my favorites both from "This is your Brain on Joy" as well as from other sources. Whenever you feel that joy might be lacking and/or you want to encourage more, refer to this post for a quick joy pick me up!

This is a universal choice. Music has the power to evoke strong feelings and reactions so use this power. to increase joy in your life.  Dr Henslin recommends putting together a CD or ipod play list of music that makes you happy.  Gather this array of songs and keep it handy for when ever you need a little jolt of joy. The entire process of collecting a joy library will in itself produce a lot of joy.

The Spirituality and Practice website offers a whole list of Joy inducing music which might help get you started. Searching on the key words happy and joy in You Tube will also net you numerous offerings.

Here is one from my personal list: Joy of Life by the Corrs

  •  SCENT
I have never been someone that has paid a lot of attention, at least consciously, to smell. I don't wear perfume, I wash with unscented soaps and generally shy away from anything I deem too smelly. However as I learned from "This is Your Brain on Joy" smells "hit the brain first" and can be VERY powerful, if used properly, for imparting joy. We've probably all heard how the smell of apple pie and/or some other baked good contributes to a sense of well being and often reminds a person of home. The website has very detailed information on how to safely use this valuable tool. They even have a complete Aromatherapy Recipe Box which includes an entire batch of  Aromatherapy to increase joy preparations.

I'm not going to say a lot about this. Get up and move your body. Take a walk, run, bike ride. Do something that gets the blood pumping. The endorphins, your self made joy drugs, are there for your taking!

Eat Joyfully! Consult the following sources as reccommended in "This is your Brain on Joy:"  Dr. Daniel Amen's books,  "The mood cure" by Julia Ross and  Nina Planck's "Real Food."  All can guide you to foods that contribute to good brain health. When you eat this way, you can't help but feel more joyful and you will be on your way to being healthier too!

Laughter is the jam on the toast of life. It adds flavor, keeps it from being too dry, and makes it easier to swallow.
— Diane Johnson quoted in Zen Soup by Laurence G. Boldt
Dr. Henslin says, "people who maintain a sense of humor out live those who don't" and recommends laughing at yourself once a day. Humor can be practiced and learned. If you are having trouble getting started I refer you to this famous You Tube video:

Direct from "This is your Brain on Joy"
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.—Anne Frank
"If little Anne Frank, hiding from the Nazis, could find pockets of beauty in her limited world, then surely we can upsize our ability to look for and absorb the beauty around us that brings an inner smile."

Visit a museum, leaf through coffee table books with beautiful photos of your liking, send yourself flowers, visit a garden, go window shopping, look at the stars ( here is the amazing Hubble telescope gallery) etc. etc. Beauty is everywhere. Be conscious and on the look out for it and you will have more joy in your life!

Since I am moving into my new house next week this tidbit, also from "This is your Brain on Joy," is particularly encouraging to me: "Rearranging or decorating is a pleasureable mental and physical excercise that packs a punch in increasing your daily joy quotient."

This is my most satisfying Joy Booster. I am always happy when I am learning something.  Dr. Henslin suggests, "Write down all the things you'd love to do before you die." The Spirituality & Practice website recommends watching the film The Bucket List.  After doing these things, get to work! Try doing one new thing a month or anytime you need a little jolt of happiness. You will be feeling Joyful in no time!

Next post: Reflections on JOY

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise


  1. I love it! What fills up my JOY tank: music, nature, children, and food. Instantly, I'm high on JOY. I'll try the rest of your suggestions. :D I'm game for overdosing on JOY! Yayay! :D

  2. Oh and my honey's smile, voice, and all of him...body, mind, and soul. Mmmm. ;-)


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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.


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