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Ways to Find More Joy Every Single Day

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: In our busy, chaotic world, people often overlook everyday opportunities to experience joy.
Air Date: 10/7/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Sonja Lyubomirsky, PhD
Sonja-LyubomirskySonja Lyubomirsky is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside.  Originally from Russia, she received her A.B., summa cum laude, from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology from Stanford University. Lyubomirsky currently teaches courses in social psychology and well-being science and serves as graduate advisor. Her teaching and mentoring of students have been recognized with two Faculty of the Year awards and a Faculty Mentor of the Year award. Lyubomirsky’s research – on the possibility of lastingly increasing happiness — has been honored with Fellow status from three different scientific societies, a Science of Generosity grant, two John Templeton Foundation Grants, a Character Lab grant, a Templeton Positive Psychology Prize, and (with Sheldon) a million-dollar grant from NIMH. Lyubomirsky’s best-selling 2008 book, The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want (Penguin Press) has been published in 23 countries, and her recent book, The Myths of Happiness: What Should Make You Happy, But Doesn’t, What Shouldn’t Make You Happy, But Does, is translated (or will be) in 16 countries.  Her work has been written up in hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, and she has appeared in multiple TV shows, radio shows, and feature documentaries in North America, South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.  She lives in Santa Monica, California, with her family.
Ways to Find More Joy Every Single Day
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside, recently helped the Reddi-Wip brand commission a research survey on the current state of joy in the U.S. for its #ShareTheJoy campaign.

The survey found that in our busy chaotic world, people often overlook everyday opportunities to experience joy. When they do experience joy, too often people keep that joyful moment to themselves and the emotion becomes fleeting because it's not shared.

Other insights from the survey revealed the following:

  • 93% of Americans want to find more ways to experience joy every day.
  • Only two out of five Americans think they have enough joy in their lives.
  • On an average day, almost half of Americans don’t experience joy.
  • 96% of Americans agree it’s important to celebrate the little things in life yet nearly seven out of 10 (67%) of adults surveyed agreed they don’t make enough time to celebrate everyday moments with others.
  • 83% would rather experience a small amount of joy every day rather than a large amount once in a while.
  • More than half of Americans (54%) are brought more joy by surprising someone else with something nice than by being surprised themselves, yet only 33% had followed through with a surprise for someone in the last several days.

With years of experience as one of the first to study human joy and happiness, Sonja has proven tips and strategies to help people find more joy every day.

Relish ordinary experiences. Pick everyday pleasurable experiences and make them last. Spend time with your morning coffee and linger and absorb the aroma and taste.

Reminisce with family or friends. A friend or family member can bolster the power of “positive reminiscence.” Researchers have found that mutual reminiscence, that is, sharing memories with other people, is accompanied by joy, accomplishment, amusement, contentment and pride.

Nurture your relationships. The strongest boost to happiness appears to come from personal relationships. Spending more quality time with the people in your life is a sure-fire way to increase your own and others’ levels of joy. Pick a relationship in need of strengthening and invest time and energy in healing, cultivating, affirming and enjoying it.

Listen in as Sonja joins Naturally Savvy host, Lisa Davis, to share more about the lack of joy in our society today, as well as ways to increase the joy and happiness in your life.