Happy Hour and a Neuro-Tip: How to Cultivate Joy
Science shows you can boost happiness by taking time for small moments of delight thru the day.
Another approach says that by practicing particular emotions, you can “rewire” your brain. Your brain grows new connections that make it easier for you to automatically cultivate these emotions in the future. So, when you start to feel a negative emotion, such as sadness or frustration, you can more easily swap that negative feeling for a positive one, such as awe or gratitude.
Building Mental and Emotional Fitness:
Enhance your emotional and cognitive functioning by developing mental fitness
“Cultivating positive emotions” is, in a way, similar to developing muscle memory. If you practice the finger patterns for a chord on the piano, a few minutes each day, eventually your fingers will play those cords without thinking, with little effort required from you, since these skills have become ingrained-in and have become second nature.
- You build mental muscle the same way you build your biceps, triceps, and glutes. Lots of reps!
To get started on this journey towards joyous living we need to integrate mindfulness and optimism into every hour of work week, so that it becomes easier to cultivate positive emotions in the future.
Here is an example you can follow to help you get momentum!
Happy Hour Neuro-Tip:
- Set the intention and commit to practice this “Happy Hour” exercise throughout the day, every day- so you can reap long-term benefits.
- It is a good idea to set timer to remind you– at least initially- to take small moments to engage in this practice once every hour.
- Take 2-3 deep deliberate and mindful yawns and slowly stretch your body, deeply relax and allow your eyes to close.
- Engage in a super slow mindful movement, bring your awareness into your body- noticing any thoughts or sensations that arise with each movement.
- Next, retrieve a loving memory or images of past experiences you had that make you smile and fill you with gratitude; then immerse yourself in the feeling of joy that memory brings you. Try visualizing and feeling gratitude and joy filling up your body. Savor it and crank-up the volume!
- Be creative: try this exercise with any positive, uplifting experience you may have had.
Here’s to joyful living,