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  • Kelly O'Donnell

What is Joy and How Do You Find It?

Joy is a euphoric and fleeting feeling of happiness. To experience it, you have to be both completely present, and completely let go of your self awareness. Rarely can you be thinking about the past or future and be joyful. It happens in the present.

We are often so busy with “adult” obligations, that we let joy slip under the radar. Ask people what makes them feel joy… They usually have to think about it… But they will usually come up with something like playing with their kids or their dog, like singing or dancing, running, or biking. Finding time to experience joy should be one of your #1 priorities in life!

Experiencing joy is good for your health. Just like stress sends signals to our bodies, so does joy. When we experience joy, our brain sends signals to our bodies that we can relax, that we are safe. Our emotions share a lot of biochemical links to our immune, endocrine, and digestive systems. For a healthy body we need more joy and less stress!

What can you do to increase joy in your life?

  1. Give yourself permission… Many people feel guilty about doing things just for the pleasure of it. It is time to get out of that way of thinking.

  2. Make it a priority… Schedule things that you enjoy and make them non-negotiable. Schedule a meeting for Wednesday night? I can’t… I have salsa dancing!

  3. Get outside… Just looking at the trees, the clouds, or the water can bring you joy.

  4. Laugh more… Seek out laughter. Choose comedy over drama. Spend time with kids.

  5. Play… Game night with friends… join a kickball team… enroll in a dance class… do something just for the fun of it!

It is hard to prioritize yourself, I know. There are so many other priorities.


Find what brings you joy and do it, over and over! You will notice a difference in your life and your health!


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