Newsletter 9/20/22; Embracing and Sharing Joy!

Flip the Script on the Sunday Night Blues


Set the Tone for your Week with these 6 Pro Tips

Does anxiety creep in when you think about the upcoming week?  Do those thoughts get you to feel a little blue on Sundays?  The anticipation of what the next week has to bring can leave you feeling stressed and depressed.  Often people can get worried about unfinished tasks at work or home that need to be tackled come Monday morning.  Creating a work-life balance can be challenging with the demands of our jobs and our children’s school and activity schedules.  Some simple shifts can be done to help manage overwhelming feelings and take the dread out of the approaching week.  Practice these ideas to start your week on a positive note and gain joy back in your Sundays.

1. Be Proactive with your Tasks

Many people save Sundays as their weekend task day.  Try switching things up.  See if you can tackle your chores, shopping, and meal prepping on Friday night and early Saturday morning.  If you can tackle your task list early in the weekend, then you can spend the rest of your days off doing leisure activities.

2. Spend some Time on Yourself… READ MORE

How Do I Find Joy When I Am Stressed and Overwhelmed

Ok, let me start by saying I’m a pusher. Not the kind selling drugs around the schoolyard, but the kind whose natural response to difficulties in life is to put my head down and push my way through. I’ve pushed my way through anxiety and exhaustion, pain and sadness. In my freshman year of college, I pushed my way through both studying and partying, so hard that I ended up pulling a muscle in my chest during finals and requiring painkillers. Then I pushed through that too, taking my finals while dosing up on Percoset.

During graduate school, finishing my thesis (on the topic of joy!) took so much effort that I holed up in my apartment for nearly a month, sleeping four hours a night and taking a break only for a couple of hours to see my mom for Thanksgiving. In my first year at IDEO, out of my depth on a complicated project, I cried in the bathroom and then returned to my desk and kept working, never asking for help lest anyone think I couldn’t handle it. Once, I got so sick on a research trip that a coworker found me huddled on the floor of a car dealership bathroom. (That was low.) READ MORE

The Science Behind the Joy of Sharing Joy

Positive experiences happen to us every day, yet we don’t always take full advantage of them. Have you ever noticed that it could be a great day (you had eight hours of sleep, it’s the weekend, had a great conversation with a friend, etc.), but that it takes just one harsh word from someone or one piece of bad news to ruin the day? Research by Shelley Gable and Jonathan Haidt suggests that we have three times more positive experiences than negative ones. What keeps us from fully capitalizing on all the good in our lives, making us a slave to the bad?

Researchers have identified two main tendencies that keep us from experiencing, extending, and expanding our joy: negativity bias and habituation. The negativity bias refers to our mind’s innate tendency to give more weight to the negative; Roy Baumeister has shown that we tend to remember and focus more on negative experiences. Habituation, discussed in research on the hedonic treadmill, refers to the fact that while we receive boosts of happiness from new positive experiences, over time, we get used to these experiences and they no longer have the same effect. READ MORE

Defining Happiness: The Four Elements

The reason is understandable; it refers to an internal human experience, all of which to some extent are subjective.

It may be preferential, therefore, to use the word ‘happiness’ as an umbrella term. In doing so we can use it as a reference point, rather than a simple noun.

We could agree that to be happy is essential to feel ‘well’; that is, the sense of living through a ‘good’ experience, or a ‘good’ life.

So, what constitutes a feeling of ‘wellness’? There are four key elements I suggest are not only essential but primary in a life that can be described as happy.

1. Exhilaration, 2. Resilience, 3. Meaning, 4. Transcendence… READ MORE


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