During a conversation yesterday, I used a word incorrectly by mistake, and that just messed up the meaning of my sentence. After a moment of incredulity, all of us burst out laughing. It sounded so silly that we had tears of laughter streaming down our cheeks. Later in the night, as I was reflecting about my day, I realized that this bout of laughter had had a significant impact on my experience of the entire day. I was feeling lighter, more grateful, and conscious of the other joyous moments during the day.
Joy is simple, instantaneous, and momentary. A single joyful moment may not create lasting happiness, but when these moments accrue, they help us deal with the everyday pressures. They enhance our well-being and resilience. They give us the strength and energy to do our work. When we are in a good mood, we are more open, creative, and productive. Research shows that joyful people are less likely to have a heart attack and they live longer. When we are joyous, we connect easily with fellow human beings. Have you noticed that a lot of things that cause joy are universal, e.g.,
- holding a new-born baby
- watching your baby take the first step
- meeting friends, etc.
This list is in no particular order and is certainly not exhaustive, but it points to our common experience of the physical world regardless of age, gender, nationality, or ethnicity. It binds us as humans.
We can always find joyous moments if we look for them. During the COVID19 lockdown, I woke up to the sound of birds singing, almost every day! We can create joy in our lives by being playful, talking to friends and family, making others smile, pursuing our passions, and keeping humor and fun alive. As Robert Brault said, “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things”.