About Joy

Self-Therapy For People Who ENJOY Learning About Themselves


Plants are on automatic pilot to grow toward the sun.
Animals are on automatic pilot to grow toward food and procreation.

Everything in nature is on automatic pilot - constantly seeking what will meet its needs.

Humans are on automatic pilot toward joy.


We have feelings about our needs (like for food, air, water, etc.). When needs are satisfied we feel joy.

We have feelings about our wants (for love and affection, even for things like a new car). When wants are satisfied we feel joy.

Our emotions constantly push us toward joy. When we use our anger well we increase our odds of getting what we want and feeling joy.

When we use our sadness well we replace what we've lost and feel joy again.

When we use our scare well we protect ourselves and feel joy.

There's even a built in inducement toward joy called excitement. We feel excited whenever we are "on our way" toward what we want! Excitement mobilizes our energy to keep us on track toward joy.


The "Cheaters" Way(!):

The easiest way to get more joy in your life is to simply IMAGINE that you've got something you want.

Using your imagination in this way produces an immediate dose of joy.

The problem, of course, is that since you know you are only imagining, this dose only lasts for the very short time you can maintain the fantasy.


Still, it's a great idea to give yourself these small doses regularly as long as you don't confuse these fantasies with reality.

Being More Aware Of Regularly Occurring Joys:
Every single time we take care of a bodily need we feel a considerable amount of joy. When we eat a great meal or even when we grab a bite of fast food we feel quite a bit of joy!

Go on a campaign for a few weeks.
Take the time to actually feel the recurring joys of every day life.
(Most of us take these moments for granted and rush right past them....)

Zero In On Affection and Attention:
We all love to be noticed and liked or loved by others. Most of us are noticed by others many times every day.
Most of us spend some time each day with people who simply enjoy being with us.

These are moments of affection and attention. The key, again, is to take the time to notice how good these things feel!

About The Joy Of Getting "Stuff":
There is real joy to be had from getting stuff (everything from new clothes to a new house). But don't expect much from this.

Advertisers tell us that if we had all the stuff we wanted we would be very, very happy! They are lying!

Getting stuff feels good only for a relatively short while.
The thrill of a new car usually lasts only a few days or weeks and it then just becomes background. The excitement about moving into a new house probably lasts a month or two before it too becomes background.

And when we get down to the smaller stuff of daily life - like new shoes, or a meal at a fancy restaurant - most of these "thrills" last only minutes or hours.

Take the time to enjoy these things, but don't be surprised when you notice the abrupt end to such joys.


The big joys of life come from getting our needs met regularly and from getting big doses of attention and affection.

You can supplement these big joys with the joy that comes from fantasy and with the joy that comes from getting stuff.

But nothing will ever compare to the bigger joys that come from taking care of your own needs and absorbing the love and caring of others.


We have much more joy in our lives now than in the past, but we hurry so much more too.

Overcoming our culture's insistence that we hurry our lives away might be the most important thing we can do
to actually feel more of the joy in our lives!


After each bite of food, after each trip to the bathroom(!), after each "stroke" you get from the people who like you, after every opportunity for joy, stop everything for a moment and NOTICE that good feeling of joy!

next: About Love

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 23). About Joy, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Last Updated: March 29, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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