It’s a huge focus of mine: promoting and facilitating a joyful life in myself and others. But it’s a common question that often comes up: is the pursuit (or maintenance of) joy selfish? In your work related to taking care of yourself, bringing more happiness into your life, and changing your mindset for the better—is this intrinsically a selfish act? Let’s dive in.

Dispelling the myth

In a society that sometimes sees joy as self-indulgent, scientific studies suggest otherwise. According to a groundbreaking article in the Journal of Positive Psychology, joy is a fundamental human emotion linked to improved mental well-being and increased resilience. Far from selfish, embracing joy can enhance our capacity for compassion and empathy, creating a ripple effect in our relationships and communities.

If we dive into the science a bit deeper, it wont be a shock to read that joyful experiences activate the brain’s reward system, releasing neurotransmitters like dopamine and endorphins. These chemicals not only make us feel good but also contribute to better stress management and overall mental health. What does this mean for others? Well, when we’re able to shift out of stress, anxiety, and other challenges to our mental health, we’re better communicators, friends, partners, and colleagues.

Joy, then, and the work to support a joyful, balance, and calm life, not only affects ourselves in a radical way, but causes a ripple-effect to impact everyone we interact with. And, really, when you think about it, isn’t that sort of the point?

How to find joy?

Now that we understand the science, how can we practically infuse more joy into our lives? Here are some practical ways to incorporate more joy into your daily routine:

  • Practice Mindfulness: Take a few moments each day to focus on your breath and the present moment.
  • Express Gratitude: Cultivate a gratitude journal to acknowledge and appreciate the positive aspects of your life.
  • Connect Socially: Build and nurture relationships with friends and loved ones.
  • Engage in Hobbies: Dedicate time to activities that bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Prioritise Self-Care: Ensure you are taking care of your physical and mental well-being.

Listen to my Spotify podcast episode—The 4 pillars of happiness—to dive into other ways to bring joy into your life.

The takeaway

Joy, then, is not only a delight to experience and a crucial aspect of personal well-being, but it’s an important way to make sure we’re interacting with those in our lives in a more positive way. Rather than selfish, see your own mission to live joyfully as a way to start a positive ripple effect wherever you go.

Ready to embark on your own joyful-living journey? The Yoga Revolution’s free inner circle provides more than just a community; it’s a support system grounded in evidence-based practices. And our joyful-living membership is designed to enhance your overall well-being through guided yoga sessions, expert resources, and a network of individuals committed to cultivating joy.

Chloe - TYR Founder & Joyful Living Coach

POSTED: 02/12/2023

Chloe is a yoga teacher, mindfulness guide, and joyful living coach, and she thinks the meaning of life is probably to be as happy as possible.

Related Posts

Start your joyful living journey today Sign-Up