What is joy? That feeling of euphoria you get when you pass your exams, or win that competition, or hug your friends, or meet your favorite person. It is that feeling of being on top of the world, on cloud nine, of being alive. We all know that joyful feeling, don’t we? And we all know the relaxed state of our mind and body while we feel the joy flow through us. So, how does joy affect your mental and physical wellness?
All the emotions we experience come from our brains, and our brains are affected by those emotions. We can say our brain is monitoring our emotional state. The feelings of joy we experience are the release of the two hormones: dopamine and serotonin.
When you feel joyful, your brain receives the signal to release these hormones. Then, these chemicals travel around our body, making certain changes in different systems. This article will discuss the effects of feeling joyful and the consequent release of the two chemicals below.
When you feel joyful, you are in a positive mindset. That positivity leads to several changes in your thought process as well. You look at things from a much broader and optimistic perspective. You become more welcoming to change, diverse opinions, and ideas. Your thinking process is widened, which induces creativity in your mind.
Moreover, feeling joy makes a person stronger to face negative emotions. If you have experienced the feeling of joy, the positivity, you know that it exists and will make its way back to you. So, you are more resilient against other negative emotions. In this way, feeling joyful improves your mental health.
As we discussed, feeling joyful releases hormones that make changes in different parts of your body. Have you ever experienced the flush in your cheeks when you are feeling joy? That is the physical effect of being happy—the hormones released to stimulate your circulatory system to pump more blood around the body.
Hence, the flush in your cheeks as more blood rushes to them when you feel joy. This improvement in the circulation of blood also reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks. Therefore, feeling joyful affects your physical wellness positively.
The immune system:
A stronger immune system leads to a healthier and fitter person physically. Feeling joyous is a reason for a stronger immune system. It is a fact that joyful people engage in activities that strengthen their immune systems. These activities can range from exercise, dancing to eating healthy.
A stronger immune system means you will be less likely to contract dangerous diseases and more likely combat them. Moreover, if you are not falling sick every other day, you will be relaxed and at peace to do your desired work. Hence, your mental wellness is achieved by feeling joyful.
For more ways to boost your immune system, please read this article on
Herbs and spices that boost your immune system.
If you are feeling joyous, you are more relaxed and stress-free than others. As a result, you automatically develop a healthier lifestyle. You eat healthily, and you don’t sit around being lazy all day. You engage in various activities and develop a proper sleeping routine. Suppose you eat healthily, e.g., fruits and vegetables.
In that case, you will improve your physical health by lowering the risk of diseases, supplying more nutrients to your body, and increasing your overall energy levels.
Sleeping and waking up at the proper time is also a healthy habit that improves your mental health, making it easier for you to perform certain tasks and concentrate on others. So, a healthy lifestyle due to feeling joyous means a healthy person physically and mentally.
Ways to feel joyful more often:
The following are some of the many ways you can adapt to feel joyful more often:
Get rid of those negative thoughts:
Stop thinking about everything in a negative light. Your friend bailed on you at lunch? Think about all the possible reasons they did that. Maybe they had an emergency. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Don’t jump to conclusions and busy yourself with your work; stop overthinking.
Don’t take things for granted. Be grateful for all you have in life, even if it is not what you wanted. Think about how so many people out there don’t have what you do. Make a list of the things you are grateful for; food, shelter, a family, friends, or even a Netflix account.
Start appreciating the world. Take a walk outside every day and look around at the trees, the sky, and the birds. You will feel a strange calmness. Start appreciating people, no matter how insignificant of a goal they have achieved. Your younger sister drew a flower? Appreciate her.
So, it is clear that feeling joyous has various positive effects on your physical and mental health. There doesn’t need always to be something to feel joyful about. It would be best if you look for happiness in small things like we have mentioned above.
Once you do, you will be surprised about how relaxed you feel and how much you improve as a person. Your brother scored an A in his test? Appreciate him. Appreciate everyone around you. You will see their consequent smile will make you feel joyful. So, buckle up; it is a joyous ride ahead!
How do I know if the techniques I am using are helping me be more joyous?
The first thing is to give yourself some time: a month at least before you start looking at the results. After a certain period, you will notice yourself stressing out less and positively dealing with things. That is when you know you have developed a positive and joyous attitude, i.e., you are feeling joyous.
What do I do if I have tried all the activities and there is no result?
Every person functions differently. It isn’t a given that if a certain thing worked for someone else, it would work for you too. Suppose you have been consistently trying all the methods to feel joyous, and you believe there is no difference. In that case, you can always refer to professional help. Sometimes, we all need a little help, and a professional therapist is never something to be ashamed of.
Learn how to make a self care checklist here.