JoyInciter = a strategy or practice which can bring greater happiness in life
I would like to introduce you to what I call the JoyInciters, a collection of simple practices which I use regularly to increase the level of happiness and joy in my life. And even though some folks make a distinction between joy and happiness, I use the terms interchangeably. I have collected these strategies from my study of happiness over the years, as well as my own life experiences, and have found them to be instrumental in moving me from not feeling good to feeling better, or from feeling okay to feeling happier.
I have come to have great respect for my feelings–they help me to know “where I am” at any given moment. I see them (all of them) as significant helpers in life. But I certainly don’t like them all. I’ve heard it said that we “live at the address of our thoughts,” and I would add that our feelings (sad, depressed, excited, happy, etc.) are most often set in place by our thoughts. Especially thoughts that we allow to become dominant in our minds.
My JoyInciters, if practiced authentically and regularly, WILL increase your joy. I like the term JoyInciter, and when I created it, I played with other similar “words,” such as JoyEnticer, JoyInsider, and JoyInsight, but I love the idea that some very simple things we can do will incite (def = spur on, push toward action) us to get to where we want to go. And I submit to you the belief that we all want to be happier.
I will be introducing one JoyInciter every week or so.
JoyInciter #1 is the most fundamental of all the strategies (and a practice which I imagine we all do to some extent): expressing gratitude. This is what I am suggesting–make being thankful a regular, conscious practice. And to help that endeavor, I keep an ongoing listing of what I’m thankful for, a gratitude journal or what I call my THANKSGIVING BOOK.
Everyday (or whenever I think of it), I write something down I’m thankful for. I have come to realize that what I write down is NOT the most important factor of this practice. But the LOOKING for thanksgiving is paramount in causing a shift in SEEING. And it’s SO easy. Right now as I type, I am grateful to be able to type, to have a computer and a smart phone, to have this popcorn I am eating, to have a bed to sleep in, etc. Two of my courses this semester are keeping gratitude journals, and we begin class each day by sharing what we’re thankful for.
I challenge you to consciously begin to look for that which you are thankful for (whether you use a Thanksgiving Book or not). To get started, tell me a few things you are grateful for right now. This practice is a definite JoyInciter.