10 Proven Ways To Feel More Joyful Image Credit: REDBOOK
10 Proven Ways To Feel More Joyful Image Credit: REDBOOK

10 Proven Ways To Feel More Joyful

Ahhhhh, the holidays. Time to luxuriate in the company of your loved ones and bask in the delights of the season, right? Totally—that is, if you have time after whipping up Grandma’s 20ishingredient stuffing, changing the guest room sheets, and creating a Black Friday shopping list. Before you start stress-eating candy canes, know this: You can breathe through (and dare we say appreciate?) the bustle. Turn the page to find out how.

Jennifer King Lindley

When good things come around, like the holiday season, people think they’ll automatically feel happy,” says Fred Bryant, Ph.D., a social psychologist at Loyola University in Chicago and coauthor of the book Savoring. “But we don’t always react to these good things in a way that maximizes their benefits.” (You might, for instance, futz around with the place settings instead of drinking in your family’s laughter, or dismiss a long-deserved promotion as just extra work.) Enter the technique psychologists call savoring, a way to fully absorb life’s wonderful moments, large and small. “Through your thoughts and behavior, you extend and intensify a good experience, extracting every morsel from it,” says Bryant. The result: not just more delightful moments but a boost in overall happiness levels as well.

“Savoring gives you a bigger dose of positive emotion,” notes Christine Carter, Ph.D., author of The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work. “And positive emotions have been shown to bring our blood pressure down, reverse the stress response, and give us more access to the parts of our brains needed for creativity and problem-solving.” Plus, a number of studies have linked positive emotions with a host of health benefits, from better blood sugar levels to greater longevity.

So now that you know that savoring could be great for you, how do you actually do it? T

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