What does it mean to “build joy?”
Several years ago, I encountered a slim little book called The Life Model: Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You. And, the wisdom and ideas I found there changed my thinking profoundly. At the heart of the book is the premise that we are meant to experience joy — that this is the core emotion we are designed for as human beings. Brain studies actually suggest that the joy center of the brain is the only part of the brain that has the capacity to develop and grow throughout one’s lifetime. This is good news for everyone who struggles to find peace and joy!
Here are eight “joy-building” ideas:
1. Smile when you greet those you love and use a sincere tone of voice.
2. Invite others to speak truthfully about what they are doing and thinking, and listen without interrupting.
3. Take a sincere interest in knowing the other person. Work hard to understand the other person’s fears, joys, passions, talents, and pain.
4. Treat each other with dignity and respect. When ending a discussion, try to make both people feel affirmed.
5. Use touch whenever appropriate: Give hugs, hold hands, link arms, and use physical connection as effectively as you can.
6. Discover what brings the other person joy. Custom fit your attempts to bring joy.
7. Give the other person surprises that will cause their eyes to light up, and let your eyes light up, too! The joy builds as the glances go back and forth.
8. Cherish babies and children by establishing through words and actions that you are authentically “glad to be with them.”