Ask Dr. Joy Miller: Becoming a Joyologist

By WEEK Producer

May 16, 2012 Updated May 16, 2012 at 6:28 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- In life, people strive to achieve joy, and one way to do that is to be a joyologist.

First of all, what keeps people from capturing the joy in their life?  
·        Looking at the negatives in every situation and seeing what is wrong, absent, or incomplete in their life.
·        Holding on to anger, pain and hurt. Holding on to negative emotions can create destructive ruminations, physical concerns, and mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety
·        Low set point for happiness. All of us have a happiness quotient that is our set point that is innate to each of us. Many researchers believe our set point is due to environmental factors from our childhood or the lack of training to see life in a positive framework
Some things you can do to become a joyologist: 
·        Realize you can create joy. You are the only one who has control of your happiness and level of Joy. You are the key to your own mental state. As soon as you realize that you hold the key, you can bring joy to yourself and others.
·        Focus on the positives. You have the choice to see the glass as half empty or half empty—the choice is yours. Remember that optimists witness life and reflect on the positives that surround them and focus on the beauty vs. the ugliness in life.
·        Create a place of safety for yourself. This can happen when you have realistic expectations of yourself and others. A joyful place in live is one in which you have positive friends and loved ones surrounding you, a place where you feel satisfied at your workplace, and a place in which you can see your accomplishments and reach for dreams.
·        Find humor in the world. Research indicates that those who laugh can increase their mood and are happier
·        Get out and move. Studies show that just 10 minutes of walking is all you need to enhance your mood. You can unlock those feel-good neurotransmitters and your serotonin levels will rise, as will your joy
·        Jump for Joy. Embrace life and show enthusiasm and passion in all that you do. Embracing life and living life to the fullest is the defining elements of being a joyologist.

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