When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. —Buddha
Mental exercises help build new brain cells and strengthen the connections between them, which is why I find it beneficial to challenge the brain with new activities every week. This week’s mental workout is about savoring moments of joy and making those feelings last longer than an instant.
What To Do
Make a list of moments when you felt a strong sense of joy. Choose one or two instances and write them out in detail. Where are you? What were you doing? Who were you with? What were the events that led up to you feeling that joyous moment? Then allow the moment to sink in.
Why To Do It
According to a recent study, savoring emotions associated with positive experiences can contribute to your overall health and wellbeing. The research showed that participants with more activity or stimulation in the part of their brain associated with reward learning reported positive emotions that lasted for longer periods of time, which means we can actually make good feelings last longer. So the next time you’re gazing at a sunset, tasting a favorite food, or smelling a fresh bouquet, remember that in the words of the poet John Keats, “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”