That's my sweet little niece. Or shall I say big niece? She just turned two! There's no way you can be around Ayana and not smile. Her zest and enthusiasm for life is wildly contagious. That's my favorite thing about children. How they innately express their joy. They know of no other way to be.
As we grow up, most of us develop a filter for our positive emotions. As teenagers, we learned to play it cool in fear of looking too eager or immature. But when we stifle our authentic joy, we're holding ourselves back from happiness, according to Fred B. Byrant, Ph.D., co-author of the book, Savoring. He found that:
We can increase our happiness just by showing it.
In several of his experiments, subjects who visibly expressed their reactions while watching a funny movie reported greater pleasure than people who were subdued.
So next time you're feeling good, get your whole body involved. Jump up and down when you hear your favorite song on the radio! Unleash a banshee call when you hear good news! Spot a rainbow? Get down on one knee and double fist pump!
As silly as it sounds, I can personally attest to this technique. Hal teases me all the time, but I'm a natural dramatic, what can I say?
Tell me friends, do you easily show your joy? In what ways?