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How Joy Affects Your Mental Health

Updated: Nov 23, 2020

Nowadays everyone is concerned with their physical health. There is literature, books, videos, websites, classes, and apps on how to get your body physically fit. But you never hear about ways to improve your mental health. One way of improving your mental health is by adding more joy to your life. Joy is an emotion brought on by a life event.

We feel joy in a variety of ways such as tearfully, euphoric, and contentment to name a few. Internally we feel joy in our neurotransmitters, which are messenger cells that transmit signals between nerves and other cells. These neurotransmitters are responsible for processes and feelings in all aspects of the body from circulation to digestion.

Joy Decreases Stress

Joy can increase your ability to recover from stress, solve problems, think clearer, and fight disease. Laughing is a way we express joy. Laughing helps decreases pain, improve your heart and lungs, helps muscles relax, and can reduce anxiety. The positive feeling from joy can decrease stress hormones and support emotional strength.

Stress is not only disruptive on a psychological level it also causes biological changes in the body’s blood pressure. Joy seems to decrease these effects and help us recover from them faster. Pain causes feelings of stress and stresses the body at the same time. Joy has been shown to decrease pain and relieve pain symptoms. So, if you are feeling stressed out or anxious incorporate more joy in your life.

Joy Boosts Mood

Joy is felt in our bodies because of the release of hormones in the brain. Those two hormones are dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals are associated with happiness and joy. People with depression typically have low levels of these two hormones. Simple joyful activities such as going for a walk, petting a dog, kissing, and even forcing a smile, can help those hormones to do their job and improve your mood.

While we can our surroundings, we can train ourselves to be more joyful. This doesn’t mean we have to whistle a happy tune no matter the circumstances. You don’t have to pretend reality isn’t real or everything is peachy keen even when it is not.

But obsessing on negative thoughts feeds into being unhappy and plays a role in depression and anxiety. Instead, try to notice and appreciate joyfulness. How can anyone stay in a bad mood petting a dog!

Get Rid of Negative Thoughts

Is negative self-talk ruining your joy. If it is then you need to change that unhealthy habit. You may run negative messages through you all the time. The good news is you can learn to change those thoughts and literally change your brain.

One of the first things to ask yourself is are these negative thoughts true. If they are not, then move them from your mind. There are other beneficial techniques known as cognitive-behavioral therapy. These exercises work part by changing your thoughts and in turn, can change your life. The less negativity in your mind the more room for joy.

Joy Promotes an Overall Healthier Lifestyle

Joy encourages positive and beneficial health habits that promote an improved sense of wellbeing. This includes eating a healthier diet, engaging in a more active lifestyle, and promote better sleeping habits. Know what works for you to be joyful. Remove the obstacles that prevent happiness.

A positive attitude can help you cope with the stress that prevents joy. If you have the ability to cope well with negative situations, then your risk for stress and anxiety is lower. With less stress, you will have an increase in joy and happiness. Your health and wellness depend on it.

To learn more about using your mind on changing habits, thoughts, your mood and state enroll in my Mindset Mastery Toolbox mini-course today!

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