3 Research-Based Ways to Cultivate Joy
Sis, if seasonal calls to be cheerful leave you wondering how to do it, don’t fret. It’s possible to cultivate joy at this time of year—and beyond. Consider these research-backed tips.
Give to others—often
Doing so can bring happiness that doesn’t decline, or that declines much more slowly, versus when we repeatedly receive gifts ourselves, according to research in Psychological Science. Our elders were right—it can be better to give than to receive. Hint: Maybe you’ll find an item in this collection to gift? Or perhaps you can donate time to a worthy cause?
Get enough sleep
The guideline for healthy adults ages 26 to 64 is seven to nine hours per night, and seven to eight hours for people 65-plus, per the National Sleep Foundation. If you’re not get-ting enough shut-eye, that can affect your health and how you see the world. This can be especially important if you have a chronic condition. “For those with chronic health conditions, we found that longer sleep—compared to one’s usual sleep duration—led to better responses to positive experiences on the following day,” notes health psychologist Nancy Sin about her team’s research at the University of British Columbia. So, get those z’s and boost your chances of feeling more joy when good things do happen.
This can leave you “happier with your lot”—and even help protect you from risky behaviors such as drinking and gambling, report researchers from the University of East Anglia in England. Daily affirmations or regular journaling may inspire you.
The way we see it, it is time to renew the most important relationship of your life: you! We created the Luxe & Luminous Collection to encourage joy and inspiration in your day-to-day life and to help you celebrate yourself.
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This article originally appeared in Luxe & Luminous Collection's mini magazine, Sisters From AARP mini magazine (Winter 2022).