As a nation, maybe even a race, we are obsessed with the notion that we must find happiness. But where does that leave joy? In fact, what is joy? And, where do we find joy? And how do we know we have found it? And what’s the difference between happiness and joy?
Happiness is something we search for as a long-term solution, whereas joy is much more in the now, in the moment. It’s interesting that happiness and joy seem to be interchangeable in our language, but in reality, they are very different. So, what is joy and where does it come from? How do we know it’s here? How do we know when we experience it? Joy is an emotion, just like all the other emotions we experience as human beings. Joy is like an instant shot of happiness. It’s a pick me up, a feel good feeling that the amygdala, a section of the brain, sends out to us when we experience something that triggers joy. This could be a rainbow, bright colours, bubbles ….
The study of what brings joy has revealed great diversity – flowers, swimming pools, rainbows, hot air balloons ……. . I am sure you can think of many more. One that comes to my mind is the image of my three year-old son jumping for joy whenever I brought our touring caravan home from storage; he knew that signified holiday time and he would jump for joy! Jumping for joy is very real!
The interesting thing is that a lot of the shapes, colours, smells etc. that bring us joy are fundamental to the work I do. Sometimes we associate the way we feel with shape – that shape has a colour. The feeling could be associated with a smell, a taste or touch. These are all ways we identify sub modalities and if we can change a sub modality we change the way we feel about a given event. So the next time you feel joy, why not be aware of what it is that’s making you feel that way; is it the smell of the flowers, the image and colours of the rainbow or the bright colours of fireworks? These are all sub modalities and create the way we feel “JOY”.
And, the fascinating thing is that the feeling of Joy is universal across all nationalities and that’s because shape, colour, smell – the senses – are universal across nations. Yes, we may call them different names, but in reality, the feelings they create within us are the same.