Genesis Counseling Center
5 Tips for Increasing Joy in Your Life

The following are practical tips that are research-supported to be effective for increasing happiness, meaning, and contentment in one’s life.  I suggest practicing these “self disciplines” in as many life contexts as possible (for example: your local church, work environment, family). 

  1. Keep a “Gratitude Journal”: At lunch time, write down 3 things for which you are grateful.  In an experiment comparing those who kept a “Gratitude Journal” vs. those who did not, it was found that the people who kept a “Gratitude Journal” reported fewer physical symptoms, feeling better about life, exercising more, and were more optimistic than those who did not keep the journal (see www.authentichappiness.com).
  2. Write a “Gratitude Letter” to someone who deeply affected you in a positive way.  Write it then read it to the person.  This makes the writer a happier person, as well as blessing the other party.
  3. “Design a Good Day”:  Plan a day of appreciating the parts of God’s creation you most enjoy.  Include in your day some social activity with trusted friends/family.  Surprise them with unexpected compliments.
  4. Find your “God-given Strength” (also called “Signature strengths”) and apply your God-given strengths in as many mundane duties as possible.
  5. “Choose to Savor”.  Learn the art of savoring routine events, like a meal or a walk in the park.  In our consumer-driven world, we are given many choices.  And yet, for the first time in human history, huge numbers of people are becoming mentally and spiritually ill from all the choice in front of them (for example, unhealthy comparisons, body image problems, and anxiety re: making the “right choice”).  Research links consumer mentality to unhappiness (see www.authentichappiness.com).