Joy on demand: the three second fix
Chade-Meng Tan is an award-winning engineer who worked at Google, where his official job title was Jolly Good Fellow (Which Nobody Can Deny). He started giving mindfulness classes to his coworkers at Google to help them manage stress and that experience eventually lead to a dramatic career change for him.
In his new book, Joy On Demand, Meng gives practical advice on how you can easily and quickly access joy. He believes you can train yourself to experience joy with a few simple exercises.
Exercise #1: Look for thin slices of joy
Notice the joyful moments in your day, however small, however fleeting. Notice how good it feels to have that first sip of your drink. Or how tasty that first bite of food is. The pleasurable feeling of your skin in warm water when you wash your hands or take a shower. The moment of delight and comfort when you see your friend.
These thin slices of joy only last a few seconds but they add up! The more you notice joy, the more you will experience joy in your life.
Exercise #2: 10 seconds of loving kindness
Identify two people. They could be in the room with you, at your workplace, or strangers you see walking on the street. Think to yourself: "I wish for this person to be happy and I wish for that person to be happy." That's all.
Everyone emerges from this exercise smiling, happier than before, because being on the giving end of a kind thought is rewarding.
Exercise #3: One mindful breath
Bring total and gentle attention to one inhalation and one exhalation. If you have a little time, practice noticing your breath for one minute.
There, don't you feel better?
Congratulations to Paula Hudson-Lunn of Nelson, BC. She is the winner of Chade-Meng Tan's book, Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within.
Read the CBC's contest rules.