Joy is Great for Your Happiness

Did you know that joy is great for your happiness and health? That’s right!

According to Dr. Lissa Rankin, MD in her book, Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, people who experience a lot of joy in their lives tend to be happier, live longer, and be in better health than people who don’t. They tend to form good relationships, succeed at their jobs, find creative outlets, and have fewer emotional hangups.

From the point of view of meditation practices, joy enters the scene in two prominent places, aside from episodes of joy that can arise during meditation.

Joy in the happiness and achievements of others is one of the Four Immeasurable Minds, or, as some people call them, the four graces. The others are loving kindness, compassion, and equanimity.

We have all probably experienced this aspect of joy if we have ever been to a wedding, baby shower, or college graduation. The feeling of great happiness that we share with the bride and groom, the father and mother, or the college graduate is the source of our joy. This kind of joy is called sympathetic joy

James Baraz, a well-known vipassana teacher, and author of Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness writes about joy as one of the seven factor of enlightenment.

Awaken with Joy | January 28, 2015


As one of the seven factors of enlightenment, joy is not only a fruit of awakening but also a prerequisite. Joy creates a spaciousness in the mind that allows us to hold the suffering we experience inside us and around us without becoming overwhelmed, without collapsing into helplessness or despair.

– James Baraz, “Lighten Up!”

joy is source of your smile

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. – Thich Nhat Hanh

I like the way Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh puts it:

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Doesn’t this automatically put a smile on your face when you read it?

Books by James Baraz

Awakening Joy: 10 Steps to Happiness

James Baraz
Shoshana Alexander

Awakening Joy is more than just another book about happiness. More than simply offering suggested strategies to change our behavior, it uses time-tested practices to train the mind to learn new ways of thinking. The principles of the course are universal, although much of the materia… [Read More…]

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