This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million
This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million

Megan Burns

Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal stranger to my son’
Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal...

Amanda Cassidy

Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for
Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for

Christina McLoughlin

Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style
Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style

Amanda Cassidy

These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now
These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now

Jennifer McShane

Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?
Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?

Esther O'Moore Donohoe

Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back
Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back

Holly O'Neill

Here’s how to maximise your annual leave in 2022
Here’s how to maximise your annual leave in 2022

Megan Burns

What’s coming to Netflix this November
What’s coming to Netflix this November

Lauren Heskin

The reality of being a single mother by choice: ‘I conceived my son with a sperm donor’
The reality of being a single mother by choice: ‘I conceived my son with a...

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

Three easy ways to find joy in everyday life


by Grace McGettigan
10th Apr 2019
Three easy ways to find joy in everyday life

When was the last time you felt truly joyful? A book by TED Talk lecturer Ingrid Fetell Lee says we should feel it every day; even multiple times per day. But how? With career stress, parenting duties and chores to do; there’s never time left in the day.

Yet, according to Joyful: The surprising power of ordinary things, finding jump-for-it-joy is easy. The author, who spent eight years researching joy says, “Unlike happiness which measures how good we feel over time; joy is about how good you feel in the moment”. The Brooklyn-native started to ask people (perfect strangers) about what brings them joy. Whether she met them on the subway or in cafes, she would stop them and say, “Hi, nice to meet you. What brings you joy?”

Related: How to be happy according to the experts

After a few months, she noticed the same answers popped up again and again. “Cherry blossoms, bubbles, treehouses and ice-cream cones – especially the ones with sprinkles. These things seem to cut across lines of age, gender and ethnicity,” she said. “If you think about it, we all stop and turn our heads to the sky when the multicoloured arc of a rainbow streaks across it. And fireworks; we don’t even need to know what they’re for and we feel like we’re celebrating too.” These things aren’t just joyful for a few people; they’re joyful for everyone. But why?

Colour

Colours are intertwined with our thoughts and moods. Ingrid gives the examples of ‘feeling blue’ or ‘having a black cloud hang over you’. Yet, “when things are going well, we say life is golden,” she says. Brighter colours symbolise positive feelings and vibrant colours are used for festivals and celebrations. The colours of the rainbow and vivid sparks from fireworks make us happy. Why then, Ingrid asks, do so many of us paint our homes in neutral shades? Beige, white and grey are some of the most popular colours in homes and offices; is it any wonder why people feel so dreary?

Joyful

It’s not a case of painting your entire living room pink or yellow, but the introduction of bright accessories can go a long way. A turquoise cushion or a yellow rug can add excitement, life and – you guessed it – joy into the room so easily.

Abundance

One piece of confetti isn’t very exciting. But a room full of confetti? That’s fun. Ingrid says there’s joy to be found in ampleness. Just as a child feels joy when jumping into an overflowing ball pit, so too can adults feel joy from abundance.

This doesn’t mean you have to buy new clothes for “abundant” outfit choices. You can add abundance to your life in other ways. Wear a scarf covered in polka dots, Ingrid suggests, because lots of polka dots are better than one dot. The abundant pattern triggers our sense of joy (not to mention helps us feel trendy). Fashion icon Iris Apfel swears by abundant, clashing patterns, and look how happy she is.

Alternatively, indulge in an ice-cream cone dipped in hundreds of sprinkles; or simply pause to admire the many leaves on the nearest oak tree. When things are plentiful, we are filled with a giddy sense of joy. The more moments of joy we feel, the happier we are in the long term.

Freedom

Ingrid’s book also suggests joy is best experienced when we feel free; and to feel free, we often need to be around nature. It’s what biologist E.O. Wilson calls ‘biophilia’ – the innate attraction humans have to other living things. It’s in our blood to spend time around growing plants and animals. It doesn’t mean we need to move to the countryside, though. Adopting a pet, having a desk plant, or simply having wallpaper with a flower print can bring nature into our otherwise concrete lives. Want proof? A study carried out in a prison found the inmates displayed less aggressive tendencies after watching nature videos, resulting in a 26% reduction in violent incidents.

These three examples of ways to find joy are just the tip of the iceberg. Ingrid’seye-opening book will help you see everyday things in a different light.

Joyful

Joyful: The surprising power of ordinary things (Penguin) by Ingrid Fetell Lee is available to buy now.

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Also Read

Three easy ways to find joy in everyday life
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

Three easy ways to find joy in everyday life
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

Three easy ways to find joy in everyday life
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

Three easy ways to find joy in everyday life
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan

Three easy ways to find joy in everyday life
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

Three easy ways to find joy in everyday life
EDITORIAL
Trinity Tales: ‘Front Square was her garden, and the city was her playground’

Annie Gatling, now Colleran, knew Trinity College was for her when she saw Front Gate from the top storey of...

By Amanda Cassidy

Three easy ways to find joy in everyday life
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh