Add a Little Joy to Your Life

Add a Little Joy to Your Life 

By David Forest, LCSW 

Santa Fe College Counseling Center 

“The healthiest response to life is joy.
– Deepak Chopra 

Thanks to high profile sports figures like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles, as well as fellow Olympian Michael Phelps, people are beginning to recognize the importance of mental health. Yet the concept of mental wellness is less appreciated. 

Just as elite athletes work with coaches and sports psychologists to hone their skills and maintain their competitive edge, individuals can utilize the services of counselors and coaches to maintain their personal well-being.  

Physical therapists and trainers help athletes stay in shape, not just recover from injuries. In fact, proper training not only improves performance, it can also help prevent injuries. The same is true of psychotherapy. As Richard Davidson, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, says, “Wellbeing is a skill. Wellbeing can be learned.” A prime example of this is the notion of joy.  

“In my study of joy,” says Dr. Pamela King, professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, “I have noticed that joy is more complex than a feeling or an emotion. It is something one can practice, cultivate, or make a habit.” In other words, joy is not the absence of difficulties, but a choice in the face of difficulties. Doug Abrams, co-author of The Book of Joy, believes that there are four major emotions: fear, anger, sadness, and joy. The first three exist, he says, to get us back to joy.  

The Santa Fe College Counseling Center is celebrating Mental Wellness Month by encouraging students to add a little joy to their lives. This January, the Counseling Center is giving away free Almond Joy minis to any student who stops by Building R, Room 227. (Limit one per person, while supplies last). So, take a break from studying or stressing and get a taste of how sweet life can be. 

Read more from Dr. King on the power of joy here 

Learn six simple steps you can take to improve your mental wellness.