Total Rewards

Mental Exercise for Finding More Joy

/ December 4, 2016 December 4, 2016

Hello December a.k.a. “the most wonderful time of the year.” But does it truly feel like it?

For many, this tends to be the most stressful time of the year. There are year-end organizational goals to meet, holiday shopping to get done, financial stress, parties to attend & host, family obligations, and the list goes on.

Give yourself the gift of more joy this season by practicing a simple mental exercise that I learned from Google’s former happiness guru, Chade-Meng Tan.  He refers to it as recognizing “thin slices of joy.”

Rather than waiting for “YAY! That was so amazing!” type of moments to occur, thin slices of joy moments are more like, “oh, that felt kind of nice.”  These experiences are usually unremarkable: a bite of good food, drinking some water after realizing how thirsty you are, a good night hug from your child, or the sensation of stepping into a sauna or hot tub.

Thin slices of joy occur in life everywhere. Once you start noticing it, you’ll begin to realize that it’s always accessible. Plus, it’s effective in rewiring your brain. It contains a trigger (the pleasant moment), a routine (the noticing of it), and a reward (the feeling of joy itself) – three necessary parts for building a new habit.


For more information and inspiration, check out Tan’s latest book, Joy on Demand.