Feel Joy For Others

Eli Bravo

Feeling joy for those around us gives us a wonderful feeling of pleasure, both in body and soul.

How do you react when someone you love is enjoying a moment of happiness and joy? Do you feel the same emotion? Indeed, it is delightful to hear the laughter of a loved one. Such pleasure is felt both in body and soul. Human beings have an innate ability to connect with the emotions of other persons and share their inner world. Empathy stimulates the energy of joy and becomes the realm of shared happiness. It is a divine gift.

That ability to share other people’s joy is one of our noblest qualities. It occurs naturally with the people we love, and if we are truly empathic, we can project it on strangers. Have you ever felt happiness at seeing a group of children playing in the park? Some people call it altruistic joy, empathic happiness, or sympathetic joy. In Pali, the ancient language of India, it is called “The little mute.”

Sometimes our lives are so busy or self-absorbed that we do not stop to feel other people’s happiness—or even our own. What a sad way to waste one of life’s greatest gifts! Those moments are to be enjoyed like a good wine, with all our senses, savoring every moment and allowing them to fill our mind and heart. Surely, you wouldn’t drink a glass of excellent wine as if it was water.

If you stop and pay attention, you’ll surely find expressions of happiness all around you. And they don’t have to be noisy explosions of joy. It could be the smile of a relative, a friendly gesture from a co-worker or the warm hug of a friend. When that occurs, stop for a moment to take in the experience. If you want to make it a conscious act, breathe and allow that happiness to come deeper. Most likely you’ll feel better afterward.

As you cultivate your empathy, try to widen your circle to include others. They could be people you know, a neighbor or someone you see frequently but whose name you ignore.

See if you can feel their happiness and do not forget to look out for what happens to you in these instances. Recently, I heard about an interesting exercise: spend the day seeking expressions of happiness in others, and smile every time they appear.

And of course, along with those moments of happiness and joy, there is also pain and suffering. Life is this and that, laughter and tears, good and bad; everything is always changing.

Cultivating sympathetic joy or empathic compassion— whatever you want to call it—is a way of recognizing the diversity of human experience and enjoying this unique quality that connects us with the best of ourselves and others. It is a way to honor life.

Also, if we imagine this joy as an emotion that we share with the people around us, we could see that there is an invisible thread that unites us all: a network whose energy feeds us and makes us grow.

Eli Bravo is the Managing Director and Chief Editor of Inspirulina, a Spanish content website with articles on wellness, personal growth and health.

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