Thin Slices of Joy

happy pill

This is my new favorite theory on happiness.


I recently read an article about an idea  called "Thin Slices of Joy." The idea was created by Google engineer, mindfulness teacher, and employee number 107, Chade-Meng Tan, and describes a 3-second mental exercise for finding joy:


Successfully reshaping your mindset, [Tan] argues, has less to do with hours of therapy and more to do with mental exercises, including one that helps you recognize “thin slices of joy.”

“Right now, I’m a little thirsty, so I will drink a bit of water. And when I do that, I experience a thin slice of joy both in space and time,” he told CBC News. “It’s not like ‘Yay!'” he notes in [his book] Joy on Demand. “It’s like, ‘Oh, it’s kind of nice.’”

Usually these events are unremarkable: a bite of food, the sensation of stepping from a hot room to an air-conditioned room, the moment of connection in receiving a text from an old friend. Although they last two or three seconds, the moments add up, and the more you notice joy, the more you will experience joy, Tan argues. “Thin slices of joy occur in life everywhere… and once you start noticing it, something happens, you find it’s always there. Joy becomes something you can count on.” 


As we go through our ordinary days, we build our extraordinary lives. I love the idea that even on a Monday before coffee or during a 3pm Friday meeting there is joy, so long as we slow down to acknowledge it. ✨