Can Little Steps Lead To Big Joy?

Brief and simple exercises each day could gradually build up your potential for happiness. That’s the idea behind Big JOY, a citizen science project inspired by the documentary Mission: JOY: Finding Happiness in Troubled Times, about the deep friendship between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The interactive, web-based program invites anyone interested to try a series of micro-acts for enhancing joy, one each day for one week, log their daily activities and experiences, and measure their impact on well-being. Big Joy wants to analyze which micro-acts bring the most benefit to whom, using data from a large, global, and diverse audience. Preliminary analysis suggests that small, daily activities can lead to meaningful increases in emotional well-being, positive emotions, agency over happiness and coping, and social connection. As this ambitious research project continues, Big JOY is freely available for anyone to try.