July 21: The Specific Kind of Joy We’ve Been Missing

You can feel depressed and anxious alone, but it’s rare to laugh alone or love alone. Joy shared is joy sustained.

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Source: Adam Grant, New York Times
Published: July 2021

The Specific Kind of Joy We’ve Been Missing

Research has found that people laugh five times more when they’re with others than when they’re alone. That’s not to say you can’t find delight in watching a show on Netflix. The problem is that bingeing is an individual pastime. Peak happiness lies mostly in collective activity.

We find our greatest bliss in moments of collective effervescence, or the sense of energy and harmony people feel when they come together in a group around a shared purpose.

Collective effervescence is the synchrony you feel when you’re in rhythm with others, like: 

  • strangers on a dance floor

  • colleagues in a brainstorming session

  • cousins at a religious service

  • teammates on a soccer field

You can feel depressed and anxious alone, but it’s rare to laugh alone or love alone. Joy shared is joy sustained.