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There’s a Specific Kind of Joy We’ve Been Missing

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist and a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He wrote this guest essay in The New York Times this morning that Eric Mccarthey was kind enough to send my way. I thought maybe of interest/value to you.

 

Here is an excerpt: 

 

Most people view emotions as existing primarily or even exclusively in their heads. Happiness is considered a state of mind; melancholy is a potential warning sign of mental illness. But the reality is that emotions are inherently social: They’re woven through our interactions.

 

Research has found that people laugh five times as often when they’re with others than when they’re alone. Even exchanging pleasantries with a stranger on a train is enough to spark joy. 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. It’s a concept coined in the early 20th century by the pioneering sociologist Émile Durkheim to describe 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 slide into rhythm with strangers on a dance floor, colleagues in a brainstorming session, cousins at a religious service, or teammates on a soccer field. And during this pandemic, it’s been largely absent from our lives.

 

Read the rest of the article here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/10/opinion/sunday/covid-group-emotions-happiness.html 

 

Hope you’re immersing yourself in some collective effervescence this weekend, David Nour