What Brings People Joy?


Million Dollar Band trumpet players Ray Garcia and Mayara Castaneda (middle bottom row) gave their opinion on what brings people joy.

By Tiffany Fernandez, Staff Writer

Joy. An emotion many of us strive to feel. Although described differently by many, its conclusion is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Every action that we take influences our ability to feel said emotion.  

    Valeria Urquia, a senior, stated, “Joy is doing what makes you happy and remembering things that made you happy at one moment.”  

    Joy can make you feel complete and accomplished. Natalie Lahera, a senior, stated, “It is the high to the low. It is something many seek in life, it is needed, and it is craved for.” 

 Activities proven to make you happy 

    Building a habit of meditation can make you happy and furthermore improve your attention

span, as well as clear your mind and calm you down. 

    Also, according to the article titled “How to be happier?” posted on the website Inc.com, there are some activities that are proven to increase your happiness. A study led by Shawn Achor proves that exercising for even 7 minutes can increase your endorphin levels . In this study, patients with depression were treated with medication, exercise, or a combination of the two. When testing their relapse rate 6 months later, the exercise group relapse rate was only 9%. Meanwhile 38% of the medication group slipped back into depression and the combination group was only doing slightly better with a 31% relapse rate.  

    What activities bring MHS students joy? 

      Joy at Miami High can be found doing simple activities. One activity many have in common is spending time with their loved ones. Photography Club Vice President, Iris Carvajal, states, “Spending time with my family, eating my favorite ice cream, and taking pictures of the sky bring me joy.”  

     For Ray Garcia, trumpet player from the Million Dollar Band, music brings him a lot of joy. “It honestly makes me feel amazing when I’m down and it raises my spirits.” His friends are also a big factor. Ray says, “My friends make me happy because they’ve been there through everything and I love them.”  

     And if you’re anything like Jose Lopez, R-Tech’s corresponding secretary, research and debating political perspectives  might bring you the greatest joy. “I like to do research on interesting topics affecting our community and the world. I enjoy reading the news everyday and I love to know what’s happening around the world politically, economically, and environmentally through platforms like Youtube. You notice that you feel joy doing certain activities when you wish you had more than 24 hours a day.” 

      The feeling of joy is not limited to these activities however. “Joy can be simply found when doing absolutely nothing or when you least expect it,” Natalie Lahera says. “Just living in the world can bring you joy.”  Kimberly Escobar believes joy can be achievable through gratitude.  

 What is stopping us from feeling joy? 

       The main reason among students stopping them from feeling joyful is being under pressure. “Being under a stressful environment where too many things are going on and there’s no way of coping or escaping is a reason for lack of joy,” Evelyn states.  

    The stress of school work is a big factor, Kimberly expressed. “When I fail at something important like a test or assignment, the joy within me disappears,” Jose explained, “however I know that the next day to redeem and learn from my mistakes of yesterday.”  

     Hyper focusing on future scenarios can also stop us from feeling joy. “Sometimes I tend to overthink,” said Valeria Urquia. “If I wanted to hang out with my friends, I would somehow convince myself it’s better to stay in… sometimes I feel like talking to my friends but end up worrying about bothering them.”  

    For Mayara Castañeda, trumpet player for the Million Dollar Band, lack of basic manners is a joy killer. “It doesn’t take much to say bless you, thank you, please, etc. We are living in a society with no manners, and because of that lack of generosity, there is a lack of joy.” 

 What are the enemies of joy? 

    Students know that some things can kill joy. “The enemies of joy are envy and loneliness,” says Evelyn.   “being isolated from society while comparing yourself to others can be a great factor to a severe decline of joy.  

    Ray believes that your biggest enemy is yourself. “Only you can bring yourself down and make you look like the bad guy,” he said.  

    According to Natalie, however, the true enemies are people themselves. “Some people can be really cruel to others; ‘they pick on people they deem inferior. These people feed on their misery. They are like leeches sucking people dry out of joy.”