There are some that say that Joy is the purest emotional expression of one’s happiness. I would think based on that statement that someone who is happy will periodically express this emotion naturally in various points in their day regardless of challenging circumstances, unless overwhelmed, possibly mixed with other expressions. Robert Plutchick, psychologist and professor, gives a deeper analyses of emotions in his work, “Psychoevolutionary Theory of Basic Emotions” by giving 10 postulates.
One of them that sticks out to me in the case of the emotion, “Joy”, is that emotions help organisms to adapt and confront critical issues of survival (Personalityresearch.org, 1998). It seems more intuitive to attribute this to such expressions as fear or disgust, but Joy? We could make the connection in two ways.
First, on the individual level, it could reaffirm and strengthen someone’s memory of time, place and circumstance of experiencing something beneficial to their own well-being such as eating something really good, in the case of nourishment, and spending time with really good friends, in the case of emotional support and psychological well-being. Second, on a social level, seeing someone expressing joy could very well encourage replication of the behavior of the one emoting, so as to not only lead to ensured survival but a good quality of life. Often times negative emotions are attributed to survival instincts in regard to avoiding dangerous situations and hazardous objects. However, there also seems to be a need for emotions to encourage positive behavior towards survival and overall well-being.
Joy of Mt. Saint-Michel
Under the Blossoms of Mont Saint-Michel
Blushing Branches at the Sight of Us
Our Sky kissed meeting of the Sun, Belle!
On this Mound
Our Sentiments run like Streams
Our Words, no More Bound
Free Flowing Ecstasy
Smiling, Bold & Sassy
Our Mont Saint-Michel
Poem by Stephen Perro
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Personalityresearch.org, (April 1998), Plutchick, Basic Emotions, retrieved from http://www.personalityresearch.org/basicemotions/plutchik.html