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Reflections Video Series: How Joy Contributes to Mental Well-being

Jan 11 2023
4 min read

From appreciating simple things to becoming more compassionate, our experts share insights and tips on the role joy plays in managing mental health.

We continue with our new video series called Reflections, where we turn the question we ask guests coming to Canyon Ranch—What leads you here?—on our experts. In this series, you'll hear their personal wellness journeys and insights to help you navigate some of today's most pressing wellness concerns.

In the seventh of our Reflections Video Series, we sat down with three Canyon Ranch experts: Sam Barthel, Performance Scientist at Tucson, Dan Marko, Senior Spiritual Wellness Provider at Lenox, and Sam Cooper, Director of Spa, Fitness & Beauty for Resorts, to discuss the role joy plays in their well-being.

Watch the video above to hear their candid responses: For Sam Barthel, it's finding joy in simple daily activities and struggles. For Dan, opening up to gratitude and generosity states can help set an intention to have a positive day. For Sam Cooper, it's not forgetting about the fun and laughter of life in general.

Or, read the transcript below.

Canyon Ranch: What is the role of joy in well-being?

Sam Barthel, Performance Scientist:
I think joy plays a massive role in having a healthy life because it focuses more on our appreciation for a lot of simple, daily things. If we can find joy in some of our daily activities—or even daily struggles can bring us joy if we can overcome them. So I think that having that mindset of finding joy—in little things or minute things or monotonous things can really bring us a great, healthy life overall. There's one avenue that really brings me a lot of joy. It's kinda silly, but I love the game of golf for creativity. Mainly because it combines physical and mental demands on placing different shots and trying to do things physically, but also mentally imagining what you're doing. It refreshes me and gives me a lot of creativity in that game.

Dan Marko, Senior Spiritual Wellness Provider:
Joy plays a significant role in just being able to participate in life. Now, I'm working in spiritual wellness, and in some spiritual traditions, they make life really hard. Very austere, very strict. And they don't actually find much joy in it. So I'm always encouraging people to open themselves up to compassion, lightheartedness, gratitude, and generosity states that we can tap into. That's an expansive life experience. And that helps us every time we wake up in the morning. It's like, yes, I am happy to be here. I can set an intention and go out and do the day. And I can see what the universe is feeding back to me through the people, places, and things that I'm in a relationship with.

Sam Cooper, Director of Spa, Fitness & Beauty for Resorts:
I think joy is something we forget about, the fun and the laughter. And I think that is actually what makes life enjoyable. It's why we're here. Anytime you smile or make someone smile, whether you're giving joy or accepting joy, it really should be part of everybody's life and day.