Joy snacking is not about guilt or restriction but rather a celebration of flavours, textures, and the sheer delight that food can bring. (Photo By Arrangement)
Dr. Richard Sima, PhD coined the phenomenon, ‘joy snacking’, which is the delightful act of indulging in delectable treats purely for the sheer pleasure they bring. It goes beyond the ordinary need for sustenance, transforming mundane moments into bursts of happiness. Whether it is savouring a piece of rich, velvety chocolate, crunching on crispy potato chips, or relishing the creamy goodness of ice cream, joy snacking is an art of finding bliss in every bite. "These moments of indulgence offer a temporary escape from the stresses of daily life, allowing us to embrace the simple joys that come from sating our cravings. Joy snacking is not about guilt or restriction but rather a celebration of flavours, textures, and the sheer delight that food can bring. It’s about taking a pause, treating ourselves to a taste of happiness, and allowing ourselves to fully immerse in the pleasure of eating. So, whether it’s a small guilty pleasure or a grand feast of flavours, joy snacking reminds us to savour the little things and find delight in the everyday. It is a reminder that amidst the chaos, there is always room for a moment of pure, unadulterated bliss," says Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, Founder-Director, and Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali.
By training the brain to start focusing on small moments of joy, one can retrain the nervous system to detect and respond to feel good emotions. Mansi Poddar, Psychotherapist and founder at heal.grow.thrive. Foundation explains, "Personally, I encourage clients to start by keeping a record of something I call ‘an okayness list.’ It is the least pressurising way for us to start tuning ourselves to find moments of joy. What went okay for you today? When did you feel ok? Through this practice we go deeper into other emotions like joy, gratitude, pleasure, and the like. Everyone has small moments of pleasure. So, the best way to start is by noting physical pleasure; I loved the taste of my coffee today, the weather felt good, my blanket feels so comfortable. Eventually start to notice moments that feel good in relationships. Say it out aloud. Let the other person know, ‘hey this conversation feels great, I feel connected, I feel heard’ it also builds a very vital culture of appreciation and validation."
Mynoo Maryel, Global Influencer, Motivational Speaker and Life and Business Coach adds, "you are born with choice and you are born with dignity. Once you honour dignity, in self and others, the joy and happiness with self and with others and the planet is alive and flowing."
Relationships that can grow and become stronger under the warmth of appreciation and joy unfortunately wither away because we choose to dwell on what’s missing. Joy Snacking is a powerful way of looking at moments of appreciation and building relationships, both with others and with ourselves. It enables us to embrace and savour these ordinary yet precious moments. Shruti Swaroop, Founder and Managing Consultant, Embrace Consulting says, "in the context of relationships, joy snacking is about sitting down and appreciating our partner for the small things that have gone right, acknowledging the power of a smile, a helping hand, or simple gestures like showing interest in our well-being, daily routines, food choices, and need for rest." The science behind this is also linked to chemicals that we speak about in the field of mental health on a regular basis — dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins, and norepinephrine.
"Through this process of finding joy in smaller moments, we can create a lifestyle where pleasure is found in mundane activities as well. On the other hand, joy does not necessarily only need to come from material gains either. If I step out of my house and look up into the sky and see a beautiful bird, that is free. It did not cost me anything; and it made me happy," concludes Aishwarya Chawla, Psychotherapist and Narrative Practitioner.