Don't Forget What Makes You Happy

Take some cues about feeding your joy quotient--direct from our recent cover star, and television co-host, Daphne Oz.


Even before she became a new mom, Daphne Oz knew a thing or two about the importance of creating moments of bliss in her daily life--as evidenced by this excerpt from her book "Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun." Whether you're trying to conceive, rocking a baby bump, or are already a veteran of motherhood, we think you'll be as inspired by Daphne's list as much as we are. Remember: A happier mom equals a happier baby!


When I think about the moments that spark my inner joy, these are some of the many things that pop into my head.

1. The good times I've spent with my husband, family, and friends, laughing till we cry, crying till we laugh

2. Doing something really well (even better, doing something terribly and then working hard to get great at it)

3. Eating an amazing meal—times two if in an amazing place with my favorite people, or discovering a little hideaway to get a local dish and drink prepared perfectly

Related: Daphne's Favorite Prenatal Eats

4. Visiting a market in a foreign place, making a great find, getting a good deal, and then discovering the perfect place for it at home.

5. Being able to help someone else

6. Seeing adults get giddy

7. Seeing kids understand for the first time

8. Feeling powerful and valuable

Want more tips from Daphne Oz? Download our February/March issue for her full cover story!

For me, connecting to inner joy is still about feeling as if I'm maximizing my potential and taking advantage of every opportunity. My wonderful parents instilled a psychosis in all their children that no amount of therapy could erase (nor would I want it to): We all worry that to pass up an opportunity is to risk missing the most important experience of our lives. And who knows? The one time we decide to stay home may be the one time that proves the rule.

It's because of this fear that I'll miss out on something valuable that I've found myself jumping out of planes; taking last minutes trips cross-country; eating fish eyeballs; rapping about vitamin D on television; taking the leap of faith to get married at twenty-four; skinny-dipping in the ocean (even though I'm deathly afraid of sharks); and so many other embarrassing, crazy, and totally enlivening things that make me who I am.

For me, accessing my joy has shown me that every time someone offers me a chance to learn, explore, and see something new, I leap. And I'm going to keep on leaping, because I want a life rich with memories—happy, scary, sad, dangerous, exciting, fulfilling, unbelievable—and the things that make me happiest are those that give me the most opportunity to build these pictures for my mental scrapbook.

So throw an impromptu dinner party. Order in, or better yet, cook it yourself. Invite someone you love to share it with you, or invite the neighbor you've only just met but want to befriend. Be a little reckless. Invest in you and realize that all the little things that go into building your life are only as important as you make them. Choose well, choose grandly, and choose "yes!" as often as possible. That's the Relish way.

Reprinted with permission from Relish: An Adventure in Food, Style, and Everyday Fun by Daphne Oz, William Morrow Hardcover