Finding happiness in the simple things in life

Finding Joy in the Simple Things in Life:

In a world where our worth often seems tied to our latest achievements or acquisitions, rediscovering joy in simple things is like a breath of fresh air. It’s often the silly little things that we do that often make us who we are.

The good morning kisses, the music during our walk to work, the friendly neighbor who always says ‘Hi’, the lush green grass we sit on during lunch, our taxi friend, gym friend, or our morning routine, make our life beautiful. 

Just imagine living your life without these simple pleasures. Does it still look beautiful? Do you still find it joyful?

But we often overlook and fail to appreciate the little everyday moments in our lives that bring joy and warmth.

Societies’ Pursuit of Happiness: The Material Dream:

“Memories last longer than an iPhone”

Society’s love affair with material things in its quest for happiness is pretty common now, right? Studies have shown that high levels of materialism can negatively impact our well-being. It’s like we’re so busy accumulating stuff that we forget to live.

To Think:

Despite increased consumerism, happiness levels haven’t skyrocketed. Why?

Why is it that countries with moderate wealth often report higher happiness levels than some of the wealthiest nations?

“The greatest challenge in living a life of simplicity is not in learning how to live with less but in redefining what brings true satisfaction.”

  • Joshua Becker

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with owning material possessions. But it’s important to find a balance between acquiring things and creating experiences. 

“Experiences create beautiful memories and connections. It promotes personal growth and helps us be more grateful for the abundance in our life”

It’s about the shift from appreciating what we have rather than being stuck in the cycle of wanting more.

Practical Ways to Find Joy in Everyday Life:

Mindfulness – Slow down to appreciate life:

Being present in the moment is the only way for us to acknowledge and appreciate the little things. 

Only by being fully engaged at the moment can we fully appreciate the richness and depth of it. As Antony Robbins states, gratitude helps us shift the focus from our worries and fears and makes these little blessings more visible and enjoyable.

Slow down and take your time to savor the present moment.

According to the Mayo Clinic, about 27% of U.S. adults are so stressed that they feel unable to function. While life can be chaotic at times, learn to step back, slow down, and appreciate the blessings we have in our lives.

Ways to be mindful in everyday life:

Gratitude Journal:

Gratitude journals allow us to reflect on our day and appreciate the little things that make us happy.

Memory Cherishing:

Let yourself relive and cherish some of the best memories of your life. A selfie with your high-school friend or a birthday party from your childhood. This reminds us of the infinite blessings we have in our life.

Yoga & Breathing Exercises:

Focusing on our breath, the way it flows in and out, can anchor us to the present moment and give us a moment away from the noise of the world. Meanwhile, yoga is a fantastic way to connect our body and mind. It grounds us to the moment

List of Mindful Activities to practice every day:

  • Connect with Nature: A simple walk in the park can significantly rejuvenate our spirits.
  • Mindful Driving
  • Mindful Workouts
  • Mindful pauses throughout the day

Practicing mindfulness is about opening yourself up to the joys of life. It’s about noticing the beauty of a flower, the laughter of a child, or the warmth of the sun on your skin. As you become more present, you’ll find that joy naturally bubbles up more often in your everyday experiences.


Be Kind:

A simple act of kindness can go a long way in making another person’s day better. This can enhance our sense of well-being and make us feel fulfilled.

Have good intent as you move through your day and it helps us build better relationships with others and have a positive day.


Self-Love & Awareness:

Self-love involves allowing and appreciating your emotions without labeling them as good or bad. You need to permit yourself to feel to appreciate the simple things in your everyday life.

It’s about giving yourself a high-five for the small wins, forgiving your slip-ups, and patting yourself on the back just because you’re you. 

When you start treating yourself like your own best friend, you begin to appreciate life’s little joys more deeply. It’s like turning up the brightness of the world around you.

Loving yourself means giving yourself the freedom to express your creativity and pursue your passions. This self-expression can lead to mastery in various fields, contributing to a sense of accomplishment and joy in simple activities

Self-awareness is like having an internal GPS to navigate our emotions, recognize what truly matters to us, and align our actions with our values. When you’re in tune with yourself, you’re more likely to notice and savor the small, joyful moments that you might otherwise miss.

Self-Compassion Breaks:

When you are having a rough day, and everything feels overwhelming, give yourself a little break, a moment of kindness just for you. That’s a self-compassion break. This involves recognizing a moment of suffering, acknowledging that suffering is a part of life, and then offering oneself kindness and comfort.

How to Take a Self-Compassion Break:

  • Recognize the Moment: First, acknowledge you’re having a hard time.
  • Talk to Yourself (Nicely!): What would you say to a friend in the same situation? Offer those words to yourself. Something like, “I understand this is hard, but I’ve got my own back.”
  • Breathe and Be Kind: Take deep breaths and visualize your stress diminishing and a wave of calmness taking over. Slow down and recognize that it’s okay.
  • Gratitude Nudge: Think of one small thing you’re grateful for right now. It could be as simple as a comfy chair or a warm cup of tea.
  • Stretch and Smile: Do a quick stretch, smile (even if it feels weird), and remind yourself that you’re doing your best.

Self-compassion breaks are like mini-joy boosters throughout your day. You start to handle stress better, find joy in little things, and spread that good vibe around. 

Note: 

PEACE Method: Pause, Exhale, Acknowledge, Choose, Engage. This method can be used to respond to situations in your life mindfully instead of reacting impulsively

Joy Diary:

Maintaining a joy diary would help us reflect on our day-to-day activities and appreciate the little things that bring us happiness and joy. 

A joy journal is a dedicated space to capture and relish the small joys in life.

You can ask the following questions to evaluate your day and find joy:

  • What made me smile today?
  • What made me happy today?
  • What should I appreciate myself for today?
  • What is a lesson or mistake that turned out to be valuable?
  • What are three things you love about yourself?

It is your cheerleader and a reminder of the beauty in your life.

“Happiness truly is in the journey, not just the destination”

To practice:

Start the morning with mindfulness and self-awareness. End every day with gratitude. All you need is to learn to slow down and be present in the moment.

  • Morning Routine: Suggest starting the day with a short meditation or positive affirmations to set a tone of self-love and awareness. Set small intentions and goals in your morning diary to give purpose to your day.
  • Reminders: Set reminders throughout your day to take self-compassion breaks.
  • Evening Routine: Propose an evening routine that includes reflecting on the day’s experiences, what was learned about oneself, and acknowledging one’s efforts and achievements.
  • Weekly Check-ins: Recommend setting aside time each week for a longer session of self-reflection to assess personal growth and areas for improvement.

Other Practical ways to find joy in simple things in life:

  • Nature Walks: Take walks in parks or forested areas, away from traffic, to breathe deeply and relax​​.
  • Physical Movement: Incorporate activities like walking, gentle stretching, yoga, or swimming into your daily routine for physical and mental wellness​​.
  • Adequate Rest: Emphasize getting enough sleep and napping when necessary to feel rejuvenated​​.
  • Dressing Up: Dress in clothes that make you feel good, even if you’re at home, to boost your mood​​.
  • Decluttering: Eliminate clutter in your physical and digital spaces to reduce stress and improve focus​​.
  • Reducing Screen Time: Limit exposure to digital screens and spend more time reading physical books to improve sleep and reduce stress​​.
  • Creativity and Hobbies: Engage in creative activities or hobbies you love, like painting, crafting, or cooking, to express yourself and gain fulfillment​​.
  • Learning New Skills: Take up new hobbies or learn new skills to keep your mind active and open up new possibilities​​.
  • Setting Small Goals: Create attainable short-term goals to inspire and motivate yourself​​.
  • Positive Social Circle: Surround yourself with positive and supportive people to maintain an optimistic outlook on life​​.
  • Fresh Flowers: Pick fresh flowers or send yourself a little bouquet to brighten your space and mood​​.
  • Laughter: Watch funny movies or spend time with humorous friends to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of laughter​​.
  • Serenity Spots: Find a serene spot like a park, lake, or cozy nook in your home to relax and unwind​​.
  • Goal-Oriented Actions: Take steps toward achieving a personal goal or dream to feel progress and fulfillment​​.
  • Fitness and Exercise: Try new fitness classes to keep your body active and mind refreshed​​.
  • Joyful Exploration: Discover new songs, try long brunches, and engage in activities that bring you joy​​.
  • Vacation Days: Schedule personal vacation days to anticipate and enjoy a break from your routine​​.
  • Savoring Little Pleasures: Enjoy a favorite cup of coffee or tea, focusing on the flavors and the moment​​.
  • Creative Expression: Draw, paint, or engage in any form of artistic expression for mental relaxation and joy​​.
  • Confidence Boosting Attire: Wear colors or outfits that make you feel confident and happy​​.
  • Reconnecting with Friends: Call a supportive friend or reconnect with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while​​.
  • Sunset Watching: Watch the sunset from a beautiful location to appreciate nature’s beauty​​.
  • New Discoveries: Try new experiences or start a book you’ve been meaning to read​​.
  • DIY Projects: Engage in fun DIY projects to channel your creativity and gain a sense of achievement​​.
  • Memory Cherishing: Frame a photo of a favorite memory to reminisce and feel joy​​.
  • Mindful Breathing and Stretching: Practice deep breathing and stretching to relax your body and mind​​.
  • Bookstore Browsing: Spend time browsing books at a local bookstore for intellectual stimulation and relaxation​​.
  • Self-Reflection: Interview yourself or try the Proust Questionnaire for self-discovery and fun​​.
  • Learning New Recipes: Experiment with cooking by trying new recipes for culinary adventure and satisfaction​​.
  • Redesigning Your Space: Redesign an area of your home or office using existing items for a fresh perspective​​.
  • Online Exploration: Discover hidden treasures on eBay or Etsy for a sense of adventure and surprise​​.
  • Charity Work: Donate items or time to a local charity to feel joy in giving back to the community

Suggested Books:

  • “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown 
  • “The Untethered Soul” by Michael A. Singer
  • “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle
  • “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin
  • “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Dr. Brené Brown
  • “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Dr. Susan Jeffers
  • “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler
  • “Follow Your Bliss Not Your Blisters” by Nanci Sherman

Suggested Apps:

  • Headspace: Offers guided meditation sessions focusing on mindfulness, stress relief, and finding joy in everyday life.
  • Calm: Provides relaxation techniques, sleep stories, and meditation guides to help users find peace and happiness in daily activities.

Suggested Podcasts:

  • The Art of Finding Joy: Explores themes like embracing change, overcoming chronic illness, and finding the quality of life, emphasizing joy and healing​​.
  • The Simple Life Project: Focuses on simple living, decluttering, and finding joy in simplicity. Host Lauren Jones shares practical tips for a fulfilling life​​.
  • Finding Joy in the Journey: Offers episodes on setting goals, strengthening the positive brain, and dealing with self-sabotage, encouraging mindfulness and joy

Suggested Courses:

  • “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR) Online Course: Teaches mindfulness practices to reduce stress and increase joy in daily life.
  • “The Science of Well-Being” by Yale University (Coursera): Explores psychological science’s insights into happiness, including practical activities to enhance well-being.

AUTHOR SECTION

Sai Subramaniam The digital Hope

Written by Sai Subramaniam

Sai has over 5 years of experience writing about mental health and productivity. He shares his thoughts about love, life, and business in this blog. His goal is to help people become the best version of themselves and is guided by experts in the psychology and mental health field to help educate everyone about lifestyle and productivity

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