October 22, 2019 12:09 PM | by Farida Abdel Malek
How to Find Joy in the Little Things in Life?
I could I would write a book about this, not because I'm particularly good at finding the joy in the little things in life, but because I'm persistent and eager to be great at it.
It doesn't take a massive change...
We often forget that we can change our lifestyle and have little moments of joy without needing to have major changes in our life. We think obtaining happiness requires a massive change in our life, but we forget that that kind of happiness is momentary. However, having a change in perspective on your lifestyle where you include small things in your day that bring you joy is what can have a more permanent impact...
Good minutes...good days...good lifestyle?
This is because you can start to change your perspective and your view on your own life, you feel like you have more control over it and that you can do something that is so small but gives you so much joy if only for a few minutes. Now take those few minutes and add another few minutes to them...now another couple of minutes...and maybe, this can turn out to be your day. Maybe your day can be a good day because you created for yourself a cluster of good moments that made you happy. Maybe that good day can turn into more frequent good days among the mess that is our life, and even through hardships, we can fight for creating our brief moments of private peace and a glimpse of joy. Slowly and gradually, you develop a habit, a lifestyle and this becomes your way of life.
If you're feeling a bit lost, I wracked my brain thinking of what the easiest way to explain this would be, and the only thing that came to mind was to give examples from our day to day life. Of course we all have very different lives and we find joy in very different things, but maybe this will help put things into perspective.
Initially you should think of it like practicing the here and now. If we become skilled enough to really take in our present moments as they are without allowing the anxiety and worries of the past and future interfere, I think it will change a lot about our life. Let's begin with the first example...
Perfecting a morning habit...
Think of the simplest thing in your day, a cup of coffee. How can you make your morning coffee experience as pleasurable as it can be. Look for your favourite spot at home or you office, I would choose sunlight. Pick that mug that looks great in your hands and offers the optimum sipping experience. You can even go as far as researching how to make the perfect cup of coffee and practice it until it's perfect and now you can brag to yourself (which is more important) and to your family about how you know how to make the perfect cup of coffee.
You see it's not just about the coffee, it's about that a lot of us forget to enjoy it. It becomes a habit that serves a purpose and that purpose is not to bring you joy, but to wake you up. So why not change the narrative? Why not have that cup of coffee be something you truly look forward to everyday. Your own 10 minutes of peace and pleasure.
If you live in a city and complain about how you miss nature, girl, believe me, there is a park out there. I live in Cairo and I didn't think it was possible to find a quiet, calm, beautiful park and I found one. I took my friend and a book and it was pure bliss, a beautiful escape from the hectic life of the city. I remember feeling like my life is actually partially in my control. Instead of lying in bed, bored and angry about wanting to leave the city, why don't I actually do something about it, even if it is as simple as just going to lie on some greenery for 2 hours. We just forget that we're not utilizing a lot of things in our life that can make a huge impact on our day.
If you find It difficult to find a park, balconies are your best friend, no matter how small they are. I remember seeing my grandpa sit in our balcony for hours just staring outside, completely calm and happy and I was like "Wow, I can't even stay still on the couch while scrolling through Instagram." So create your little sanctuary in the balcony, buy plants and flowers and make it your little escape from technology, the TV, and work life. Sit there at nights and have a cup of tea or read a book. Try to take things back to how they were in the good old days, without distractions and social media.
Netflix & chill...but actually chill!
There's nothing wrong with a Netflix or movie night, believe me, it's my favorite part of my day. However, recently I noticed myself literally unconsciously picking up my phone while I'm watching TV and just scrolling through it aimlessly. I didn't even notice it at first! Which horrified me...I'm not even fully experiencing the show or movie I'm watching. So try to really be present and do one thing a time. If you're watching something, then watch it, put your phone away and really enjoy what you're watching, you will find yourself feeling a lot better by the end of it.
Miss the pool/beach? Take a bath...
I don't know about you but I personally love the feeling of stillness when I'm in the water. When I'm in a pool or in the sea, I feel like all the anxiety, pain and distractions just fade away, there's something very soothing about our bodies being submerged in water.
But a lot of the times we don't have to privilege to just run to the beach whenever we want to and who said baths are not good enough? They're actually really good for unwinding and releasing stress, especially if you throw in some bath salts. So take a bath, find that perfect 'bath time Spotify playlist'...it's out there. Submerge your body in the water and breathe. I actually find my breathing is better when I'm in a bath.
I could go on and on with examples, but if you've lasted this long through the article, I think you see my point now. Life is really tough and some days are really sad and painful, just try to remember to take care of yourself and add some few moments of joy in there, every now and then.
Main Image Credits: Instagram @katehudson
Our Living section is a woman's best friend. See for yourself and get a little bit of everything!