Today’s fast-paced world has most of us scrambling to meet this goal or that deadline. As we struggle to get to our destination, we often forget to enjoy the paths that get us there.
You may think that once you reach a goal you’ve set for yourself, you’ll finally be happy. The reality is, such happiness is fleeting. It won’t be long before you’re striving to meet the next goal to get that little high again.
True happiness isn’t in reaching goals but in finding joy in the little things along the way. When’s the last time you took a bubble bath or spent the day in your pajamas enjoying a good book? Chances are, you can’t remember.
If finding joy in the little things is on your to-do list, take these tips to heart.
1. Pause and Appreciate
Life is busy, but taking time to press pause and appreciate where you are and the things you have is the first step to happiness. The giggles of a small child, the way aroma diffusers transform your house into a tranquil retreat, the way sunsets flood the streets with a golden glow – these are but a handful of the little things you can stop and appreciate to fill your days with joy.
2. Be Adventurous – in Small Doses
If you’ve got a wish list of things you’d like to do but never find the time for, get that list out and begin taking action once in a while. Want to listen to a new podcast a coworker told you about? Do it.
Want to enjoy your morning coffee without interruption? Do it. No one says you must multitask first thing in the morning. Grab your coffee, find a comfy nook in your home, and savor every sip.
3. Look Around and Be Grateful
It’s easy to take things for granted, but when you take time to see and appreciate what’s around you and what you’ve worked so hard for, it’s easier to find joy in what these things represent. There’s a reason we’re often told to count our blessings. This small act can produce reviewed pleasure from the things you have in your life (both material and intangible).
4. Disconnect from Your Electronics
Smartphones and computers keep us connected to the people and places that matter most, but they can also keep us from connecting on a personal level with our loved ones, friends, and nature.
Take time each day to put your devices on mute and connect with the people and environment around you. Go outside and soak up some sun, talk to your coworkers, play a game with your kids. Spend some time without technology to truly appreciate the little things.
5. Think Like a Child
If you’re struggling to find joy in simple pleasures, look to the youngsters in your life. Young children find joy in the simplest things: bubbles in the bath, learning a new skill or trick, turning your cookware into a drum kit. Their laughter and awe at everything are inspiring for adults who have more responsibilities than time.
Take a step back and think about some of the things you enjoyed as a child. Eat a popsicle, jump in a puddle, build a blanket fort in the living room. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can’t still have a little childish fun.
The key to finding joy in simple pleasures is knowing that they’re always there – you just have to open your eyes. It really is that simple.