It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of a perfect life, filled to the brim with excitement. But, the truth is, the pathway to fulfillment is finding joy in the ordinary. It’s the little things in life that make it worth living. When we allow ourselves to be fully present, we see the beauty in the mundane, simple moments that might have otherwise passed us by.
Instead of seeing the joy in the present, we focus on what we lack, live life on autopilot, getting lost in worries about the future or guilt about the past.
Through embracing the everyday and living in the present, you can find contentment. When you are content in your everyday life, you find a well of inner peace and stop feeling like there needs to be more. You feel free to enjoy the present, without wishing you were somewhere else or doing something different.
Not that you shouldn’t dream about the future or doing exciting things. But, when you get lost in the next accomplishment, trip, or activity, you miss out on the present. Today, I want to explore ways you can take time to find joy in the ordinary and embrace everyday life.
Ways to Find Joy in the Ordinary & Embrace Everyday
Consciously choosing to live life in an unhurried way keeps life from passing you by. Life is a gift, and when you choose to live in presence you become more aware of it. When you stop multitasking or running on autopilot, you’re able to enjoy all the small nuances of your daily tasks and activities and appreciate the subtle feelings you experience throughout your day.
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”Marcus Aurelius
Slow living is about realizing that life is worth slowing down for. It’s about living intentionally and learning to appreciate life. Discover more on slow living and the art of slowing down here.
Let Go of Your Expectations
Getting hung up on the way you think things ‘should’ be, removes you from the present and leads to feeling pressured and stressed. When you hold onto these ideas, you get lost in your mind and forget to enjoy or at least accept the present the way that it is.
“Letting go can be the key to letting joy find you.”Shirin Shanoi, from her article on Tinybuddha.com
“A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.”Albert Einstein
Set Healthy Boundaries & Make More Time for the Things You Love
Creating healthy boundaries saves you time and energy while allowing you to spend more time doing the things you love. Boundaries are an essential act of self-care that helps you define how you want others to treat you and how you treat yourself. By making yourself a priority and cutting out tasks and people that don’t bring joy to your life, you can make space for the little things that make life worth living.
Realize That Everyday is Special
Romanticize your life. Go to a farmer’s market and buy flowers for your table. Wear your favorite clothes for no reason or make a nice meal and eat it by candlelight. Take a bath with crystals and rose petals. Quit saving things for a ‘special’ day and see that every day is a gift when you take the time time to realize it.
For a soothing self-care bath ritual you can check out this article.
“The true miracle is not walking on water or walking in air, but simply walking on this earth.”Thich Nhat Hanh
Being mindful and aware throughout your day is key to enjoying the little things. Joy is found in the present and when you’re lost in your thoughts, thinking about the past, or planning for the future, life tends to pass you by.
“Most of us move through our days with our hearts closed. We do our tasks, go through the motions, but we aren’t connected to our hearts. (Some people, of course, are able to live in their hearts much of the time — let them be our role models!) What would it be like to be open-hearted today, feel loving toward every person you see, loving and tender toward the world around you? Try it and see!”To learn more simple ways to practice presence check out the rest of the article from Leo Babauta on Zenhabits.com.
There are many benefits to being present in your day-to-day life, such as increased self-awareness, stress reduction, emotional stability, and more. To learn more about the benefits of mindfulness check out this article from Apa.org.
Take time to appreciate all the little things that make you happy. Relish in a smile from a child, freshly bloomed flowers, clean dishes, or a beautiful tree near your house. Everything, no matter how small you perceive it, is worthy of appreciation.
“I wake up in the morning and I see that flower, with the dew on its petals, and at the way, it’s folding out, and it makes me happy.”Dan Buettner
Make Time for Hobbies
Having a hobby you’re passionate about relieves stress, helps you build new skills, and can help create a sense of meaning in your daily life. Hobbies are not only about the activity itself; they’re also about taking some time out of your day and doing something just for yourself so you can feel more mentally present and relaxed. Whether it is painting, sewing, playing an instrument, or writing – whatever makes you happy – find one thing in life that brings joy into your world.
Check out this article I wrote to discover 40+ slow living hobbies and how they can change your life.
Find Joy in Simple (& Free) Activities
Here are a few of the small, simple things I enjoy in my daily life. Of course, everyone will appreciate different small facets of life, but I hope this list inspires you to see that there is joy to be found in many places.
- Hanging laundry on a sunny day
- Drying dishes and putting them away
- Opening my window in the morning and listening to the birds
- Walking through my yard or the forest near my house and noticing how the plants and trees have changed
- That feeling after you’ve cleaned your whole house, top to bottom
- The patterns tree branches make against the sky
- Walking barefoot in the soft grass
- The feeling you get after finishing a project
- Preparing a simple, healthy meal
- Dancing around to my favorite songs
- Long hugs
- Fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables
- Picking berries in the summer
- Fresh, clean sheets
- Petting a dog in the park
- Warm showers
- Listening to rain or watching the snow, snuggled up with a cup of tea
- Free samples at the farmer’s market
- Baking tasty treats
- Watering my plant babies
- Doing a long yoga session
- Having some alone time where you can forget the world
- Chatting on the phone with family and friends
- Waking up early to catch the sunrise or going out for sunset.
- Lighting a few candles and incense in the evening
All in all, it’s the small things that matter the most. The pieces of your life that make you smile, laugh, think, and feel.
Sometimes we need a reminder that there is joy all around us. It can be as simple as sitting outside on a rainy day, listening to music, going for a walk, or appreciating your daily tasks.
Every day on this Earth is a new opportunity to find fulfillment and peace in the present. Remember to celebrate the little things, slow down, embrace the everyday, and find joy in the ordinary.
Thank you for being here,