Are you in need of some of life’s simple joys and pleasures?
Our modern world is SO hectic. I feel as if life keeps going faster and faster, spinning me out of control. We’re expected to do more, be more, and make more money with each passing year. And yet, it seems that we’re constantly in search of something deeper, more full of joy to nourish our souls.
Pushing Forward versus Slowing Down to Find Happiness
There are countless blog posts here on Wild Simple Joy about New Year’s Resolutions, goals, and personal development. Improving your life and your situation is always at the forefront of everyone’s minds, but it can also be detrimental to our health and happiness if we pursue those goals without a break.
One way I love to stay grounded and to slow life down is to look for the simple joys in my life.
Life’s simple pleasure, small joys… whatever you want to call them, these small moments in life are there to remind you to come back to earth.
To pause and breathe.
They show you the happiness of years ago, and bring you hope that joy and love will be there in your future as well.
A Deeply Spiritual Practice
Pema Chodron, Buddhist nun, writes in her book When Things Fall Apart:
“This fundamental richness is available in each moment. The key is to relax: relax to a cloud in the sky, relax to a tiny bird with gray wings, relax to the sound of the telephone ringing. We can see the simplicity in things as they are. We can smell things, taste things, feel emotions, and have memories. … It is like the sun in that it shines on everyone without discrimination. It is like a mirror in that it is willing to reflect anything without accepting or rejecting.”
These simple moments show you that it’s okay to not be chasing goals at every second of every day. They are short and fleeting, and they help you remember to not take your life for granted.
That’s where this site, Wild Simple Joy, got its name:
I want to have the audacity in this crazy world, to enjoy my life to the fullest, embrace each moment, and live in simplicity and wild joy every day!
How to Find Simple Joys in Life
When life is fast paced and full of ups and downs, the small pleasures seem few and far between. Here are three quick ways to slow yourself down to start noticing the amazing simplicities around you from moment to moment.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a time of flow or life feels like a burden. These techniques will help you build happiness in your life at any time.
1. Learn to meditate
Developing a meditation practice can help you build the neural pathways for a deeper awareness of life and the things around you. It’s called neuroplasticity, and it’s the ability of our brains to rewire themselves through thoughts, emotions, and actions. It’s how habits are formed and changed.
Meditating helps you build the ability to slow down into your brain’s chemistry and wiring. It becomes easier for you to notice the little things around you that are full of joy and it allows you to practice self-love.
Related Post: Using Mala Beads for Meditation
Stopping to think about the things that you are grateful for each day helps remind your brain to stop whenever you are experiencing those things. So if you’re thankful that your children are healthy, you might notice more when they eat their veggies, or when they do something kind for someone else.
Practicing gratitude can also help alleviate some of the stress of moments that aren’t quite perfect, like when those same children push each other or scream or don’t eat a single bite of their dinner.
When you practice gratitude, you don’t have to search as much or as often for the feeling of joy. It comes much more naturally.
3. Plan times in your day to stop and be mindful and rest
Put down your phone when you’re eating your lunch. Look outside. Take a walk. Let go. What do you notice?
Try these affirmations for rest and relaxation to help you wind down.
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You’ll notice something about these simple joys—they employ full use of the senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound. When you’re fully aware of the world around you, you don’t just use your words and your sight. When you experience deeper moments of bliss and joy, you’re completely immersed in your senses and naturally practicing non-judgment.
These simple joys are also full of nature and the seasons. The passing of time and honoring each season is a tradition that has been long lost. It’s time you bring it back into your life.
Stop to give pause and notice these amazing simple joys of life in the world around you.
May you find these feelings of joy all around you! May you always live happy, healthy, and simple!
- Hearing a baby laugh
- The smell of coffee in the morning
- The sun’s rays in the early morning
- Listening to the rain
- Soul-connecting sex
- A summer breeze
- Getting wrapped up in your favorite book
- A song so moving it brings you to tears
- Conversations with your best friend
- Laughing so hard you cry
- Butterflies in your stomach from falling in love
- Crunchy leaves under your feet in fall
- Getting a compliment
- Getting a postcard or handwritten letter
- The tang and sweetness of fresh fruit you picked yourself
- Hearing your favorite song on the radio
- Rolling down your windows all the way in the car
- Eating off of good china
- Letting go of the gas pump exactly at the dollar
- A phone call or text from an old friend
- Enjoying a donut on a road trip
- Being greeted by your dog when you get home
- Picking flowers
- Finding money in the pocket of a coat you haven’t worn since last year
- Lighting candles in the winter
- A really great bear hug
- Seeing someone’s face light up when they open a gift
- Feeling the sun on your face in the springtime
- Experiencing the grandiosity of nature in the mountains for the first time
- A full, delicious home-cooked meal
- When the blinkers on your car match perfectly with the beat of a song
- Loving your appearance more with age
- Brushing someone’s hair
- Having someone brush your hair
- Holding a child’s hand
- A refreshing shower after working outside or sweating all day
- Evening sun that streams through the west windows
- Hearing a hilarious joke
- Watching a baby sleep
- Getting a massage
- Scratching a cat’s ears
- A child’s first words
- Sunsets over the beach
- The smell of lilacs in spring
- Having a conversation with someone who just gets you
- Cuddling under a blanket in the cold
- Listening to someone say “I love you”
- Walking barefoot
- Hearing a child sing
- The smell of freshly cut grass
- Happy events with friends
- Sheets in bed that feel cool
- A warm, cozy house on a cold night
- Watching animals play
- Recalling a favorite memory from long ago that makes you feel good
And of course, just the knowing and understanding that life is a beautiful thing.
What are your favorite simple joys of life? What do you enjoy that helps life slow down a little?
What are the things that fill your life full of happiness and joy?
Share in the comments below, and don’t be afraid to stop and smell the roses once in a while!