Be present to everyday pleasures.
When you’re a busy person, you tend to focus on what needs to happen instead of what is happening. Your calendar rules you and if something is not on there or if it’s not checked off, you haven’t succeeded.
You overschedule your day, trying to accomplish as much as possible and the result is that you didn’t really enjoy much of it. Don’t wake up one day and wonder where the time has gone. Often the Fear Of Missing Out (aka FOMO), leads to actually missing out.
The adage of stop and smell the roses sounds cliché, except that is true.
The reality is that happiness isn’t very complicated. You don’t find it in the busyness of life; you find it in quiet moments with yourself and connected moments with your world.
Stopping yourself at different points in your day to be mindful can fill up your cup with more energy – not to mention the sheer joy it can bring into your life! It doesn’t take long to enjoy some of the simpler things in life, the experiences that most people take for granted.
All we really have is here and now. Why not bring a little more delight and gratitude into your life?
Here are 10 simple joys that busy people often miss that you can easily incorporate into your day:
1. Morning sunrise.
If you’re pressing snooze 3 times and you’re darting off to catch your train for work, you are missing one of the most magical parts of the day. Deliberately set your alarm for a few minutes before sunrise (check your local weather app), open your curtains and watch. Look into the horizon, concentrate on the rosy glow lifting into the sky and take in every glorious moment of it.
Revel in the new hope for the day, and the chance for you to begin again.
2. Chirping birds.
After a long winter, there is no better sound than one of birds chirping! Yes, it’s a sure sign of spring on the way, but what you might not realize is that you’re hearing the males singing to attract the females. Listen with curiosity and wonder – even just for a minute – to nature’s beauty!
When you’re in a rush heading to an important meeting, the last thing you might want is to get drenched by a rainstorm. Your first instinct is to avoid rain rather than experience it.
But on an average rainy day, what if you stopped for a moment to feel the rain? What would it be like to feel those drops landing on your skin?
Listen to the sound of it pelting down, or better yet, jump in a few puddles! You don’t have to be Gene Kelly and Ginger Rogers to love a little singing and dancing in the rain. Grab your partner, child or friend, and enjoy the rain together.
4. Blooming flowers.
Flowers are happiness. Flowers are hope. They are a feast for the eyes and a delight to the nose. It’s no surprise that people give them to others at virtually every occasion.
The next time you pass a garden, stop, stoop, hold a flower delicately, and smell its captivating fragrance. Make your day.
5. Sunbathing animals.
Stumble upon a cat soaking up some rays of sunshine and you will be sure to smile. Dogs, and our other animal friends enjoy it, too. They look warm, cozy and content. And, there is something about seeing our furry friends happy that fills us with happy thoughts, too. It might inspire us just enough to get in some vitamin D of our own!
6. Laughing children.
Even if you have kids of your own, sadly, you can drown out their laughter with thoughts of your to-do list. It doesn’t mean that you love them any less; you simply are too distracted to enjoy their presence fully.
Consciously set aside time every day to look your children in the eye, enjoy a light moment and their company. Notice when they laugh, and laugh with them, too.
Hearing kids in the playground amusing themselves, and giggling, stop yourself in your tracks and chuckle along with them. It will take you back to a time when you were carefree, and the world was your oyster.
Colouring is not just for kids! Many adults swear that it reduces stress and induces a state of calm.
So, when the children are tucked in and fast asleep, put on some light music, sneak out their Crayola’s, and doodle, draw or show yourself you can still make some pretty pictures! You’ll be surprised how good you’ll feel!
8. Mindful eating.
Slowing down to eat is not just about preventing heartburn; it’s about actually enjoying your food. The next time you throw a bagel in your bag, consider sitting down to really taste that herb and garlic cream cheese. Instead of scarfing down your lunch while combing through 200 emails, go sit in the lunchroom, look at your food, smell it and taste it. Yes, your narcissistic boss can wait 5 extra minutes for that report; you’re savouring every morsel of your lunch!
9. Sipping an aromatic cup of coffee.
I would happily replace 10 cups of Joe with one beautiful vanilla latte. When life gets hectic, and your instinct is to head through the nearest drive-through, consider your options. Fill up on water, and when you get home take some time to indulge in a beverage that invigorates your senses. How about a peppermint tea, or Earl Grey with lavender?
Close your eyes, breathe in the aroma, and take in joy.
10. A few moments of rest.
When you’re busy taking care of work, family, and other responsibilities, it’s easy to neglect your sleep. Your body needs to refuel. If a power nap isn’t an option, rest your eyes for a few minutes and connect with your breath. Breathing in and out with your feet firmly planted on the floor will give you the grounding you need to face the rest of your day. Add in a few thoughts of gratitude and self-compassion, and you’ll feel even better.
To be happy, you need to intentionally seek out opportunities to bring more joy into your life. It doesn’t take much effort or time, but the rewards are high.
Incorporating these simple ideas and noticing these basic pleasures for even a few moments a day, can make you smile, put a bounce in your step, and fill your heart with gladness.
Lisa Petsinis is a certified coach who works with women who want to beat overwhelm, inject more joy into their day, and create a life they love. Get her free resources or contact her today for a free empowerment call, so you can jumpstart the changes you want in your life, starting today.