The simple joys of life are often overlooked in today’s fast-paced world, but they’re so important for your happiness! Here are 38 examples of the simple pleasures of life and tips for recognizing small joys in your own life.
I’m pretty much ALWAYS happy. Like 99.99% of the time. I exude positivity, probably to the point that it’s sickening to some. But life is all about your attitude and what you make of your hardships and difficult days.
I often get asked, “How are you so happy all the time?“, because I always have a smile on my face and it’s rare to find me in a bad mood. I learned a long time ago to “not sweat the small stuff“.
Being stress free is about enjoying the simple joys of life and counting those small moments as blessings. But in a fast paced world where everyone seems to be trying to outpace each other, it’s easy to forget about those small things.
Life’s little joys often get pushed to the side in pursuit of a newer car, a better job, or a bigger house.
If you can learn to recognize the joys of life, the seemingly small and insignificant things that you may not normally notice, then you’ll be more content. Here are some examples of simple joys in life and tips for how to slow down and recognize these important moments in your own life…
What do you mean by the “joys of life”?
So what exactly do I mean by the “joys of life“?
Life’s simple joys are often things that can’t be bought, but also things that you would pay BIG money for… ironic, I know!
And they’re often intangibles like feelings, or things relating to the five senses. For instance, the feeling that you get when you walk through the front door of your Mom’s house and smell her famous meatloaf baking in the oven. Or the smell of your husband’s cologne on his dirty shirt as you throw it in the wash.
If I had to write up a joys of life definition, I would probably write:
The joys of life are simply small instances that can remind you of a certain happy memory or make you feel a sense of calm, peace, or happiness. They can remind you of how fortunate you are to be alive, and recognizing those joys can cause you to pause in wonder or gratefulness.The Savvy Sparrow
Overall, life’s simple joys can cause you to feel a little less stress, if only for a moment.
And as the self-proclaimed “stress management extraordinaire”, I can confidently say that recognizing the small joys of life and counting them as blessings has helped me to become so.
38 Examples of Simple Joys of Life
Here are some examples of life’s little joys:
- Feeling the sun on your face as you take a walk around the neighborhood and enjoy some fresh air
- How you feel instantly energized when your favorite song comes on the radio
- The sound of your pre-teen daughter singing her favorite song at the top of her lungs (and absolutely butchering it!)
- The feel of freshly washed sheets when you climb into bed
- Having freshly shaved legs AND freshly washed sheets on the same night… Is there really anything better?
- Taking the first sip of a perfectly made cup of coffee
- The perfect fit of your favorite pair of jeans
- The smell of your daughter’s hair when she first gets out of the shower
- Putting on a shirt right out of the dryer in the winter
- When your favorite bakery has your favorite flavor of cupcake
- A surprise card from your husband, and it’s not even your birthday
- The smell of fresh cut grass
- Cutting into the perfect piece of watermelon
- Hugging your spouse for a solid 60 seconds… sounds corny, but it’s the best!
- Waking up to a good hair day
- A sweet text from your spouse, just because
- Finding a ten dollar bill in your jacket pocket
- That first bite of your favorite meal
- Snuggling in bed with your husband on a Sunday morning
- Getting to take an uninterrupted bubble bath
- Listening to a rain storm
- Taking your kids out for ice cream
- Eating dessert in bed
- Accomplishing a big goal
- Having your child crawl into bed with you to cuddle
- The worship band playing your favorite song at church
- Getting to take an afternoon nap with your husband
- Feeling proud as you watch your child accept an award at school or kick the game-winning goal
- Blasting your favorite song while you drive with the windows down on a sunny day
- Watching a movie and eating pizza in bed on a Saturday night – One of my personal favorite joys of life!
- Getting an hour alone at Target!
- Seeing a beautiful sunset on your drive home from work
- Sleeping in on a Saturday morning
- Getting a few hours of alone time at home in the middle of the day… This is a big joy for us Moms!
- Doing something nice for someone else
- Finally getting a giant cleaning task done… like organizing all of your paper clutter or cleaning out your pantry
- Simply making it through another work week!
- Getting to catch up with friends that you haven’t seen in a while
How to Recognize the Simple Joys in Your Own Life
Recognizing life’s simple joys can be difficult, especially when you have bills to pay, toilets to clean, and toddler tantrums to tame. But here are some tips to make it easier to slow down and “enjoy the little things”:
Start a Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal is simply a place for you to record different things in your life that you’re grateful for, and the act of writing in the journal forces you to focus on what you do have, instead of what you don’t have.
Not only does writing in a gratitude journal help you recognize the small joys in life, but it also has a multitude of health benefits, like improving quality of sleep and eating habits, and lowering stress levels.
You can read more about how to start a gratitude journal and get some daily journal prompts!
Write Down One Simple Joy of Life Everyday
If you don’t want to commit to an entire journal, then just challenge yourself to write one short sentence each day… heck, it doesn’t even have to be a full sentence! When you notice yourself enjoying something small during the day, jot it down on a slip of paper or in the Notes app on your phone.
Just that simple, spur of the moment act can help you to slow down and truly appreciate the little things in life that you normally don’t give a second thought.
Beware of Social Media
I use social media for two main reasons: 1) to stay current on important work-related information and 2) to look up local garage sales and random household items for sale in the local buy/sell groups.
I rarely post personal photos or memes. And I don’t really respond to friend requests or comment on others’ posts. (Sorry if you’ve sent me a friend request… I’m sure it’s still sitting in my notifications!).
Yes, they can connect us with friends and family that we haven’t seen in a while, but social media newsfeeds also have a way of making us feel inadequate… and that’s a joy-killer! Plus, if you’re always fixated on your cell phone, you’ll miss the small everyday joys around you.
Make Time for the Joys of Life
If you’re constantly busy carting your kids from place to place, fretting about the housework, or taking on yet another obligation that you simply don’t have time for, then you won’t have time to stop and smell the roses, so to speak.
Don’t be afraid to say “no” to volunteering for another PTA event or hosting a big family gathering. In fact, I think that’s why I’m so happy all the dang time… because I’m not afraid to decline invitations and requests in pursuit of more free time.
Take a Photo Each Day of Something That Makes You Joyful
Accomplishing anything in life requires intention.
And the same goes for being happier and experiencing more joy and less stress. You have to be intentional about looking for those simple moments or feelings.
A great way to do that is to use your phone (since you probably have it with you 24/7 anyway!). Simply try to snap a picture each day of something that gives you a sense of joy or peace. Something that you normally wouldn’t give a second thought. It could be a picture of your morning coffee or the fresh blooms on the peonies in your front garden.
You could even make all of your photos in to a monthly or yearly photo book to remind you of all of the things in life that you’re grateful for. And then on bad days, you have a visual representation of joy to flip through.
Write Joyful Quotes in Your Planner
Instead of just using your planner for keeping track of 32,000 appointments and a mile long to do list, why not add in some inspirational quotes to remind you to slow down! I LOVE writing a few inspirational quotes in my planner each week as a fun pick-me-up.
Here are some quotes about being joyful that you can jot down!
Clear Your Brain to Make Way for Simple Joys
Okay, yes… I admit that sounds a little “hippy dippy” and you may be thinking “But Amy, I’m too busy juggling ALL the household management tasks to clear my brain”.
But if you’re constantly stressed and trying to run through your mental to do list, when do you have time for joy?
One awesome way to alleviate mental stress and to be able to stop thinking about everything so dang much is to do a brain dump. It may sound gross, but a brain dump is a great way to get all of your thoughts and to-do’s out of your head so that you can have a clearer mind.
What are some of the simple joys of life that you’ve experienced lately? Is there a specific smell or sound that makes you pause for a moment in wonder? I’d LOVE to hear about it!
Leave me a comment down below and I may include it on my list!