As a travel blogger, nothing fulfilled me more than discovering somewhere new, exploring a new place in the world each trip at a time. However, the more I travelled, sadly the more complacent I found myself becoming. I had to discover a way to find joy in the little things, which coincidentally is what this post is all about!
In 2019, I took a step back and I realised that the problem was that I was travelling to excess as a means to escape everyday life and all the planning for future trips meant that I wasn’t appreciating and enjoying the joyous moments in everyday life.
2020 gave me the opportunity to put all the teachings and things I learned into practice. After all, I wasn’t able to travel, therefore there was no better time than the present.
I discovered more about myself than ever before and reconnected with my soul.
Of course, like many others during the difficult year that 2020 was, I found myself at low points, but with careful practice, I began to find a joyful routine that would help me during my darkest of days.
I want to share with you my secrets to finding joy in life, with the hope that they can help you too. I’m not a life coach, nor am I published author; I am a girl in the world who is just sharing the benefits of some of the things I have learned along the way.
But first, I must tell you something that is key to this journey:
Finding joy in life is not about being happy all the time
We were all born on this planet to learn and grow, something we certainly wouldn’t be able to do if we were happy all the time.
We are made of so many different emotions such as being: angry, excited, empowered, grateful, optimistic, determined, shy, insecure, focused, vibrant, content, refreshed, creative, jealous, confident, charmed, amused, delighted. However, despite this brief list of a whole host of emotions, most of us only seek one and that is to be happy.
But, what is happiness anyway?
We can spend our whole lives searching for it and pinning it on things such as a career, the money we earn or the family we have created around us. But, in order to find happiness, we must learn that it is all around us and the key is within ourselves not in modelling a life on a celebrity we idolise, nor following the teachings of a world-renowned guru with a subscription service.
Below, I have shared my secrets to finding the joy in everyday life, in the hope that you can realise the little things that bring you joy in your own life.
21 Secrets to Find Joy in the Little Things in Life
Be Present 📍
Live in the moment & take each day as it comes. We often find ourselves stressing about the past, things we could have done and the things we wish we could change. We let our past haunt us and impact our present happiness.
Similarly, whilst it is good to have goals to motivate us and aspire to in the future, putting too much emphasis on the future prevents us from enjoying everyday moments and appreciating what we have presently as we are always striving for something more.
Count your blessings and practice gratitude 👍🏻
It can feel a bit woo-woo when you start this but believe me it does the trick.
Look for the positives (think of three (or more) things that make you happy each day. It could be seeing a robin on your fence, admiring the autumn colours or simply enjoying a hot shower after a long day.
One of the best ways to do this is to journal about how you’re feeling every morning and acknowledge what a good day looks like for you.
Need some help getting started on practising joy and gratitude? I find apps like Morning and Gratitude Garden are good for this.
Just Breathe 🧘🏼♀️
I always notice when I am starting to feel stressed, my breathing quickens, gets shallower and before long I am close to having a panic attack.
Anyone who has suffered panic attacks before knows the anguish that comes with them and experiencing them (certainly for the first time at least) is not too dissimilar to a heart attack.
But one thing we can all do is to learn how to control our breath. Taking slow, long, deep nasal breaths, right down to the pit of our stomach and listening to our breath as we breathe inside and out is a calming technique we all possess.
If all else fails, just breathe!
Find joy in the little things in life 😊
You’ll often hear the phrase “it’s the little things in life that matter the most”, but it can take us some time before we actually realise it is!
I was always chasing my next adventure but then I found happiness can lay, quite literally, under your nose! We’re always chasing big dreams, but sometimes finding joy in the ordinary is all you need to light your spark!
Again, finding joy in the little things and truly appreciating them comes from counting your everyday blessings and practising gratitude.
Stop comparing yourself to others 🤢
We all strive to be better in some way and in life we often compare ourselves to others and limit our own lives by trying to live someone else’s.
Our ego and negative mindset constantly put us down if we let it and this truly prevents us from being our best selves by telling us we are not good enough or do not compare to others around us.
The truth is, we are all here on our own path, therefore leaning into your own soul and staying in our own lane is the best journey for us to take.
Love where you live 🏡
Taking things back to the centre is not just about connecting with our soul, it’s about honing in on your home environment.
The space around us can impact the way we feel and our mindset. That’s where you would have heard the term ‘feng shui.’
Appreciating your home surroundings by making a haven at home can help clear your mind. This can involve up-cycling old clothes and furniture, reorganising spaces and, of course, by decluttering (I still need to work on this!)
Look after something ♥️
Spending more time with the people you love can do wonders for lifting your spirits. Depending on those loved ones, of course!
Looking after animals has proven positive health benefits. So looking after your pets or getting better at keeping your plants alive can do wonders for your positive thinking and happiness.
My bunnies Buzz and Woody proved to be the best company during my furlough isolation and I couldn’t have survived 2020 without them. I’ve slowly turned into a crazy plant lady over the last few twelve months too! If I can keep my plants alive so can you!
Get creative or do something you love 🎨
Whether it’s journaling about your day, dancing to your favourite music or trying something new. Finding a new passion can light us up in imaginable ways.
I find it difficult when people ask me how I started blogging. Yes, before I had this blog I had been writing TripAdvisor reviews about my trips and dining experiences for years, which is the reason I tell people who ask. But the truth is, I only really started blogging when I found myself in the depths of despair, it was a means to keep me occupied at a time when I had suppressed emotions watching a loved one undergo life-saving treatment and I was still coming to terms with the death of my cat (who really was the baby I never had). Writing helped me channel my emotions in a proactive way and put my passions (travelling, eating and socialising) to good use!
It can be difficult finding a way out of a dark place at times, but getting creative really is one of the best ways to do it.
Dance you heart out 💃🏻
As I mentioned in my What 2020 Taught Me post, the biggest way to raise my vibration is and has always been, to dance my heart out. I’m the girl who you will find on the dancefloor all night and whilst I certainly haven’t been able to hit any dancefloors in 2020; dancing has certainly been my therapy at home.
It doesn’t matter what music it is that sets your soul alive, just put it on, shake it out and I promise you will feel better for it!
Connect with your inner child 🧒
Choose fun! It’s something we forget as we grow older when the list of priorities stack up, we have mouths to feed and endless to-do-lists!
But one thing you can add to your daily to-do-list is to prioritise something you enjoy every day!
I found listening to some of my favourite music and watching tv shows I enjoyed growing up evoked that child-like spirit that I have long since suppressed!
Spend time in nature 🍁
Spending time in nature really enables you to enjoy the beauty around you (even if it’s just a 10-minute walk around the block!)
Getting outside and spending time in nature was an absolute life-saver for me in 2020 and I found if I got myself up and out in the morning before doing anything else I always felt better for it.
Of course, spending time in nature is certainly more of a challenge during the cold winter months, but that’s when having a walking buddy can really help. Whilst I am still working from home during what seems like a never-ending pandemic, meeting a friend for lunch for a walk (socially-distanced of course) makes us both accountable to ensure we are both getting some fresh air. Companionship, exercise and enjoying time in nature really is good for the soul.
Do some exercise! 🏀
A continuation from spending time in nature perhaps, but doing some exercise helps release those happy hormones (a rather strange analogy if you don’t enjoy doing exercise!)
Trust me when I say, I can be the absolute laziest person. When I’m not on my travels (which has been rather a lot lately), you’ll most likely find me on the sofa with Adam and the bunnies binging Netflix! I studied Film & Television at Uni so in that respect, I like to think of it as furthering my education. But, when I’m not binging Bridgerton or learning about the disturbing days of The Yorkshire Ripper, I do try and fit some exercise in!
Walking has generally been my go-to, jogging when I can be bothered and I am impartial to yoga (I mean, is that even exercise!) As I mentioned above, it’s getting my groove on and dancing that lights me up!
Adam and I will are determined to hit the basketball courts on our estate with our newly purchased basketball. Personally, I’d love to get back to doing some roller-skating too!
Read more 📚
I’ve always considered myself to be more of a holiday reader, but I found jumping into someone else’s story for a while helped take my mind off my own worries.
Stories connect us and enable us to expand our minds by seeing things from someone else’s perspective. It can transport us to different worlds, eras and teach us things we never thought were possible.
I’m pleased to say I have now finished my first book of 2021 and I can’t wait to delve into more stories this year.
The world can be a lonely place if we let it be and sometimes I do find myself feeling isolated. However, I am well aware that I do go into my own shell a lot and do have a tendency to isolate myself from the world.
However, as they say, “a problem shared is a problem halved”, which is very true as others can bring a new perspective or see things differently to help navigate a solution to a seemingly impossible situation.
On this note, every Christmas Eve I watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” a film that truly helps me appreciate how much we as individuals can mean and impact those around us. I highly recommend adding this to your watch list if you’ve never seen it.
Communication is key and it’s never too late to offer an olive branch to someone who you may have lost touch with. 2020 showed us the importance of keeping in touch with loved ones at a time when you may be unable to see them. Keeping communication lines open with those who may be vulnerable or lonely, in particular, is so important.
Set boundaries 🙉
Whilst it is important to keep loved ones close and to keep communication lines open. Do not feel like you have to always be available to those who drain your energy and impact your mental health.
By setting boundaries and limiting your time on those that impact negatively on your mood, mindset and leave you feeling drained can keep your own positivity alive.
Setting boundaries so you don’t get bogged down with the news, those that impact your mental health, or other people’s opinions can be a saving grace!
Slow down 🐢
If the tale of The Hare and the Tortoise taught us anything it is that it doesn’t matter how long we take to get there.
We’ve all been born into a patriarchal society that teaches us that in order to be successful we need to be busy doing something with our lives. But slowing things down, let’s us appreciate the journey even more.
Like it or not, we’ve all had to live a slower pace of life in 2020 and hopefully it has given us all time to truly reflect on our lives by just slowing down.
One of the most pinnacle quotes in the film Shawshank Redemption is “get busy living, or get busy dying” and I’d like to think it means for us to enjoy our lives now, not necessarily at a quicker pace. After all, in the closing scenes, Andy and Red are enjoying a quiet island life that they could only have dreamed of during their time in Shawshank prison.
Think about what slowing down will mean for you. For me, it will be continuing to enjoy slow travels without the need to rush around ticking off tourist attractions and taking time to reflect on the things I enjoy.
Get a good night’s sleep 💤
A night of restful sleep can do wonders for your well-being, mindset and mental health. I know I feel like I can tackle whatever life throws at me much better after a good sleep!
Taking it easier and sleeping more, particularly during the winter months gives me a well-needed boost and can often prevent me from going into burnout. Having my new Tempur pillow definitely helps with this too!
Rise with the sun during the winter months 🌞
The lack of sunlight, our natural source of vitamin D can leave us feeling a little low and deflated during the winter months. It can be a depressing time, particularly during the working day when going to and from work is in darkness.
One way to find a positive way to start your day is by waking up as the sun comes up, which, if possible, is a great solution for people who suffer from S.A.D.
Simply, set your alarm for sunrise and you’ll soon find the dark days are over.
Eat well, eat fresh and eat foods that are in season 🍎
Eating well by consuming fresh fruit and vegetables, goes without saying as it’s something that is drummed into us at an early age. But sometimes eating all the things that are good for us isn’t always enjoyable.
January is a month where we’re often made to feel like we need to lose a few pounds and in doing so go back to eating dreary salads we may have enjoyed during the summer. The difference is, it is winter now, and by eating cold salads the only thing you’re going to feel is cold and, most likely hungry.
Ayurvedic practices encourage us to eat fruit and vegetables that are in season, but to cook them, don’t eat them raw. Cook your apples with a mix of cinnamon in warming porridge oats, use your bananas to rustle up some pancakes and enjoy hearty meals with this season’s vegetables.
Take time off your phone and social media 📱
Taking time off your phone and social media is a bit of a weird suggestion from someone who shares posts on social media and has made money in doing so. However, I do recommend taking time off your phone and social media on a regular basis. This does wonders for me and I’ve found myself being a bit of an unsociable butterfly (might need to rethink my blog name…any ideas??)
It’s only been the first week of 2021 and I’ve already found myself taking a week off of social media channels.
Be kinder to yourself and others 💋
We’re all fighting demons and going through things that others might not be aware of.
As I mentioned in my What 2020 Taught Me post, rather than berating each other for the different ways we are handling the pandemic, living our lives, be kind and respect each other.
However, it doesn’t just stop with how we treat others. We all have a voice in our head that tells us we’re not good enough, we can’t do something or so on – that voice is your ego and doesn’t have your best interests at heart.
If you do one thing in 2021, let it be being kinder to yourself as after all, ourselves is all we truly have. And, by being kinder to ourselves, generally means we’re being kinder to others too. So instead of berating yourself, treat yourself how you would treat your best friend or someone asking for your advice. You have the wisdom, you just have to tap into yourself to do it.
Finding your passion & purpose in life
I hope you have found this post useful for finding joy in everyday life to instil positive thinking and happiness practices to brighten your day.
Of course, my own secrets to finding joy in life may not accord with your own, but by putting some of these positive actions to good use you will surely find your own ways to raise your vibration, aid in finding your passion & purpose in life.
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Thanks for reading,