25 Little Joys to Discover In Your Day

An open window with evening night shining into a dark room

A good life is composed of little joys.

We tend to reserve our enthusiasm and excitement for the big moments in our life. The milestone birthday. The big promotion. The vacation getaway. But the reality is that not every day is going to be momentous. More often than not, our everyday lives are going to be routine and mundane. We go to work. We put our head down to tend to our goals. We take care of our loved ones. And that’s okay! 

But you still might be wondering: how do we get through the drudgeries of our days? How do we go through our daily routines of waking up, going to work, and coming back home again, without feeling like we’re running on auto-pilot?

The answer is to find pleasure and awe in little joys.

What exactly is a little joy? It’s often the small moments you experience every day. The moments you may have overlooked because you were busy with work or distracted by something on your mind.

Little joys are incredibly moving, but they are so often the things we take for granted: a sweet kiss from a loved one or the dramatic beauty of a sunset or a tender nudge from a pet. 

And studies have shown that relishing the little joys can make you happier. 

Creating or appreciating little joys doesn’t take much. But it does require effort on your part. You must train your eye to notice the small details. You must slow down to fully experience that sense of wonder and magic from observing life. In other words, you must stop and smell the roses.

By focusing your attention on these little moments, you just might find that the little joys are not only worth celebrating, but are special in their own right. 

Little joys to discover in the morning 

It doesn’t matter if you commute to work or work from home, the mornings have a tendency to feel rushed or distracted. Maybe you’re reaching for your phone first thing in the morning. Or getting flooded with emails from work or requests from family and loved ones. Here are some little joys to help you ease into your day and fully appreciate your morning

  1. Looking out your window first thing in the morning and admiring the golden morning light.
  1. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting from the kitchen. 
  1. Enjoying a leisurely breakfast with the newspaper or your favorite magazine.
  1. The satisfying crunch of eating a toasted baguette or English muffin. 
  1. Drinking coffee or tea out of your special mug—that pretty ceramic mug that you purchased on a trip or a coffee mug with sentimental value. 
  1. A small act of kindness from a loved one. Your partner packing your lunch for work. A friend texting you out of the blue that they were thinking of you. Your child putting their arms around you. 
  1. A soothing morning stretch to help you wake up, relieve tense muscles, and get your body ready for the day.
  1. Writing down at least three things and/or people you are grateful for.

Little joys to discover outside 

Whether you’re running errands around town or going for your daily afternoon walk, here are some little joys to help you slow down, take in the world around you, and experience the wonder of being outdoors and in nature. 

  1. The friendly dogs you encounter on your daily walk.
  1. The way the sunlight streams through the trees and makes the leaves shimmer. 
  1. The gentle murmur of a rolling creek. 
  1. Closing your eyes and feeling the crisp, cool air on your face.
  1. Hearing the gravel crunch beneath your feet. 
  1. Noticing the fresh blooms along your sidewalk or local park.
  1. The sweet trill of birdsong. 
  1. Watching people go by and admiring their outfits and personal style.

Little joys to discover at work

Let’s be honest, the office is probably the last place you associate with joy or comfort. From endless email exchanges to last minute meetings and urgent deadlines, it’s hard to find joy when you’re completely overwhelmed and stressed. 

Here are some suggestions for the little joys of being at work. This will definitely come in handy the next time you’re having one of those days.

  1. A coworker’s small act of kindness. Saving you a seat at a team meeting. Complimenting your outfit. Congratulating you on a job well done. Amplifying what you have to say in front of your coworkers. 
  1. Eating lunch away from your computer and eating at a park bench or out with coworkers instead. 
  1. Finding a quiet office or conference room to sit in and clearing your head with an inspiring mantra
  1. Catching up with your favorite coworker over lunch or coffee.

Little joys to discover after work

Maybe your commute home consists of gridlock traffic or a cramped train ride. Or maybe you work from home and find it hard to disconnect. These are some of the little joys that can help you unwind and have a restorative evening. 

  1. Listening to an inspiring podcast during your commute home. 
  1. Lighting a pleasant smelling candle to help you mark the transition from work to post-work mode. 
  1. Changing out of your work clothes and into a cozy, lounging-at-home outfit.
  1. Doing something with your hands to help you clear your head. Chopping vegetables. Making a collage. Writing a letter to a friend.
  1. Making yourself a simple but delicious meal and breaking out the nice dishes, glassware, and tapered candles to make it feel more special. 

And here’s a bonus little joy that you can experience before bed: 

Writing in your journal and reflecting on your day and all the little joys you experienced. 

Sometimes the most magical moments are the ones that are so simple and routine. Don’t take these moments for granted. It’s the small interactions we have with the world around us that make up a great and meaningful life. 

What are some of the little joys that you’re experiencing these days?

Written by JiJi Lee

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