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A common saying goes, “Not every day will be good, but there will still be good in every day.” This quote is accurate and can even apply in some ways when you are on your recovery journey. Some days will be more challenging than others, and not every day is going to be a good day. This does not mean you cannot still look for and celebrate the small joys of the everyday.
Being able to find small joys is vital for your mental health, and it can even increase your sense of gratitude and fend off problems like anxiety and depression. Remember that no matter how difficult a particular day is, there are always things to be grateful for.
The Importance of Finding Joy in the Little Things
Perhaps you find yourself falling into the common habit of feeling like you have to wait until a particular stage of life to allow yourself to be happy. For example, you may think, “I’ll be happy when I graduate from college,” “I’ll be happy when I get a promotion,” or “I’ll be happy when I get engaged.” This is a dangerous way of thinking because it puts focus on the future and neglects to acknowledge the good that is present during the current stage of life. This is why it is crucial to live in the moment and appreciate the goodness that is today.
Consider the happiness of a little child. Children find great joy in what you may consider boring or mundane. For example, jumping in puddles, grocery shopping, seeing a rainbow, or blowing bubbles. As you get older, you may tend to overlook these things due to being distracted by deadlines, responsibilities, and social obligations. It is possible to slowly retrain yourself to once again learn to appreciate the simple things as you did years ago.
Tips to Help Find the Joy in the Little Things
#1. Make sure that you take time every day to slow down.
Sometimes you might be moving so fast that you overlook the beauty around you. Consider taking the time to literally stop and smell the roses. Each day, take at least 15 minutes to step away from your phone, turn off the television and live in the moment. Take time to enjoy the taste of coffee in the morning, the sounds of the birds chirping on your way to work, or the changing colors of the sunset. Making a point to do this daily can slowly turn into a habit that you do involuntarily. You may be surprised by just how much better you feel.
#2. Consider trying out some form of meditation.
Meditation is a great tool for helping you to live in the moment. It encourages you to focus on how you feel at a given time, which provides a healthy perspective.
#3. Take the time to “break the rules.”
Perhaps you follow a rigid schedule daily. If this is your case, consider switching things up from time to time. For example, you may wake up before your alarm clock goes off to watch the sunrise or allow your children to stay up past their bedtime so you can enjoy a movie together as a family. If you typically order the same thing every time you go to a restaurant, consider trying something new.
#4. Learn to practice gratitude daily.
Gratitude is critical for improving mental health. It is a way of looking at what you have instead of what you do not. If you want to try to implement a greater sense of gratitude in your life, consider keeping a gratitude journal. This can be done with a physical journal or even kept on a digital device. Every day before bed, write down three things you are grateful for. Perhaps these are positive events that occurred during your day or even just simple things you are grateful for, like your family, friends, or good health.
#5. Make it a rule to shut down technologically.
Consider turning off all technology during a certain part of the day, preferably before bed. Take this time to be socially present with your partner or children, call a friend or family member, read a chapter of a book, or spend some time sitting outside and enjoying the beauty of nature.
#6. Remember to indulge yourself from time to time.
Purchase yourself a bouquet of flowers for no reason, buy a cup of coffee or a treat, take a walk through a scenic route, or set aside your work for a little while to do something you enjoy.
You do not have to wait until you have accomplished certain things or reached a particular point in your life to be happy. You deserve to be happy now and find joy in the little things of day-to-day life. Being able to do this is beneficial to your mental health and can combat problems like anxiety or depression. It can even help those on their path to recovery learn to appreciate the things they may have overlooked before when they were in active addiction. Some tips to finding joy in the little things include taking the time to slow down, trying out meditation, breaking the rules from time to time, practicing gratitude, taking a break from technology, and indulging yourself in things you enjoy. Our team at The Kimberly Center has helped countless people take their lives back from addiction. Call (855) 452-3683 today to learn more.