As women in midlife, we can sometimes find ourselves wondering what life is all about. We’ve raised our families and now our children are grown and gone. Our careers may be winding down or we may have retired. For some, what to do to fill the empty days can be downright terrifying and all-consuming.
For some of us, this is a time of great freedom but for many, it can be quite difficult to find new meaning in life. The good news is that there are plenty of things to enjoy in life, even if they seem small.
Think back over your life. Can you remember a time when you were really happy, but it wasn’t because something amazing had happened? It’s likely that you were happy because you found joy in the little things.
We’ll never be too old, wizened, or past our prime to be finding joy in the little things, girlfriend.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what it means to find joy, why it’s important, and 8 things that can help us find and keep the joy in our life!
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- The Basics: What is the Definition of Joy?
- Why is It Important to Celebrate Joy in the Small Things?
- 8 Ways of Finding Joy in the Little Things
- Little Thing #1 | Slow down
- Little Thing #2 | Do something for someone else
- Little Thing #3 | Celebrate an accomplishment
- Little Thing #4 | Remember the gratitude
- Little Thing #5 | Think like a child
- Little Thing #6 | Focus on today
- Little Thing #7 | Appreciate the significant people in your life
- Little Thing #8 | Discover your 'one little thing' each day
The Basics: What is the Definition of Joy?
The word ‘joy’ has its roots in the Latin word for ‘rejoice.’ Rejoice comes from the Latin prefix re-, meaning ‘again,’ and gaudere, meaning ‘to be glad.’ So when you break it down, joy literally means ‘to be glad again.’
And what better time to feel glad again than in midlife? After all, midlife is a time of transition and change. It can be a time when we redefine our priorities and start to focus on what truly matters to us.
How does joy feel?
It may seem like a question that doesn’t need to be asked, but I disagree. Before we can talk about the little things that bring great joy and hope into our life, we need to come to an understanding of what joy means and how it feels.
Joy is a feeling of happiness, love, or well-being. It’s the emotion we experience when we’re living life in alignment with our values and purpose. When we’re doing work that fulfills us, spending time with people we care about, and taking care of ourselves, we can feel joy.
Why is It Important to Celebrate Joy in the Small Things?
It is often said that joy is in the little things. But what does that mean? And why is it important to celebrate the joy in the small things?
In essence, it means that we should take time to enjoy the simple pleasures on this journey through life. The things that might normally go unnoticed. The sunrise, the smell of freshly baked bread, a phone call from an old friend. These are the moments that make up our lives. And when we take the time to appreciate them, they bring us joy.
But why is this important? Does it really matter if we take a moment to enjoy the small things in life?
Taking a moment to enjoy the simple pleasure of a warm cup of tea or a sunny day can make a big difference in your mood and outlook on life. Learning to find joy in the little things can help you appreciate the good moments more, weather the tough times with grace, and feel more connected to the people and world around you.
When we take the time to appreciate the joy in the small things, we are training our brains to focus on positive experiences. This helps to improve our overall mood and outlook on life.
And, by taking a moment to celebrate joy in the small things, we are creating positive memories that we can look back on when times are tough. So yes, it does make a difference if we take the time to find joy in the little things. It makes a big difference.
8 Ways of Finding Joy in the Little Things
Little Thing #1 | Slow down
Slowing down can help us find joy in the little things in life. When we’re always on the go, we can miss out on the simple pleasures that make life so sweet. But when we take a moment to sit still and reflect, we realize that there’s so much to enjoy.
We might be surprised at how much happiness we can find in the little things. Maybe it’s pausing to watch the sunset, savoring a delicious meal, or taking a stroll through your favorite park.
When we take the time to appreciate the beauty of life’s small moments, we can discover a deep well of joy that sustains us through even the most challenging times.
Little Thing #2 | Do something for someone else
One of the best ways to find satisfaction in the little things in life is to do something for someone else.
When we focus on giving to others, we naturally take our attention off of our own problems and concerns. As a result, we feel lighter and happier.
And, studies have shown that helping others can also have positive effects on our physical health. So next time you’re feeling down, try doing something nice for someone else. It just might be the boost you need to help you discover the joy in the little things in life.
Little Thing #3 | Celebrate an accomplishment
Celebrating an accomplishment, no matter how small, can help us find joy in the little things in life. It can be something as simple as making your bed in the morning, finally getting that kitchen sink clean (would you like to come over and clean mine??), or taking a brisk walk around the block.
When you celebrate, you take a moment to recognize your hard work and appreciate your progress. This pause can help reframe your mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance. Instead of fixating on what you haven’t yet achieved, you begin to focus on all that you have accomplished. From this place of gratitude, it becomes easier to find joy in the small things.
Taking the time to celebrate our accomplishments, no matter how small they may be, can help us feel good about ourselves and remind us of our own personal power.
In a world that often tells us we’re not enough, celebrating our accomplishments – no matter how big or small – can be a revolutionary act.
Little Thing #4 | Remember the gratitude
Being grateful can help us find joy in the little things in life. When we take the time to appreciate what we have, even the simplest things can bring us happiness.
For example, we can be grateful for a sunny day, a good cup of coffee (amen to that!), or a phone call from a friend. By cultivating an attitude of gratitude, we open ourselves up to experiencing more joy in our lives.
And, gratitude can help to shift our perspective and remind us that even though life may not be perfect, there are still many blessings to be grateful for.
Little Thing #5 | Think like a child
If we take a page out of a child’s playbook, we can learn to find happiness in simple pleasures. Think about the last time you talked with a 4-year-old.
Children are often delighted by small treasures, like a dandelion in the park or a ladybug crawling up their arm. They take joy in simple things like a game of catch or blowing bubbles.
Think back to the last time you heard a little one laugh with abandon, and saw that smile that lit up their eyes.
And they’re not afraid to show their emotions – whether they’re laughing with abandon or crying their eyes out. When we allow ourselves to embrace our inner child, we can start to see the world through those rose-colored glasses again and find happiness in the little things.
Little Thing #6 | Focus on today
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to focus on today. Too often, we get caught up in worrying about the past or the future. But by living in the present moment, we can start to appreciate all the little things that make life so special.
Take time each day to enjoy a cup of coffee without rushing, savor a beautiful sunset, or take a stroll through your neighborhood. The key is to be mindful of the moment and to savor the simple pleasures that are all around us.
When we focus on today, we find joy in the little things that make life so beautiful.
Little Thing #7 | Appreciate the significant people in your life
One of the best things you can do to find joy in the little things in life is to connect with and appreciate the significant people in your life.
When you take the time to reach out and show your loved ones how much you care, it can make a world of difference. Sometimes, all it takes is a phone call, a handwritten letter, or even just a text message to let them know you are thinking of them.
Those simple gestures can brighten someone’s day and make them feel loved and appreciated. And, when you take the time to connect with loved ones, you are also creating memories that will last a lifetime. Cherish those moments, and let them fill you with joy.
Little Thing #8 | Discover your ‘one little thing’ each day
It’s easy to get bogged down by the day-to-day and forget to appreciate the little things in life. But if we take a moment each day to find one thing to appreciate, no matter how small, it can make a big difference in our overall outlook on life.
Maybe it’s the way your dog greets you when you come home, or the sun shining through the trees on your morning walk. Maybe it’s a phone call from a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile, or finally getting that project completed you’ve been working on.
Whatever it is, taking a moment to appreciate the good things, no matter how small, can help us find joy in the little things in life. And when we’re able to find joy in the little things, it makes the big things that much more enjoyable too.
It’s not the material things that count, my friend. The truth is, finding joy is all about appreciation for what we’ve been given.
Sure, the stuff is nice to have and can make our life easier or more comfortable, but their importance can dwindle when we realize that it’s relationships, great friends, peace in our hearts, and impact they have on our physical and mental health.
For me personally, the joy in my own life comes from all of the good-intentioned actions described above, but at the top of my list is the joy I find in the Lord and the confidence and hope that my faith and trust in Him brings.
“the joy of the Lord is my strength”Nehemiah 8:10
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