What Are Microjoys? Can They Boost Your Happiness?

What Are Microjoys? Can They Boost Your Happiness?

Maybe the simplest things can be the answer to long-lasting happiness.
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How does one define happiness? Is it described by feelings of contentment, purpose, or other positive emotions? Or is it a constant state of mind? What about joy? When does one truly feel joy?  

In a world where the word joy is so often tossed around, we’re still learning to define the emotion when it comes to us, personally. Growing up, we found people finding joy in family time, indulging in hobbies that they loved, in their kids, creating positive connections with people, and much more. A 2019 New York Times article featuring Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of “Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness,” defines happiness as – “If you string together enough moments of joy, maybe you can have a happy life”. She explains joy as instances of “delight”, something more attainable in everyday life, and worth striving for. So, the question arises, can these small pockets of joy really lead to long-lasting happiness?        

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We’re often so bogged by the sadness of things, big and small, we end up ignoring the smaller joys. While they may seem insignificant, these tiny, sweet treats layer our already nuanced lives, helping us keep a more positive outlook towards life. By recognising and embracing these “microjoys”, we can enhance our well-being and find happiness in the every day.  

Understanding Microjoys 

Embracing microjoys is about appreciating the simple pleasures in our lives. It comes from shifting our perspective to find joy in the present moment, rather than attaching happiness to materialistic and future milestones. It’s about finding joy in that first cup of tea in the morning, savouring heartfelt conversations with loved ones, feeling the adrenaline rush of practicing a long-forgotten hobby or enjoying a home-cooked meal made by mom. Small joys engage our senses and make us mindful of our surroundings. We cultivate gratitude and appreciation for life, good and bad.  

How Can You Discover Your Microjoys?  

Finding your personal microjoys is an act of self-exploration and mindfulness. It involves exploring activities, experiences, and sensations that bring a sense of happiness and contentment into your life.  

1. Reflect On Past Experiences 

Remind yourself of the past experiences that have genuinely brought you so much joy. Think about moments when you were overwhelmingly happy, fulfilled, or at peace. Reflect on the activities, places, or people who were around you during those moments. These reflections provide insight into what can bring you happiness in the future as well. Of course, the experiences will or will not be the same, but having an idea of what makes you happy will help you chase that experience for a similar effect.  

Image | Freepik

2. Pay Attention To Your Emotions  

As you go through life, pay close attention to your emotions and how different activities or experiences make you feel. Consciously notice when you feel energised, or content. It could be that morning gym session or a sunset walk in the park. Or it could be baking with your grandmother or practicing meditation before bed every night.  

3. Engage In Mindful Exploration  

Now that you’re aware of what kind of activity pumps joy through your veins, don’t feel shy about exploring new experiences. Keep an open mind and notice how different things make you feel. These new activities like visiting new places, trying out new foods, reading a different genre of books, can help you experiment with creative expression.  

Image | Freepik

4. Keep A Joy Journal  

Similar to a gratitude journal, maintain a joy journal that records all the moments of happiness and the activities that brought you joy. Write down even the smallest of things. Over time, you’ll start noticing patterns and themes that will help you identify your personal microjoys. Plus, if you’re ever feeling overwhelmed by the fast pace of life, you can go back to your journal entries and relive those joyful moments.  

5. Incorporate Them Into Daily Rituals  

The more we observe microjoys, the more prevalent they become in our daily lives. For instance, consider the joy of cleansing your face after a gruelling day and then sitting down to apply your calming skincare. Or the happiness of taking the time out to sit and enjoy a warm beverage by your favourite window every single morning. The divine beauty of these subtle moments can be easily embraced as incredible blessings that root us in the present moment.  

Learning how to embrace microjoys gives us the rare opportunity to get to know ourselves and our own version of happiness and joy more deeply. The little can bring a lot of happiness into our lives. Identifying and discerning microjoys is a true and deep act of self-kindness.  

Read More: How Yoga Can Help Improve Your Posture And Reduce Back Pain?

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