Pura Botanica Blog

Squeeze More Joy Out of Life

It’s that one phrase we hear over and over again: “It’s the little things that count”. Well, it turns out that nothing speaks more truth. Research has shown that one of the most important secrets to a happy life is to relish in the small moments that bring joy and delight – ones you may not even notice. In fact, when we start calling attention to them, our minds become more inclined towards joy and happiness. Chad Meng, a research writer for Google mentioned in his latest publication that, “Over time, joy and happiness become increasingly effortless if you stop sweating the small stuff.”  Do you have a hard time finding joyful moments in your life? Well guess what? Getting there is easier than you think.

Young woman makes a wish. Cityscape background at sunset.

TAKE NOTES: If you want to find joy in your life but don’t know where to look, start by thinking of those small moments that bring you happiness. “Any fleeting moments of joy in your life that are not super intense; you want to start picking up on them. All you have to do is notice the joy and bring attention to the pleasantness is leaves you with”, says Meng.

Live in the Now –  Be sure to focus on those bite-sized pleasures that are already a part of your day. After a number of times, a habit will start to form.

Live Out Loud –  Being vocal when something delights you will help you revel in the moment. Don’t feel weird letting out a big “Ahh” of happiness after that first sip of delicious morning coffee.

Start a One Sentence Journal –  At the end of every day, write down a single happy thought from that day. “It can be about anything. Something you saw that was beautiful, something funny someone said, whatever it may be. Writing it down will hold you accountable without making happiness feel like a chore”, Meng also writes.


FIND HIDDEN HAPPY MOMENTS: Now that you’ve began to recognize those small moments, you are ready to discover the less than obvious delights. Here are some ways to get you going.

Smile! You’re on Camera –  Every day, snap a picture on your smartphone of something that makes you happy. This way, you are watching out for the things that bring you joy. “It keeps you in joy-seeking mode without even knowing it”, says Meng.

Brighten Up – Choose a color and try to spot it throughout your day. (your favorite blue sweater, the blue pen at your desk). “There are loads of research that link happiness to color. Since it’s so easy to take in color from our world, use it to our advantage.”

Reframe Negativity – We all have those things that can quickly turn our good mood sour.  Instead, try turning them into positives. Let’s say you hate waking up when it’s dark out. Since you have to wake up either way, look for the parts that are enjoyable, like how you can enjoy the quietness of your kitchen in the morning when it’s just you.


PRACTICE JOY ON COMMAND: Little bits of pleasure can give you a lift even when you are feeling down in the dumps. Chad Meng says that a bad mood is like being in a dark room, while those little moments of joy are like candles. “Make your own joy when you need it.” Here are some ways to help you accomplish that.

Play Your Hype Song Research has shown that one of the quickest ways to boost your mood is by listening to upbeat music. “It’s like dialing happiness 911”, says Meng. Choose your favorite Pandora station, crank up the volume and let your spirits be lifted.

Spread Some Cheer –  On a crappy day, randomly select a few people walking by and secretly send them positive vibes. “Just think, ‘I wish for that person to be happy today.’ Being on the giving end of a kind thought is rewarding. You’ll find yourself feeling happier than you were a few seconds ago.”

Friends having fun at the bar outdoors, drinking cocktails and taking selfies.