Why Creating Moments of Joy Is Better Than Being Happy

For many of us, being happy is the goal, right?

But what does “being happy?” really mean? And is it realistic to think that you can “be happy” all the time?

The answer is… unlikely. Humans just aren’t made that way.

However, what you can do almost all the time, is create little moments of joy.

I actually wrote this post during the 4th week of quarantine.

Everyone was feeling anxious, depressed, and downright scared about what was going to come next.

At the same time, I was reminded of how joy comes from the tiniest of moments. Even during dark, scary times. Even if you’re feeling depressed.

Creating joyful moments is easy when you’re in a good place. But when you’re going through a dark period, it’s what will carry you through to the other side.

Below are 10 ways I was able to create tiny moments of joy during the 4th week of quarantine. I hope they inspire you to create joyful moments for yourself too.

10 Tiny Moments of Joy

1. Slowly drink your coffee in the morning, and pay attention to how it tastes. Find joy on your tongue.

2. Play a song that resonates with how you feel. Turn off all of your devices, close your eyes, and really listen.

3. Watch a show that makes you laugh. My go-to’s have been Key and Peele, Broad City, SNL reruns, etc. Laughing is one of the best ways to experience a moment of joy.

4. Daydream. It can be about anything, even if it’s what you’re making for dinner.

5. Listen to the rain. Or the birds chirping. Hear the breeze. Or the sound of your breath.

6. Take a hot shower. And notice how it’s cleansing in more ways than one.

7. Stretch, even if you simply reach your arms up to the sky for a moment, right now.

8. Be grateful for tiny things. Like the softness of your pillow. Or the color of the sky. Or the way the light reflects on a window.

9. Snuggle with a pet. Perhaps my favorite moment of joy on this list!

10. Do something kind for someone else – a simple check in can do wonders. 

There is one thing that all of these ideas have in common – they involve being immersed in the present moment. Learning to be in the present is key to finding more moments of joy.

And, The Book of Delights by Ross Gay is a wonderful read, that can also help inspire you to find joy in small moments.

What are some of the small ways you are able to create tiny moments of joy?


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About the author:

Paige Rechtman is a licensed psychotherapist based in Brooklyn, NY. She helps treat young professionals with anxiety, despression, and self-esteem issues.

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