The best secret to staying happy in life is to find joy in the little things, especially if you suffer from heartbreak. Enjoying the little things will not only contribute to your happiness, but also help you heal.
I remember when I was in so much pain after my marriage broke down, I couldn’t find joy anywhere. I would see someone doing something as simple as reading a novel, something I had always enjoyed, and I thought I would never enjoy again.
The pain was enormous, and I couldn’t find an ounce of sunshine.
Slowly, I realized that I had to find little ways to feel good each day. Otherwise, I would have kept slipping more in the dark.
Ironically, picking up a novel was what started to bring me joy again. It was a way to distract myself from my situation.
I started focusing on self-care again and found a little joy hiding in my face cream. Smoothing on a freshly scented lotion will make me feel like I’m finding myself again. You come back to life.
Deep breathing, focusing only on the present moment, prayer, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), snuggling with my daughter, reading a book to her, and baking with her were among the ways I added so much joy to my day.
I’m not talking about jumping for joy.
It is difficult to go from heartbreak to complete joy. It takes a little focus on finding ways to reduce the feeling of stress that can make you move in the direction of joy.
It can surprise you because while you focus on the little things, one day you look up and your heart feels joyful again.
Joy is your birthright. It is an ongoing process that you need to focus on daily.
I found turning to God every morning and praying for God’s will that filled my heart with peace. I have always been spiritual, but I have found this peace and joy through my conscious connection to God and Spirit every day.
This is also what has been helping me through my grieving journey after I suddenly lost my mother one year ago.
I know there is no better way to honor her than to continue living my life by finding happiness within and around me. Some days it is much more difficult than others. But I still remind myself of what you want for me. My mother’s greatest legacy is the love she had for her family which brought her so much joy.
Here are some ways to add cheer to your day every day.
21 ways to find joy in the little things (even after grieving)
This is the most important step to finding some immediate pain relief. Anxiety and fear were my constant companions after my marriage ended and after the loss of my mother.
Praying for me was to transfer my fears and fears to God/Spirit to ease the burden on me. I felt the heaviness lifted when I went to pray daily. This is what helped me see the world in color again.
- Awareness of the present moment.
I just started focusing on what I have to do in every moment of my day. I wouldn’t allow myself to look ahead even on the night which was the worst when I was in acute pain.
The anticipation of the approaching dark night makes me anxious. So instead I focused on what I needed to do in every moment and added a few things each day that made me feel a little better and the night would come and I would be fine.
There are many studies done on the power of gratitude. Even if you say you can’t find a single thing to be grateful for, there really is.
Pick one thing daily if that’s all you can come up with. Do 1-3 minutes of daily practice every day and watch your perspective on changing life.
- Congratulate yourself.
Congratulate yourself for completing something you had to push yourself to do like take out the trash. Each time you do this, you add another degree to your confidence.
- Looking forward to something.
Plan something like a massage that you can look forward to. This does not interfere with staying in the moment. Doing so can give your heart a little leap to remind you that there are still good things in the world.
- Reframe the way you view your duties/responsibilities.
I remember right after my ex-husband left; I will resist doing simple household chores. The thought of grocery shopping filled me with dread. I spent more time anticipating having to go to the store, and that this chore took hours.
Finding ways to “enjoy” this task was due to a reframing of how I thought about it. I’m going to make a special morning of it on Saturday.
The grocery store I was shopping at had a hot breakfast buffet and a sit-down cafe. I would take my daughter and have our “special” breakfast and then go shopping. Getting out of the house early and getting it done while spending quality time with my daughter was such a good feeling.
- Spend time alone to allow yourself to be that way.
Getting up in the morning earlier than your family can be a great time to reflect or just stay. I like to do it with a hot cup of coffee or tea before my day’s hiccup begins. It fills me with peace that allows little bubbles of joy to appear.
- Cook your favorite meal.
It doesn’t have to be a recipe with a lot of ingredients and a million steps. My favorite dish is the capellini (gluten-free) pasta with stewed tomatoes mashed in olive oil and garlic with Locatelli cheese.
I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. It used to be an after-school snack for me. It brings me comfort and I do it when I need to nourish my heart and soul. It feels good to me. Find your dish that evokes those feelings of comfort and peace.
- Drive and listen to your favorite music.
I love driving and when I listen to my favorite music, I feel like I can take on the world. It’s that powerful for me. I get most of my creative ideas when I do this. Even during the pain of the initial breakup, this helped me.
- Do something creative.
Perhaps you had a knack for something creative when you were younger that you loved. Never do that again. The longing for a happy time in your life along with the joy of doing what you love can fill your heart with peace and joy.
- Buy your favorite flowers or plant your favorite shrub in your garden.
Flowers make me happy. I often buy myself fresh flowers and put them in vases I’ve collected over the years. While driving, I find myself looking at the flower gardens of others and basking in joy when I see the brightly colored flowers blooming.
Choose an area of your home that causes you stress. At first, you may feel like plucking your hair will be better than doing it, but you’ll feel much better when you’re done.
Again, try to reframe your thoughts about doing the cleaning or undo feeling like you’re getting rid of old energy you no longer need.
- Stop worrying about what other people think of you.
This is the only thing that can hinder our joy. Here is a little secret. Nobody cares what you do. This does not mean that no one cares about you. It just means that they are too busy worrying about their lives. We think that other people judge and talk about us non-stop, but that’s not true.
And even if they judge from time to time, it’s all about who they are and has nothing to do with you. The freedom that comes from not caring what other people think or say about you is critical to finding happiness again.
- Surrender to your circumstances.
Giving in to who you are now will provide you instant relief. Sink into accepting what happened and give it to God.
You don’t even have to figure out how to change things in your life yet. Simply immersing yourself in the realization that your life has changed is enough to open a new door to peace and joy.
- Find ways to laugh.
I remember when I was in so much pain, I would put on friends and laugh until I cried. Laughter can heal a broken heart. It releases endorphins that can make us feel good.
- Be kind to another person.
Giving us to someone else in need makes us feel good. Try simple, random acts of kindness toward someone you know needs to feel happy again, too.
- Get some sunshine.
Sitting on the balcony or the deck soaking up the sun is a way to calm the soul. Not to mention, Vitamin D is considered a happy vitamin. Just 15 minutes without sunscreen can help you absorb your daily vitamin D needs.
- Be honest and find out who you are. Joy is our birthright.
When life gets chaotic, the barriers we erect cover our joy. Take some time to get to know the “real” you.
what do you want? What are your interests? Answering these questions will return you to your normal inner state. This is where you will find the joy that eludes you.
- Spend time with someone in your life that you trust, such as a good friend or brother.
These people do not judge us. They will just let you be. I remember when I was in horrible emotional pain, the greatest gift I ever received was when a friend of mine sat on the other end of the phone to hold space for me while I cried.
I am forever grateful for this seemingly “small” act of kindness, but it fills my heart with joy every time I think of it.
- Walk through the woods.
Being in nature and among trees is very healing. This is something you can do on your own or with your children. Kids thrive when they’re out in nature, so it’s a win-win situation.
There is evidence that even a fake smile can be beneficial and still release “feel good” neurotransmitters. Try it. You have nothing to lose.
Grieving a loss through a separation or divorce takes time as well as losing someone you love through death. However, simply moving through time does not heal a broken heart. Being proactive in your medical journey is what can change your life.
Reach out for support, rely on your friends and family, and find ways to heal your heart and soul so that you can finally move forward with a happy heart.
I wish you a lot of love,