How to Practice the Fine Art of Small

Jane Anne Staw offers two ways to pause and find a little joy in your day.

Unsplash/ Vikas Gurjar

Simple Ways to Find Joy in Everyday Life

1. Savor the Ordinary

As you go about your day, be on the lookout for small moments of beauty, outdoors or in your home. You might notice, for example, a tiny leaf on the pavement, a sinuous crack in a stucco wall or on the sidewalk, one petal of a blossom, or the graceful sweep of a window curtain, the invitingly round shape of your favorite bowl, a moment in a photograph hanging on the wall. Once you discover your small moment of beauty, gaze at it for several minutes, noticing the feelings and sensations it awakens within you—joy, calm, excitement, fluttering, a gentle vibration—and allow that response to spread throughout your body and spirit.

2. Acknowledge Moments of Kindness

During the course of your day, notice any pleasant interaction or encounter the day offers you. It might be a “hello” from a passer-by, a compliment from a friend or acquaintance, having the person ahead of you hold the door open, a tender moment you observe between a father and his child, or a toddler squatting down to pet a dog. Once you notice this interaction, pay attention to the reaction it elicits within you, allowing the feelings and sensations to penetrate deep within your mind and body. This takes only a moment, but the rewards can last the entire day.

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