Life is undoubtedly harder than it used to be a decade or two ago. Yet at the same time, so much easier. For some of us, happiness is hard-earned. For some of us, happiness doesn’t come as easy as it used to a couple of years back. And then for some of us, something somehow happens to ruin our happiness just when we think that we finally sorted things out in life. Have we gotten to a point where simple pleasures don’t count anymore?
Where did we lose it, to go looking for happiness?
Some of us hunt for happiness all our lives, hoping that one day we’ll achieve it, but end up getting exhausted in the chase, and looking back only to find that it should’ve been a part of the journey, not an ultimate destination. Maybe we do realize this in the journey or the hunt. But we’re so caught up in the hunt itself that we can’t afford to stop to do something about it.
Once we’re done with education, we strive to get a job, buy a car, rent a house, raise kids and so much more. We have goals to achieve, professionally, educationally and socially. And we never stop. We’re in this vicious cycle where we strive for more and more and more, but we’re never satisfied. Maybe we have, at some point, paused to consider where this is going, yet we truly, honestly were caught up in this cycle. We just couldn’t stop because the wheels of the cycle never did.
The simpler your life is, the easier it is to honestly be content. Simple pleasures have greater significance in a simple life. Where do we find these little roads to happiness?
Think back to your happy memories
Let’s stop for a moment and go back in time. Back to when you were a child, and everything was full of wonders to you. Try to remember one simple thing that was absolutely pleasurable for you then, and still is, or would be if you were to redo it. Guess what I’m going to tell you next – Indulge yourself in that pleasure, in whatever frequency you feel is reasonable. Now remember another, and go experience it. And another, and another, until you exhaust all options you can remember. Write them down if you have to, so that you can check them off when you’ve actually gone ahead and experienced it. These simple pleasures will carry sentimental value for the child within you.
Find your moment of peace
Let’s move from the child to the present you. Think of the things that feel luxurious to you, that you feel you are blessed to be experiencing. Irrespective of whether it comes free or inexpensive, it just has to give you that feeling of absolute pleasure. (One long hot bath for me, please.) Include these simple pleasures more frequently in your everyday life, to the extent possible. When you’re struggling with your emotions or when you know something’s not right in your mind, indulge yourself in these little pleasurable things. For a moment, in your state of turmoil, you will find peace. And these little moments of peace add up to happiness.
Lavanya Witharana, co-founder of Discovering Minimalism is currently following her postgraduate studies in environmental science as she desires to share her unconditional love for the environment with like-minded enthusiasts from all around the world.