the wellpeople lifestyle

Connecting to Joy Using Mindfulness

anxiety happiness joy mindfulness samantha munson Feb 24, 2023
woman meditating on beach

We wear many hats. We may be parents, employers, spouses, children, caretakers, and friends - all in a single day. The responsibilities of our many roles can leave us feeling overwhelmed at times. Perhaps you can relate to feeling so rushed that you forget to acknowledge a clerk at checkout, or you missed the blooming flowers of spring. We could say that we are being mindless in these moments because we are likely not living in the present moment. Rather, we may be focused on experiences of the past or worries of the future, which can cause us to potentially miss the ordinary joy that lives in each day.  

Practicing mindfulness can help us slow down and reconnect with the ordinarily joyful moments of daily life, like receiving a phone call from a friend or buying vegetables at the farmers’ market.  

In the flurry of daily life, we are offered endless opportunities to be more mindful and to direct our attention to the present moment, with open curiosity, to welcome the joyful wonders of the ordinary.

Here are a few ways to increase our mindfulness, to help us notice the beautifully ordinary:  

Sound. If we were to pause right now, what would we hear in this very moment and the moments that follow? We would likely hear an array of sounds that may be pleasant, unpleasant, and anything in between; such as birds, garbage trucks, children, or the washing machine. Mindfulness encourages us not to judge these sounds as “good or bad” but to simply notice them as a part of the present moment.

Nature. Our minds are busy places and can feel consuming at times, as though we are in a tunnel with one specific focus and it is hard to see beyond that worry, problem, or finding a needed solution. We might connect with nature by noticing the sun on our skin, watching leaves blow on a tree, or looking up at the vast sky. Nature can not only bring us back to the present in a soothing manner, but also it reminds us that the world is big and there is a lot of life happening… far beyond what we may be focusing on in that mental tunnel. 

Sensation. Sometimes tapping into our physical sensations is an accessible way of increasing mindfulness. For example, we can practice noticing the sensations in our feet or hands in any given moment. Is there tingling, warmth, coolness, or pressure? We can use the sensations naturally occurring within us to help ground our focus in the present moment, rather than being swept away by the past or the future. And just like life, sensations change over time. Perhaps there are truths of the present moment that will one day be missed.

If we spent more time in the present, what might we notice about the ordinary joys of daily life that are right in front of us? Would we perhaps spend less time buried beneath self-criticism and judgment? Mindfulness offers us a repeated chance to rejoin life right now. Consistent practice can help us improve stress management, decrease anxiety and worry, improve relationships, and enhance positive emotions in daily life. 

If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness and connecting to your joy, consider booking a 15-minute informational consultation session here:

Disclaimer: Information is for general purposes only and is not intended to assess, diagnose, or treat any medical and/or mental health condition. The use of information does not establish or imply a doctor-client relationship. 

Written by:  Samantha Munson, PhD

(Click here to learn more about or book an appointment with Samantha Munson, PhD)

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