April 8, 2024  by Linda Wattier
April 8, 2024  by Linda Wattier

Are you rushing through life, missing out on its beauty? Do you feel like it's slipping by too quickly to savor its richness?

Maybe you're caught up in a whirlwind of problems and obligations or the monotony of mundane routines.

If you've been reading How She Thrives for a while, you know I've had stormy weather swirling around me over the past year. Some of you have written to share your own trouble and strife. It's been intense for many of us.

It's so easy to drift away from mindfulness, to live on autopilot, ticking off tasks while yearning for an empty to-do list. Yet, in doing so, we miss the richness of the present moment, feeling disconnected and not as fully alive as we could be.

So, I've been thinking—perhaps it's time to hit pause, step off the treadmill, and reconnect with the essence of living joyfully.

It's springtime, after all—I always feel more awake and optimistic at this time of year, don't you?

Joyful living requires a commitment to awareness and a conscious effort to slow down and savor life's precious moments.

It's about breaking free from habitual patterns and rediscovering the peace, gratitude, and wonder in being fully present.

If, like me, you could use more joy, try integrating some of these practices into your daily life:

Embrace Silence and Stillness

In the rush of daily life, the beauty of silence often eludes us. Yet, when we intentionally quiet the noise around us, we discover a profound sense of peace in the stillness.

By incorporating silence into our daily routine, we allow ourselves to bask in the serenity of the present moment, shedding stress and fostering clarity.

Mahatma Gandhi said it best: "In the attitude of silence, the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness."

Clean Up Unresolved Matters

Physical and mental clutter distract us from joy. Take stock of what weighs you down—whether it's a messy closet, unresolved conflicts, or draining relationships—and take proactive steps to clear the clutter.

Creating space in our lives opens the door for joy, peace, and contentment to enter.

Remember the wise words of William James: "Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."

Focus on Your Own Journey

The temptation to control external circumstances or other people's actions can lead to frustration and unhappiness. Instead of getting entangled in what you can't change, redirect your energy towards self-awareness and personal growth.

By nurturing self-understanding and compassion, joy will arise within you, which will naturally radiate outward for the benefit of others.

Practice Generosity

Shift from a mindset of lack to one of abundance by giving away what you want and need. Extend attention, love, and understanding generously to others.

In doing so, you'll discover that fulfillment lies in enriching the lives of those around you, giving rather than receiving.

Engage Your Senses

Life's beauty is often found in the simplest moments—if only we take the time to truly experience them. Slow down and engage your senses fully.

Tune in to simple pleasures, whether savoring the taste and smell of food, relishing the touch of a loved one, or marveling at the sights and sounds of nature.

By immersing ourselves in the richness of sensory experiences, we awaken to depth, delight, and connection.

Bestselling author and speaker Gretchen Rubin published an excellent book last year on how exploring the senses can get us out of our heads and into the world.

Check out Life in Five Senses to learn how observing the world around us more closely can change how we feel in amazing ways.

Acknowledge the Good

Don't overlook the blessings amidst life's challenges. Take inventory of what's working well—the comfort of home, the love of friends, cherished family relationships, or life's simple pleasures.

Cultivating gratitude for the good fosters profound contentment and joy.

Choose to Forgive

Harboring resentment or holding onto grudges only diminishes your capacity for joy. Choose the path of forgiveness—both towards others and yourself.

Learn from your own mistakes and regrets, and then move on. Release the burdens of the past and commit to living in the present moment with an open heart.

Learn from Adversity

Life is full of triumphs and tribulations, each offering valuable lessons for growth. Rather than viewing challenges as obstacles, approach them as opportunities for learning and self-discovery.

Reflect on the patterns that emerge from difficult experiences, and consciously respond with resilience and wisdom.

Cultivate Positivity

Choose to approach life with a positive attitude. Try to replace complaints with patience, criticism with kindness, and negativity with optimism. By cultivating a pleasant demeanor, we uplift our spirits and contribute to a more harmonious world.

This doesn't mean having a "good vibes only" approach to life and disregarding negative emotions.

Negative emotions can provide important information, leading to beneficial life changes. Yet, we can feel our feelings, express ourselves, and choose to move forward in a positive way.

Go After the Joy

Ultimately, leaning into joy is a profoundly personal journey. Take time to identify what truly brings you happiness and fulfillment and prioritize those pursuits in your life.

Whether it's creative passions, nurturing relationships, or immersing yourself in nature, honor the things that light up your soul.

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Joyful living is a decision that requires intention, mindfulness, and a willingness to let go of what no longer serves you.

By incorporating these practices into your daily life, you'll discover that joy isn't just an elusive dream; it's a tangible reality waiting to be embraced.

More reading:

The Eight Pillars of Joy | Belief Net

The Book of Joy | Bookshop

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Listening to Older Women

When Julia Louis-Dreyfus hit her 60s, she was struck by a realization: She wanted to hear from the old ladies.

Her podcast, “Wiser Than Me,” premiered last April and was named Apple Podcasts’ show of the year for 2023. On it, well-known women, including authors, actresses, musicians and activists, discuss the joys and the sorrows of aging.

I've been enjoying Julia's podcast since the beginning. I also enjoyed reading this excellent New York Times interview:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Thinks Youth Is Overrated | NYT (Gift Article)

What the Heck Is Emotional Endurance and Why Should You Care?

Psychologist Nick Wignall writes The Friendly Mind, a free email newsletter that shares tools, resources, and advice for improving your emotional health and wellbeing.

I highly recommend his helpful guide on emotional endurance with recommended reading and resources.

Everything You Need to Know About Emotional Endurance in 5 Minutes or Less | The Friendly Mind

Ever Wonder What It Would Be Like to Start Your Own Business?

Entrepreneurship is often portrayed as the domain of the young. But the statistics show otherwise. One survey found that Gen X (those between the ages of 44 to 59) made up 69% of women business owners in 2023.

6 Women on What They Learned About Starting a Business in Midlife| Fast Company

Little Bits of Light

Words to open your heart and SOOTHE YOUR SOUL


Photos Credits: Linda Wattier


About Linda Wattier

Founder and Bold Wellbeing Coach at How She Thrives. I help women over fifty design their most authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling experience of midlife and beyond.

How to Thrive in Midlife and Beyond

How to Thrive in Midlife & Beyond

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