100 Simple Pleasures Worth Slowing Down For


100 Simple Pleasures Worth Slowing Down For

For far too many years I chased productivity at an unrelenting pace. “Make hay while the sun still shines.” and “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.” were frequent phrases heard in my home growing up. I carried them with me like mantras for finding success and happiness well into my adult years… until recently.

In recent years I’ve begun to be open to the opposite of these supposed words of wisdom. I know now that these moments of stillness are where we often find the most profound joy. When we take a step back from our to-do lists and give ourselves permission to simply be and fully experience simple everyday pleasures, we open the door to a deeper connection with ourselves and the world around us.

Slowing down and being present feels like a luxury—yet in reality, it's essential for our well-being. I know that when you are working a full time job and you have family members to care for, it seems you don’t have time to slow down for these small moments, but this is when you need them the most. Fortunately, they typically only cost a moment of your time. 

Here are some of the benefits you can experience by embracing a slower pace:

Benefits of Slowing Down and Being Present:

  1. Improved Mental Health: Taking time to be present reduces stress and anxiety, giving your mind a much-needed break.
  2. Enhanced Relationships: When you're fully present, it is easier to be a better listener and in doing so, you can connect more deeply with others.
  3. Greater Creativity: Slowing down can boost your creativity by allowing your mind to wander and explore new ideas.
  4. Increased Productivity: It might sound counterintuitive, but taking breaks and slowing down can actually make you more productive in the long run. It still shocks me how often I find this to be the case.
  5. Heightened Awareness: Being present helps you notice the beauty in everyday moments, invoking a sense of wonder and feelings of gratitude.

I truly wish I had attempted to slow down sooner in my life–I just didn’t think it was possible until I was so determined to do so that I was willing to make big changes in my life. I now know that you don’t have to upend your lifestyle to practice slowing down. That said, it was a bit of a challenge for me to get started after so many years of burning the candle at both ends. This is why I have decided to host a 31 Day Slow Living Challenge in the month of July. If you’d like to join me, you can find out more information about the challenge here.

In the meantime, to inspire you to embrace a slower pace, here are 100 simple things worth slowing down for. Let these moments remind you that life is made up of the small, yet incredibly meaningful experiences that often go unnoticed. See how many of these you can capture in the coming month.

  1. The warmth of the morning sun on your face
  2. The first sip of your favorite coffee or tea
  3. The feeling of a hug from a friend or loved one
  4. The smell of fresh-cut grass
  5. The sound of birds chirping in the morning
  6. The aroma of fresh-baked cookies
  7. The feel of soft (or crisp), clean sheets as you crawl into bed
  8. The colors of a sunset as the light disappears from the day
  9. The gentle touch of a breeze on your skin
  10. The way the light makes the dew on the grass sparkle first thing in the morning
  11. The sound of a train whistle in the distance at dawn or dusk
  12. The scent of rose that actually smells deeply of a rose
  13. The way it feels to slip into your end of day, comfortable clothes
  14. A smile from a stranger
  15. The crackling of a fireplace
  16. The way a new leaf of a fern unfurls
  17. The feeling of sand sliding between your toes as you walk along the beach
  18. The sighting of a blue bird
  19. The sound of church bells
  20. The feel of a warm bath
  21. Watching the clouds drift by
  22. The joy of a child's laughter
  23. The way you can lose yourself in a good book
  24. The sweet taste of the first bite of fresh fruit
  25. The sighting of a rainbow
  26. The feeling of accomplishment after a good workout
  27. The stillness of a quiet morning
  28. The satisfaction of completing a puzzle
  29. The voice of a loved one coming through to your voicemail
  30. The beauty of stars blinking in a dark sky
  31. The scent of pine trees
  32. The comfort of your favorite blanket
  33. The taste and feel of chocolate melting in your mouth
  34. The sound of wind rustling through the trees
  35. The feel of a loved one’s hand in yours
  36. The sight of a butterfly fluttering by
  37. The feeling of raindrops on your skin when you are caught in a summer rain shower and give up trying to keep dry
  38. The smell of freshly baked bread
  39. The joy of petting a furry friend
  40. The sound of children playing
  41. The sight of the first snow of the season
  42. The taste of freshly squeezed lemonade on a blistering hot day
  43. The feeling of stretching your body
  44. The beauty of a well-tended garden
  45. The scent of lavender
  46. The joy of discovering a new place
  47. The feeling of gratitude
  48. The sound of a gentle stream
  49. The sight of autumn leaves falling
  50. The taste of your favorite dessert
  51. The comfort of a familiar routine
  52. The feeling of freedom on a bike ride
  53. The beauty of a clear blue sky
  54. The scent of a new book
  55. The joy of sharing a meal with loved ones
  56. The sound of a crackling campfire
  57. The sight of a blooming garden
  58. The warming feel and taste of homemade soup
  59. The feeling of your feet in a cool stream
  60. The smell of a rainstorm
  61. The joy of creating something with your hands
  62. The sound of a violin playing
  63. The sight of a baby sleeping and that clean baby smell
  64. The taste of warm freshly baked pie
  65. The comfort of a favorite sweater
  66. The feeling of soft grass under your feet
  67. The beauty of a mountain range
  68. The scent of freshly laundered clothes
  69. The joy of a surprise gift
  70. The sound of silence
  71. The sight of a happy dog wagging its tail
  72. The taste of freshly picked berries
  73. The comfort of sitting by the fireplace
  74. The feeling of a good massage
  75. The beauty of a handmade item
  76. The scent of vanilla
  77. The joy of receiving a heartfelt letter
  78. The sound of relaxing music
  79. The golden glow of light as the sun rises
  80. The way a warm drink warms your insides on a cold day
  81. The feeling of being understood
  82. The beauty of stumbling upon a field of wildflowers
  83. The scent of cinnamon
  84. The joy of completing a project
  85. The sound of a gentle wind chime
  86. The sight of a deer in the woods
  87. The taste of freshly baked muffins
  88. The sound of waves crashing against a shore
  89. The feeling of cool water on a hot day
  90. The beauty of a hand-painted picture
  91. The scent of fresh herbs as you run your fingers across them
  92. The joy of a spontaneous adventure
  93. The sound of a gentle river
  94. The sight of the first twinkling star in the night
  95. The feel of a cool pillow against your cheek
  96. The comfort of a soft, warm scarf
  97. The feeling of a hug from a child
  98. The emotion from receiving a handwritten note
  99. The delight of beautiful barista art
  100. The joy of laughing with friends
  101. The delight of finding fresh baked pastry in a coffee shop

Slowing down to really enjoy moments like these is a gift we can give ourselves every day. It's about appreciating the little things that can bring us joy and remind us of the beauty of life, if we let them. The next time you feel rushed or overwhelmed, take a moment to pause and see if you can notice simple pleasures such as these. Your mind, body, and soul will thank you.

Here's to embracing the art of slowing down and finding joy in the present moment. What are your favorite things to slow down for? Share them in the comments below—I’d love to hear from you! And I’d love to have you slow down with me in the 31 Day Summer Slow Living Challenge.

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