6 Simple Ways to Feel More Joyful Every Day

by Erica Whalen

Over the years, I have discovered small habits that have truly helped me find more joy in the every day. Let’s face it: life is full of ups and downs. There are many days that are really a struggle, attempting to juggle everything that is expected of us. And sometimes – just making it through the day is what I consider a success! Thankfully, as I’ve gotten older and a little bit wiser, I’ve learned a few simple things that really make a tangible difference in my life. These small habits make such an impact – when I utilize them, I know that I am healthier and happier.

1. Develop a morning routine. This has been a game changer for me. As a mom of young children, waking just a bit earlier than the rest of the house makes such a difference in my attitude for the rest of the day. For me, the routine is very simple: I drink a big glass of water, sit for a 10 minute meditation, and then enjoy a cup of coffee while I write down what I need to accomplish that day.

2. Practice yoga a few times a week. When I am regularly practicing yoga, I am able to feel so much more grounded, grateful, and focused. Being able to move my body, quiet my mind, and breathe deeply is the greatest medicine.

3. Avoid over scheduling. I am at my best when I create plenty of white space throughout my week. It is so easy to over commit to all of the things grabbing our attention these days – so I limit how much I say yes to in regards to social engagements, kids events, and work obligations. When I have less to do, I feel so much more joy in my tasks and more quality in what I create.

4. Avoid over consuming. When I say consuming, I’m referring to what we choose to buy, watch, and spend time on like shopping or social media. Consuming too much causes so much unnecessary stress, and creates more work and noise in our lives. I have found that when I buy less and when I spend less time on social media, I feel lighter and more at peace.

5. Spend time in nature. There is nothing more nourishing and calming than spending time in communion with nature. Going on a hike, gardening, or simply spending the afternoon at the park has such a healing effect on the soul.

6. Fuel your creative side. Find something that lights you up creatively, whether that is writing, painting, dancing, or cooking. Make time for the simple pleasure of using your gifts to create and enjoy – learn to play again! Playful creativity ignites us and helps us tap into our inner child, a sense of freedom and fun.

So, there you have it: my six simple ways to experience more joy each day. What are some small ways that you have found greatly improve your well being?

Erica Whalen is the proud co-owner of mang’Oh Yoga Studio. When Erica discovered mang’Oh, she was running around New York City teaching at various studios, gyms, and living rooms. At the time, mang’Oh had a tiny community and was in need of some love and inspiration. In 2007, she, along with her business savvy sister and dearest friend Cynthia, purchased and reinvented the studio. Today, mang’Oh has become the place they always dreamed it could be: a sweet yoga sanctuary full of heart and soul.

Erica is in love with the practice of yoga. She profoundly believes in its healing effects for the individual body and spirit, as well as the collective whole. She delights in teaching beautiful and expressive asana classes in the hatha vinyasa style. Every day, she is inspired by and grateful for all of the students and teachers that call mang’Oh their yoga home.

Erica has a BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance from Texas Christian University, and she received her yoga certification through Laughing Lotus Yoga School. She lives in Austin, TX with her husband, Evan, and their two little ones, Charlie & Lila.