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Is Everyday Happiness Like Your Favorite Pair of Jeans?

By Linda Ward February 20, 2024 Mindset

When you reach for your pair of everyday jeans, what are they like? Mine are soft and feel lived in. I love this comfy go to pair because when I slip into them, I know I’m home. Yes, they are commonplace, nothing special about them anymore after hundreds of washes. Some irregularities are now showing up in the fabric, but I don’t care.

I use this example to explain what everyday happiness can be. Instead of fabric with zippers, snaps, or pockets, it’s a feeling. It’s commonplace and comfortable. It doesn’t need a huge dump of dopamine to happen. It doesn’t need an event or a dollar amount. It’s a go to emotion that I choose to slip into, and you can choose it too.

The Meaning of Everyday

Here’s a definition of the word everyday, “…something which happens or is used every day or forms a regular and basic part of your life, so it is not especially interesting or unusual.”

Why have we made happiness so hard to find? Does there have to be a rush of excitement, or a special party, or someone else providing something outstanding for happiness to happen? Does it need to be especially interesting or unusual? Is it possible that the pursuit of happiness, chasing it down like an elusive goal that we never quite meet, leaves us empty?

Not Perfect, But OK

What if we stopped all that and settled into an everyday emotion of being, OK? If you rate yourself on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being that crazy mountaintop extreme joy (happiness), where are you right now? My answer is that I’m a solid 5. I’m not lower and I’m not higher, and that feels comfy and right.

If your answer is that you’re a 3 or an 8, is that comfy for you? Everyone has a different answer. The point is that everyday happiness is absolutely great. It’s where we live, and where we do our daily life.

I ran across this quote from Mike Dooley in his Notes from the Universe. Does this resonate with you? “…step one for changing the entire world is falling in love with it as it already is. Same for changing yourself. And best of all, with this approach, there is no step two.

Settle in to being OK with where you generally are on that happiness scale. Once you put the constant push of obtaining more happiness on the back burner, you can be comfy and live in the regular habitual place of everyday happiness. The trick here is to remind yourself of what makes the answer a 3 or 5, instead of a 1 or 2.

For me, it’s that I have a warm home, a cat that seeks my lap to cuddle in every time I sit down, and sometimes a cup of coffee from my old espresso machine. It’s the common things that bring joy and contentment to me. I’ve made that so. I used to seek the thrill of something better, bigger, sparkly, and edgy to bring the same feeling. It was elusive and when I finally got that thing, the happy feeling that went with it didn’t last long. Not an everyday thing for sure.

The Happiness Scale Can Take a Leap Up Sometimes

Don’t get me wrong, when the out-of-ordinary, wonderful thing shows up, my happiness scale will take a big leap. For example, when my son sent me flowers for Mother’s Day. This has never happened before, and he’s in his late 30s! That was a huge leap! I was content and happy with him, without the flowers. But when a leap in the scale comes, it’s just a delight. After that, I settle in to the ordinary, commonplace, routine, everyday gratefulness for the small stuff in life, that brings me immense joy. Can you do this too?

One of the definitions of the word routine is regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure. Is there anything wrong with that? Happiness can be rote. It doesn’t have to be extraordinary.

I love what this super smart person, Dr. Glenn Williams, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, said about the topic, “…. it is the small, and often unexpected, pleasures in life that can make us smile each and every day to help us build happier and more meaningful lives for ourselves and for others.”

The Scale Can Take a Big Dive Too

I’m not minimizing problems, heartaches, or sadness that life brings to shoot your happiness average all to heck. Those days happen. Please remember when you are miserable and trying to breathe through the day, you will once again get to your normal everyday feeling sometime in the future. You’ll bounce back, you’ll be resilient, you’ll win. It’s going to be ok. Look for the everyday. Pull on your lived-in jeans and grab your cup of espresso.

A Few Parting Tips Here to Make This Work for You

  • Look hard for the things that make you feel content and ok. Remember them by writing them down, maybe going over them in your head, or building a routine of doing them often.
  • Kick back and try to not reach for the next thing, the bigger deal, or the upscale purchase. Be still. Try that for a time to see if you are ok with the average everyday stuff.
  • Please, please, don’t look to someone else to provide you with happiness. That’s putting the responsibility outside of yourself. That’s not fair to them, and usually doesn’t work. People let us down. They may not mean to, or may do it accidently, but they are just people. So, squarely face this as your own responsibility in life. It’s yours.
  • I found this article with 40 suggestions of things that don’t cost a penny but bring that contented happy feeling. Seek out other tips and tricks to try that can bring that solid feeling.
  • If you have trouble finding your content everyday happiness feeling, I urge you to find a life coach. Get some help with this. If your friend feels the same as you, they are not the ones to talk it over with. If your relative or husband is a constant source of pain, they aren’t either. A neutral non-judgmental coach will help. You will be amazed at what three to six sessions can do for you. Don’t struggle endlessly trying to get this right. Dip into your account, spend the money on yourself and live out your days with a grip on the everyday.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

I’m interested in your comments. Please share your tips for living in a common routine of everyday happiness. What has helped you live there? What is standing in your way? Do you think we have made being happy too hard to find?

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June Doyke

I agree and appreciate the simplicity and realistic approach to finding and living your happiness

Eileen Johnson

What makes me happy is when I focus on something positive. Looking over my growing vegetable garden or cutting flowers that I have grown and putting them in a vase on the table. Sometimes I do have to reach hard and push out the negative thoughts but it doesn’t take much to make me happy. There is so much beauty out there! 😊

Teri Carver

I loved this article, thank you!


This is so true. Thank you for writing this. Yes we need to take care of ourselves ourselves.

Renee Lovitz

I like my morning routine. I send Bitmoji pics to friends and family, and then make breakfast. Same thing every morning. From that point on, every day is different and happy!!

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The Author

Linda Ward is a Writer and Life Coach living in Minnesota. She specializes in helping mature women find everyday happiness and a satisfying life. She zeroes in on life after divorce, retirement transitions, and finding courage no matter what the circumstances. Her inspiring new eBook is called, Crazy Simple Steps to Feeling Happier. Linda’s Professional background is Social Work and Counseling.

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