Casual Magic – the Road to Happiness

Not every day is going to be great. Not every day is going to be your wedding day, graduation, birthday, or a day where you feel amazing. Honestly, 99% of our days are pretty boring. We have our routines; we go to school or work and meet a lot of the same people. Of course, days are going to be different depending on health, emotional situation or stress levels, but usually long periods of time in our lives are devoted to doing a specific set of things. The stress of life can disconnect us from our surroundings and make it easier to lose touch with our need and emotions, especially in school. To prevent this, apply the concept of casual magic!

So, what is casual magic?

Essentially, casual magic is practicing the habit of seeing the beauty in small moments of mundane life. Now, you’re probably thinking that this is pretty cliché. I did too at first. The concept in itself is a very simple one and doesn’t seem to require that much thought or effort. But I truly believe that this concept of casual magic gives a new perspective on how we could view the world and life in general.

Main principle

First and foremost, it is centered around curiosity and learning how to focus the energy on observing and reflecting on the little things in life. It is about making a conscious choice to enjoy them and make them matter. There are psychological studies that investigated what this does to your mood. In the study Quoidbach, Berry et al. (2010), 282 participants were observed on the positive effect of something they did, by assessing the life satisfaction they received from having that positive experience. The researchers found that being present and focusing on positive moments gave a higher positive effect and resulted in a higher life satisfaction. Interestingly, being unfocused or only focusing on negative thoughts, resulted in a much lower life satisfaction. [1] This clearly implies that there is a choice to be made, don’t you think?

Photo by Binti Malu on Pexels.com

Causal magic is simply the practice of finding beautiful moments in things that don’t seem that great. An adequate example is nature. Have you ever walked through a patch of forest or seen the sunshine over rooftops and noticed how vibrant the colors were? Or have you ever felt a breeze on the side of your face? That is casual magic. You just need to learn how to treasure and enjoy these moments.

And the negativity?

Now this is not to say that life shouldn’t be negative and that we should just ignore all the bad things that happen in life. Not only is this impossible, but it’s not the point of casual magic. In the article written by Chiara Tecchio on this topic, she writes: “it should allow us to listen to and scrutinize any negative feeling — which may be a sign it is time to propel change and growth.”[2] Negative things should be considered to be opportunities for learning and should not be dwelled upon. We should learn from them and move on to appreciating moments of causal magic.

Give it a try

Hence, I urge you to try it. Put aside your screen, be present and give yourself a chance to find that special moment and appreciate something small every day: the sunlight resting on a window curtain, how green the leaves are, the happiness of laughing with a friend, the taste of an ice-cream. Like I said, not every day is going to be the best day of your life; but it can still be special. Just apply a bit of casual magic!

Written by Ida Helmer, IB student at Katedralskolan, Lund


[1]https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0191886910001820

[2] https://medium.com/illumination/what-it-means-to-practice-the-habit-of-casual-magic-b4b6cf3bf2f1

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