What do you do when things/events/activities/people/etc. don't bring you joy like they used to? Losing interest in things that once made you happy can be due to a number of things: growing up, mental illness, or changing as a person. These are the three big things that affect my interest in things. But interest and joy can also be affected by lack of sleep, insufficient diet, and general business.
But I think one of the most common reasons why things aren't as special and don't bring as much joy as they used to is that all special and exciting things eventually become normal and commonplace. Things lose their novelty and leave a person with three options: either cast the thing aside, continue doing the thing but experience no joy, or attempt to reintroduce the feeling of novelty.
Depending on the circumstances, each option can be valid and correct. If I were to continue buying and eating a certain type of chip or candy bar or buying and wearing a certain style that I no longer liked, I would be wasting my money and would not be allowing myself to grow and change as a person. But conversely, if I were to leave a job or quit a necessary task as soon as I was bored of it, then I would not be practicing perseverance and fulfilling my responsibilities. However, if I can reintroduce the experience of joy into the things that I should not drop, then why would I not want to remind myself of the uniqueness and excitement of the thing?
There are multiple ways that you can reintroduce the feeling of joy:
Being more mindful and attentive, even for a short period of time, can remind you of the reason that you used to find joy in something. Sometimes you have to remind your brain how amazing something is. For instance, sunsets are beautiful, but if you are not paying attention or get used to the sunsets, they can start to feel commonplace, even if the sunsets are still beautiful. But taking the time to notice something beautiful or special, like a kitten, a good pizza, or a stranger's fantastic hair, can help bring joy back into your life.
If losing joy happens because something has become commonplace, then you can also limit the special thing. Getting coffee from Starbucks once a week or even every other week is a special treat. But getting coffee from Starbucks every day turns the special treat into a normal part of life, even though the coffee itself has not changed. Therefore, if getting a treat has become normal and no longer brings joy, rather than getting it more or getting something bigger and better, limit the treat and savor it when you do get it.
Another way to reintroduce joy is to think about things differently. This is similar to the first one, but it goes beyond mindfulness. Basically, stop taking things for granted. When we take people and things for granted, they lose their specialness in our minds. When we look at every special thing as a special thing and focus on why it's special, it becomes much harder to not experience joy.
It can be difficult when you lose interest in things. And mental illness is not something that is just overcome by trying harder. But for people who do not have a mental illness that is restricting the experience of joy, there are ways that a person can re-add joy into their daily lives. It just takes some effort and attentiveness, but it is worth it.