Life seems like a never-ending barrage of goals that need to be met and chores that need to be accomplished. People have to work, meet deadlines, raise children, mind their health, watch what they put into their bodies, and find time to sleep followed by the energy to wake up. If it feels like every day is just another step in the cycle of life, it may be a sign you aren’t taking time to appreciate the smaller nuances of life. Those smaller things are simple and can be easily missed if you don’t take a moment to just take a breath and be in the moment.
Here are some tips to help you remember, life isn’t just about the big moments. The little ones not only matter but are necessary to appreciate the whole.
1. Shut Out the World
Taking some time for yourself is one of the best gifts you can give yourself in your pursuit of happiness. From time to time, you need to remove yourself from the rat race. If you’re a person who is highly motivated and focused on work and productivity, this might sound like the opposite of the person you want to be, but you need this time.
Turn off all the electronics, turn on some soft music, step out onto the balcony or porch, and take a deep breath in. Isn’t life wonderful? Or, did you forget to appreciate it? You don’t have to take much time at all to step back and enjoy the small gifts life gives you on a daily basis, but you do need to remind yourself to do it on a regular basis.
2. Do Something Nice
How often do you make someone else smile? It’s a small gesture, but it goes a long way. You have the ability to change the trajectory someone was on in their day. Perhaps it was going downhill fast, until you came along with your offering of a gourmet cup of coffee, or offer to cover a meeting so your co-worker can make their child’s music performance at school.
People who take the time to provide random acts of kindness make the world a better place. They know this, or they wouldn’t do it. Try it yourself, and see how it makes you feel.
3. Spend Time With a Child
Whether you have children of your own, have a niece or nephew, or grandchildren, or know a friend with kids, taking a little time to spend time with that child or children can give life a new perspective. Seeing the world through a child’s eyes will bring back your own memories of when life was free of stress and all the adult baggage—and it really is baggage.
Sit down and talk with a child. Spend a few minutes playing and see what things they are contemplating today. It will surely bring a smile to your face.
4. Be Thankful
Do you take time each day to be thankful for all you have? No matter how much you have, you have more than someone else in this life. You could easily be in circumstances much more dire. Look at your life and contemplate the things you’re thankful to have.
You’re certainly thankful to have a roof over your head. Maybe you’re even thankful you have a coffee maker that provides a warm drink to start each day. Maybe you’re thankful for the spouse you come home to every evening after work.
When you take time to feel thankful, you are more appreciative of what you have and less focused on what you don’t have. Be thankful for the small things as much as the big things. That’s an important key in appreciating the small things.
Finding appreciation for small things is important to your overall well-being. Don’t just speed through life seeking success. Success is found in happiness as well, and happiness is found in the small things you often overlook.