“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
Yes, we’ve all heard it a million times: “You have to learn to enjoy the little things!” Yes, we know, we know… But it’s hard, you know?
With everything happening in our lives, we tend to lose touch of the little things and start thinking about the big ones.
Why do we stop enjoying the little things in life?
Every single one of us thinks about our own life in a different way. We set goals, prioritize, and fight through all the issues in order to eventually enjoy the realization of our plans.
What happens in the meantime, while we’re struggling to make our dreams come true? Well, life happens.
Time passes, and many little lovely things happen in our everyday life – things we never even notice, or don’t give ourselves the time to enjoy.
One day, a person will wake up and realize that their dream doesn’t make them as happy as they thought it would.
They lost all this time chasing it and skipped on the small things that were there all along, ready to enchant them.
When we are stuck and feel numb, like nothing is making us feel good anymore, we should stop and smell the flowers. Yup. Don’t allow the negative thoughts to creep in and make you desperate.
Allow yourself to enjoy everything around you. There are so many beautiful things.
How to do that, you ask?
5 Steps To Start Enjoying The Small Things Again
1. Start living in the moment
“Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.” – Kurt Vonnegut
In the world where we live, we feel obliged to make plans for the future. It seems rather irresponsible for a person to stop caring too much about their goals, and start thinking more about all the ways they could be enjoying life at that very moment.
Break this toxic cycle. Yes, you’re allowed to have dreams and hopes. Yes, you should go for them. By no means though should you let them control your life in the present.
Sometimes we have to sacrifice some things in our everyday life in order to make room for something bigger in our future. Don’t allow yourself to make those decisions all the time though.
Make a conscious decision to start to live life and enjoy the present moment, just the way it is.
2. Stay aware of the simple things
“Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.” – Camille Pissarro
There are so many simple things in our surroundings that can make us wildly happy if we would only start noticing them.
You have to make an effort to consciously start taking heed of the simple things in your life and appreciating them.
Did you sleep great last night? Appreciate it. Did you go to the bakery and they had your favorite cookie? Appreciate it.
Your mental and physical health are things you should never stop being thankful for. Healthy people take health for granted, yet you should always be aware of and thankful for being healthy.
3. Show gratitude for the small things
“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.” – Robert Holden
When someone does something for you, no matter how simple it seems, show your gratitude. Did the pizza delivery guy deliver pizza super fast? Thank him.
Did your grandma put fresh flowers on the table to make you feel welcome? Show your appreciation.
Be grateful for the good weather; be grateful for the rain too because it feeds our land and gives us food. Be grateful for having a bit of extra time in the morning to have your coffee in peace. The list is endless.
4. Praise yourself for the little things
“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.” – Diane Von Furstenberg
There are many things about you that you don’t even notice on a regular day. You’re an amazing cook.
You’re super nice to people. You always say you’re sorry when you make a mistake. You look glorious in red.
Seriously, any little thing about you that’s amazing or different in any way should be recognized. Allow yourself to think positive thoughts about yourself, and don’t undermine the importance of some traits or features just because they seem small to you.
Love yourself unconditionally; you’ll spend the rest of your life with you.
5. Praise others for the little things
“We are prepared for insults, but compliments leave us baffled.” – Mason Cooley
Do the same for others. Try to stay aware of the little amazing things about other people, and tell them!
It may seem silly to you at the beginning, but when you see how happy people are when you praise them for their ”little” virtues, you’ll do it all the time.
This positivity you’ll be bringing into other people’s lives will rub off on your own as well. Showing someone you appreciate them for the small things will do plenty.
First, it will make both them and yourself happy. Second, it will inspire them to do the same for others, making so many people more positive and happy about their own lives.
10 Areas In Which You Can Begin To Enjoy The Little Things
1. Breathing is essential, start to enjoy it
No one thinks about breathing. Well, some people do. Every exercise or meditation technique comes with one essential action: staying aware of your breathing.
Concentrate on your breathing. You’ll be surprised by the amount of pleasure it will give you.
Think about the air you’re inhaling spreading through your body, keeping you alive.
It’s an overwhelming moment of joy, to become aware and appreciate something you’ve been doing all of your life – 24/7, since the moment you were born to this very moment – yet hardly ever given yourself the time to think about it and enjoy it.
2. Resting is always a pleasure, take it to another level
You can use breathing to rest as well. It’s very relaxing. All of us need our rest. Take your eyes off your phone and don’t turn on the TV this time. No, you don’t need to see what your favorite blogger has put up.
You need to rest. Sit or lie down wherever you feel most comfortable and think about the way the tension from your muscles is releasing.
Do something extra. Light a candle, turn the essential oil diffuser on. Play some soft music and give yourself time to truly enjoy your rest.
What I like to do – and it might be a bit weird, but I swear it works – is to think hard about something I’ve been doing (working all day or something like that) or even imagine something I’ve never done (like chopping wood or other tiring activity), and then think about the bliss of resting I’m actually doing at that very moment.
Imagining I don’t have the opportunity to rest gives me so much more pleasure when doing so.
3. Enjoy the little things with your family and friends
You probably recognize your family and friends as the biggest source of your happiness. Think about it though. Do you really enjoy the time you spend with them?
Do you go through your everyday routine without paying too much attention to them?
Take your time to appreciate them. Pay attention to their lives and the things they are going through. Get involved. Spend time with them doing stuff.
Even doing household chores together with the music turned up loud can turn to an incredible bonding moment.
If you have kids, enjoy them. Seriously, do it. Watch them sleep, spend as much time as you can cuddling and playing with them. They need you, but you need them as well.
4. Allow the hedonist in you to shine: Enjoy your food and drinks
You can enjoy everything about the food-making process. Growing your own fruit or vegetables or walking through the market and picking the best pieces can feel very rewarding.
Following lovely recipes or, better yet, inventing your own, then making the most delicious meals and drinks ever will help you get in touch with your inner hedonist.
If you’re a hosting type of person, hold little gatherings for your friends and family and prepare a meal for them.
If you prefer eating on your own, spoil yourself. Create an atmosphere even the most prestigious restaurant would envy and enjoy your meals, bite by bite.
Extra tip: Try to leave your phone alone for moments like this. It makes all the difference.
5. Even your clothes can make you happy
Buying your clothes or combining different outfits is one part of the ways we show the world who we really are. It’s the art of symbolism in a way, allowing us to pick from many shapes and colors and choose the ones that best suit our personality.
Wearing a certain combo of clothes can make our day and even make us feel like someone completely different and new.
Enjoy your clean, freshly washed clothes or bulky soft sweaters that hug your body perfectly. It’s something many people don’t have the opportunity to even think about, so be grateful you get to have and pick out the clothes you adore.
6. Find the thrill you need in your connection with other people
This goes a long way. From locking our eyes on a stranger’s in the subway to sharing meaningful connections with the people in our life, the bond we have with other humans is very important.
Make sure you nurture your relationships and allow them to grow. Other people are there to make us feel accepted, strong, and important. We should do the same for them.
Always invest your time and energy in the little things that concern others. Everything counts, from a warm smile to a freshly cooked chicken soup brought to a sick friend.
Try to understand other people and take delight in having them in your life.
7. Enjoy music
Well, yes, of course. This one is obvious, but I find myself forgetting about it sometimes. Days go by and I don’t think to play a song – not once.
Whichever type of music you enjoy, try to make it a habit to listen to it as often as possible.
If you feel like you don’t have time to spare, try making it a part of your commute, or play some music while you cook or clean so you don’t “waste” time you need to do the things that need to be done.
Music is one of the rare things that make you feel like you, and help you dig deep into your emotions while allowing you to free yourself completely.
If you can, add a bit of dancing. It feels amazing.
8. Revel in books and movies
Reading can help you live many lives outside your own life. To enrich your knowledge, understanding of the world and human beings, but also to enjoy stories about different kinds of lives that you’ll never be able to live – read!
You can learn a lot, but most of all it gives you your own special relaxing time in which you do nothing else but sit down and read. Create a little reading nook if you’re a reading fanatic and enjoy every single moment of it.
For those who don’t really like reading, there are movies. Don’t just watch them to waste time.
Think about the plot, the characters, and the message of the movie. Don’t forget to enjoy it!
9. Nature can be overwhelmingly beautiful and relaxing, bask in it
Have you ever seen a beautiful sunset? Have you ever just sat down and watched the way ants move and do some work so awfully important to them but so tiny for you?
How does it make you feel? Everything in nature is beautiful. Just think of the smells: the rain, the flowers, the freshly cut grass… Incredible, right?
Take any time you can to nature. Look at the trees or sit down on the earth and touch it, thinking about everything it grows and nurtures.
Go on trips in nature if you’re able, and stay away from technology for as long as you can.
10. Enjoy the little things in your own home
You just bought new linens and washed them. They smell great. ENJOY IT. Your bedroom has a lovely view. It’s not perfect but there are some trees and a charming view of the sunset… ENJOY IT.
There are a million little things in our homes that we can take delight in, such as how comfy our favorite blanket feels or that one place at the dining table we always choose.
Many people don’t even have a roof over their heads and we have so, so much.
Be grateful for having a home and everything in it that makes your life easier or happier.
Last, but not least…
Count your blessings. Be happy to be alive. Live both fully and mindfully. Gather your loved ones and share the joy of life with them. It goes by and not paying attention to the small things will leave you empty-hearted.
Create a gratitude journal and keep writing down everything that grabs your attention, impresses you and charms you.
Stay aware of everything good you have, and remind yourself that happiness is not about the things that happen to us, but rather about our perception regarding these things.
One more thing… don’t forget to enjoy the little things.