I have found that the way to a happier, more fulfilled life, is to take time out to appreciate the little things. There are so many tiny joys and pleasures in everyday life- some of them so simple you might not have noticed them before.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the stresses and strains of daily living- your work, your family, bills – until you’ve forgotten what it feels like to truly enjoy your own company or feel something other than tiredness at the end of a long day.
But there are ways that you can change this for yourself – ways that will make those little moments shine more brightly and create bigger smiles in our lives overall.
Here are my best tips for how to appreciate the little things in life, whether you’re single or in a relationship.
Appreciate the little things
So what is a “little thing” anyway?
There are so many of them! For example, a cup of tea- the steam rising from the cup as you sip it, the taste of the tea itself – it’s all an incredible little thing… and one that we could all learn to appreciate more. It doesn’t matter how many cups you drink each day – or how much tea you have on your shelves- if we can all learn to appreciate these simple pleasures, there will be something new to look forward to every day.
Say “thank you”
When someone holds a door open for you, when a friend compliments your work, when your colleague helps you to finish a project… whatever it is, thank them for it. It’s easy to take people for granted- but if you learn to say “thank you” in even the smallest things, it can make all the difference.
For example, I recently ordered a pizza and tipped the delivery man $3. He told me that it was only the second tip that he had received all day, and that gave me an excuse to tell him how grateful I was for his service. He was clearly a new father trying to make ends meet, and I felt flattered that I had been able to turn a simple delivery into a positive experience.
Take notice of good things in life
Very often we rush through the stresses and strains of everyday life without even noticing the many little joys and pleasures that are surely there for us if we only stop to look. For example, how wonderful it feels to gaze at the sunlight as it streams through your curtains in the morning. Or how awesome it is to watch your kids play on the floor or in front of the television. Or how lovely it is to pop over to friends’ houses for an afternoon drink when you’re not tired or busy.
Taking the time to notice these amazing good things in life can help you build up a bank of positive and happy memories that will truly make you appreciate life.
Appreciate your body
We all spend so much time worrying about weight gain or the appearance of our bodies. Yet when we look back on photos taken decades ago, we can only see the beauty in it all. It’s very easy to forget how incredible your body is.
Appreciate it for the incredible machine of muscles, bones and blood vessels that it is. It’s amazing, and you should take the time to appreciate its capability in many ways- from seeing the funny way your body can move when you walk or dance through to simply taking some time out for a walk or fresh air and sunshine!
Listen to music that makes you happy
Music can have a fascinating effect on our moods- especially if we find music that reminds us of moments in our lives we may otherwise have forgotten. For example, I love the song “All of Me” by John Legend. It reminds me of watching my father dance at home with my mother in a rainy afternoon. I remember how huge his dance moves were, and how proud and happy I felt for him as he danced around the room to that amazing song!
Look at pictures of friends you once knew
I recently visited a Facebook page that featured old photos of friends from school. After looking through them all, I suddenly remembered experiences and people I had forgotten about or never really noticed before. It felt like I had a key to another side of my life that I will never be able to visit again, but the memories were still there and could bring happiness.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the current state of our lives- work is stressful, family is busy, bills are piling up… but sometimes it can be a good thing to sit back and appreciate where you have come from.
Looking at old photos or a scrapbook can help you remember how far you have come. It may also bring up some very happy memories of people who are no longer around today.
Just sit and stay still
This is a very simple way to appreciate the little things. It’s so easy to rush around in life, rushing from one thing to another. Just sit and stay still for a few minutes on a regular basis. Sit on the sofa, close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Just relax and picture the life you want- something you need to remind you that you can do it!
Cook food with love
Cooking can be one of those easy little things we take for granted- but it has its own complexities, as well as its own joys.
Cooking with love can make all the difference! Prior to my husband and I getting married, we would cook together because we enjoyed it. It also meant that one of us could relax and chat whilst the other was cooking. But then we had our daughter, and it was just too difficult for us both to cook with her running around in the kitchen.
It wasn’t until last year that I decided to start cooking again – but this time with love! I started looking up recipes that were easy enough for me to do alone, or possibly with a very small amount of help from my daughter (just a few basic instructions). I cooked with love, and I let myself be happy about it (as opposed to becoming stressed when things didn’t go according to plan).
The results were amazing! Not only did I get some time to myself where I could relax whilst cooking, but it also made me feel more positive about my life and my family. Cooking is a very simple way for us to appreciate our time on Earth. We can do it no matter where we are, or what we are doing. Always try to cook with love, as this will make all the difference!
Hug a tree
Hugs are an easy way to express how you feel. And trees are beautiful and one of the most amazing things in nature. When we hug a tree, we can feel the sap running through its roots, we can feel the protection and security of the leafy branches around us and all kinds of other wonderful things!
Watch your favorite shows
We all have our favorite TV series that we love to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
It’s great to lay back and relax and just enjoy the world of the show you have chosen. You can become entranced by the characters in your favorite shows, and you can forget about your worries for a few hours as you get caught up in someone else’s life!
Write down your thoughts
Writing down your thoughts can be a really interesting way to appreciate life.
It can help you remember things that you had forgotten or didn’t know were in there. It also helps you organize your thoughts and keep track of what is important in your life. It’s a very good way to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the worries of the day- just let them spill onto the paper, and then you can forget about them for a while!
Take up a hobby
I have always loved crafts, but I never actually did anything with my love for crafts. Luckily my mother (who was always extremely crafty) gave me some amazing gifts over the years. My favorite was a cross stitch kit! It inspired me to start my own, and I learned that I had a love for cross stitching.
So take up some sort of hobby! It’s a very good way to appreciate your hands and the things you can create. Get creative and have fun!
Just because you cannot continue to do all the things you once used to enjoy, it does not mean that you must stop. Take time to appreciate the small things that you can continue, and those that you have given up on.
Also, if your loved ones are busy with their own lives, it is a good idea to give them some space from your troubles by allowing them their venting and relaxing time as well!
Just remember that life is always changing. Take small steps to appreciate what you have now, even if it is just a small miracle in your life.