I woke up pretty happy today. Partially because my evening was nice, but also partially because I’m learning how to have more of an attitude of gratitude when it comes to viewing daily life rather than one that is constantly looking at what is lacking. Jen Pastiloff, one of my favorite writers, calls it “beauty hunting” a.k.a, seeking out beauty in every day life. I’d like to call it being more aware of our blessings.
Most of the time we get so caught up in the daily grind that we don’t stop and just appreciate our surroundings. We don’t think of all the small details that help make our days run a little smoother. We don’t notice the beauty that lays hidden beneath the layers of our chaotic routines. We don’t stop and ponder how much good really is in our lives, like our health or the fact that we have jobs and people who care about us. Instead, we rush through our days, constantly complaining about when will it be 5 o’clock so we can just go home and do whatever it is that we do when we get there. But what about all the little moments in between? Where does joy come in? Why can’t we enjoy our ENTIRE day rather than just one small bit?
I’m learning that the reason we don’t enjoy entire days is because we’re not actively seeking to do so. We believe that happiness only lies at a certain point when everything aligns right into place of how we want to be. In other words, I’ll feel happy once I’m off work and can go home. Or I’ll feel happy once I graduate college and find a real job. Or I’ll feel happy once I find the perfect mate and start a family.
I know I’ve spoken over this before – about waiting for the perfect moment to be happy. So I’m not going to reiterate that blog post. But what I’d like to do is challenge you today to notice. Yes, stop and ask yourself, what made me happy today? What minor thing, or even major thing, has brought me a little bit of joy today? What made me smile? What made me laugh? What made me feel alive? I guarantee that if you begin to notice the answers to these questions you will begin to feel happier, even more joyful. Once you actively question what is making you happy, you will begin to want to find more of it.
Is it the flowers planted along the parking lot that warm up your heart? Notice them more often.
Is it your morning ritual of coffee and a bagel that makes you feel like your day is off to a great start? Make sure you actively keep up that routine.
Is it the way your significant other holds you in their arms right before bed time? Thank them for it and let them know how much you appreciate the gesture.
How about getting lost in a great novel? Find a way to read more often.
You get the point. It’s the little things in life that truly make life worthwhile. (Did someone already say that quote? Haha) It’s true. We will often find that when we begin to lose sight of happiness, it because we’ve stop noticing what makes us happy. We stop noticing the small details and instead we focus on what is missing or what could be improved upon, and when that mindset change happens, unhappiness will soon follow.
Take a quick second and just notice things more. Don’t rush through your day like it’s some race, as if the more you get accomplished the better the person you are being. Life is not a race or a competition. There’s no great reward at the end if you do things faster or better than someone else. The reward is life itself – making it at joyful as possible.
What made me happy today?
Waking up in my boyfriend’s arms.
Eating a bear claw for breakfast.
Listening to a really inspiring podcast
Talking to my best friend
A surprise rain and thunder summer storm
Making dinner from scratch
Eating sweet grapes for dessert
Laying down in my comfy bed
How about you?
The Self Love Challenge: Notice what makes you happy. Write it down. Awknowledge it.