In this current world of idiosyncrasies and over-emphasized trivial issues, society has been shaped in such a way that we have been made to prioritize the more publicly obvious, the 'bigger' things in life. We've long since believed that only through being successful in achieving these bigger things, we will find happiness. With that, we spend the rest of our time complaining, if not rampaging, about the things we failed to do. With this mindset, happiness has become something difficult to sought after.
Fellow readers, today I will be talking about how we can overcome this common humanly tendency and bring in more joy into our lives, not through more convoluted methods that would further confuse you, but through the things you may not have even bothered to stop and appreciate.
Why are we doing this to ourselves in the first place?
The reason why we do ridiculous things like scream, throw tantrums, or overwork ourselves to the point we break down in a paroxysm of stress and frustration, is because of one thing. The joy of achievement. Whether it be the joy of having purchased that bag you've always had your eye on, or having achieved that dream job of yours, we do this because we want to be noticed or commended by others.
While we're so busy spending our time dreaming or working towards achieving our desired goals, we end up needlessly sacrificing a lot of our happiness by, as I've mentioned earlier, getting frustrated by things like mistakes, the state you've brought yourself into, or the fact that you haven't achieved this goal yet. And if this continues to get worse, you'll end up failing to achieve your initial goal in the first place!
A simple solution
Blatantly given away by the title of this post as well as the topmost picture's caption (Jill you're a genius!), the solution I have here is to simply appreciate the little things in life. How does this help? Well, let's put it this way - you're stuck in a depressing situation where you think that there's no hope for you at all. What are you going to do about it? Complain? Throw a fit? What use is that? You'll have to lift your spirits somehow to get yourself back in the game before you lose anymore time. By appreciating the small things in life, you will find that happiness comes a lot more easily.
Here are a few methods you can try out:
- Visit some optimistic sites - I'd recommend 1000 Awesome Things, a site dedicated to a growing list of the little things in life we never seem to notice, but enjoy nevertheless. A quick browse through the site is enough to put a smile on your face, and if that's not enough, you can always purchase the book!
- Make a short, mental list every morning - Here's something I like doing. Every morning before doing anything else, I try to list down at least 5 small things in my life that make me happy, like the smell of books, or popping bubble wrap. It alleviates my mood, and it usually makes dreary days more bearable.
- Random acts of kindness - Don't be selfish! Make someone else's day a little better by doing a random act of kindness. It could be leaving a coin on top of a public phone booth, putting in more money into someone else's parking meter, or a sincere compliment. Not only will it make you feel good, but it will also do the same for the other person. Also, it would be nice if someone did the same to you too, right?
- What a lovely day - Take the time to spare a few minutes of your hectic life, take a few deep breaths, and look out the window. Get some fresh air, and at the same time, look around at the scenery outside, regardless of the weather we often take for granted. If it's a sunny day, bask in the brightness and warmth of the sunlight. If it's raining, don't let the gloomy clouds get you down. Appreciate the cool atmosphere, take a nap, or if you want to feel like a kid again, dance in the rain. Learn to appreciate the different kinds of weather, and you'll find yourself at peace.
- You're awesome - Recall the things you've done right in your life (you've bound to have done something right!). It could be making your first PB and J sandwich, or fixing the television. By doing so, you'll draw some, if not enough, inner strength for you to carry on with what you're doing.