Finding joy in life by appreciating every moment is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. That’s why I don’t want to rush through life; I want to slow down to enjoy even the little moments of my day, like today when I stopped my car and stared at the sunset until the magical purples and yellows were gone.
I try to enjoy these little things throughout the day. It makes a big difference in our daily lives, and if we stopped and looked around every once in a while, with enough practice, it could turn any bad day into a good one. So today and every day don’t miss out on life- remember to smile, stop and admire your surroundings, and appreciate what you have. These small and impact changes will allow you to find endless value in what is already priceless!
- Smile to yourself; smile at a stranger
Sometimes we get so busy with school, work or both that we forget how easy it is to smile more. Try to smile while taking a walk, watching the sunset, going to a park, watching kids playing, or animals interacting with nature. And what about smiling to a complete stranger? I often smile at strangers, and say hello! Sometimes people smile back, sometimes they don’t. Some people are just too busy with their lives that they are not able to process a friendly gesture and therefore, are not receptive to a stranger’s goodwill. But try it one day; smile, and you’re bound to make someone else happy.
- Take a break to admire nature
I enjoy and am awed by clouds when I’m on a plane, but my friend took it to another level: he actually wanted to jump through a cloud and taste it, so we did. We went skydiving in New Zealand on a cloudy day and I could see the kid in him, and his excitement for tasting a cloud. For others a cloudy day would not be ideal, but it is all a matter of perspective and how we choose to enjoy moments in life. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, stop and look up the sky, the sun, the moon; admire the colors, the smells, the different shapes. If you look around, you will see beauty, you will find art, and you will learn to appreciate what nature has to offer. Stop complaining about the weather. Instead, admire the rain; think of how a storm forms, the elements that must come together for it to happen. There’s more to see if you’re willing to look!
- Show Gratitude
I often struggle with showing gratitude to others. I try to give thanks, but I tend to be very conservative with it. So while it is a work in progress, I am always pushing myself to be more outspoken when saying thank you. For example, I now tell my mom I love her more frequently, and while it is only two words (in Spanish), I know she appreciates it. Be thankful for what you already have and don’t compare yourself to others. We all travel different routes, so we won’t all get to the same place at the same time. Often people use Thanksgiving to express gratitude for what they have, but we should think about this every day. It should be part of us. Be thankful for still having time to wander and be free.
While there are many other things you can do to enjoy the little moments in life, we can make a big difference in our days if we practice more smiling, taking breaks, and showing gratitude. So remember to smile to a stranger, use your eyes to appreciate nature, and be grateful!