One of the best – and easiest – ways we can support our own mental and emotional well-being is by remembering to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. This isn’t a virtue that is often supported in our culture, which often touts the benefits of “life in the fast lane” or “going for broke.” But it’s still important – and even more so as we grow older.
The little things in life are what we will cherish when we look back on our lives and enjoy fond memories. This could be the joy of time spent with close friends or loved ones, the first moments in a child’s or grandchild’s life, or even a lazy afternoon spent with a good novel. Or it could be enjoying the cycles of the seasons and the beauty of nature. It could be doing a simple kindness for a friend, or receiving one in turn.
Without slowing down to appreciate these small things, what is the rest of life made of? It winds up being nothing more than the daily grind of work, the various disappointments we all face, and the occasional crisis that comes out of nowhere. Between these events are the little things in life. And while individually they may seem insignificant, when they are added up, they’re really what make up the vast majority of what makes us happy in life. While we tend to think of life in terms of years, it’s really composed of the small moments that take place every day. Many of these can be forgettable on their own, but together they provide the richness that results in a life lived well.
So whenever you have a moment, appreciate it. Take time to see the little things that make your life richer, and try to be thankful for them when you can. If you find that you haven’t taken the time to slow down and step out of the daily grind in a while, do yourself a favor and take a quiet moment to spend with loved ones, friends, or just by yourself.