Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

By Quinn Nystrom

Remember when the thought of Grandma’s fresh-baked cookies sparked joy and mouth-watering anticipation?  I am also sure I am not the only one who loves the feeling of sliding into a nice, clean and warm bed at the end of every hectic day. And we all know the satisfaction of a reassuring hug from a friend or warm snuggles from a favored pet.

In a world that can seem so complex and…loud, the simple pleasures of life can get lost in the hustle and bustle of simply trying to “get through the day” emotionally and physically. But in reality, the tapestry of every hard day is filled with the stitches of the little wonders and simple pleasures we take for granted.

When it comes to life events, we tend to focus on the things we feel form our story. Things like graduations, first home purchases, weddings, job promotions, and babies.  Although these things are important, the real substance of a life-well-lived is somewhere in between all of that and having the right amount of creamer in our morning coffee.

Life milestones are incredibly important, but what people sometimes forget is the joy that is experienced in between the long stretches of time in between those moments. These big achievements are significant, but the little things we cherish are just as important in defining who we are as people. So, if you find yourself often feeling small in the overwhelming world we live in, then it’s time for mindset shift. A clearing of the mind clutter and a refocus of the good things that are right under our noses.

It’s time to give big attention to the little pleasures in life that make everything worthwhile.

Look for the Light

We all have parts of our lives that feel broken or even just temporarily “out-of-order.” From dead car batteries to bank accounts on life support, we all have things that threaten to kick our fannies emotionally on a daily basis. But what I can promise you is that, for every dark cloud that looms in your day, the sun is behind it waiting patiently for its chance to shine down on you with warmth and comfort.

Life is like that. Darkness is temporary. The light is always there waiting to be seen.

In my mind, that’s the key. If we are unconsciously always looking for things to be ticked about or spend time mentally steeling ourselves for the catastrophe in life, we will certainly find it. It’s kind of like when you focus on yellow cars. Chances are, you will see A LOT of yellow cars because it’s in the forefront of your mind.

So let’s flip that around. Going forward, I want to encourage everyone to try to make a point to see, acknowledge, and be grateful for little victories and small wonders that are all around us. Instead of grumbling that the mailman is late, stand outside and look for birds in the trees and the peace and solitude of fluffy clouds. It’s not “woo-woo thinking”…it’s a better way to live.

Using the Little Things to Help Others

Thoughtful Words: I saw a meme once that said “Compliments don’t hurt or cost money. Give them freely.” How true is that? And how amazing would it be for the receiver if we showed genuine encouragement and support to another human being with kind words? Try it. I challenge you to verbalize the good in others daily.

Random Acts of Kindness: Imagine how happy and relieved you would feel if someone gifted you with a mowed lawn or shoveled driveway. I’ve even seen families create Blessings Bags filled with toiletries, snacks and a five dollar bill that are left in areas where college kids or homeless individuals can find them. Acts of kindness don’t need to be huge or grandiose, they can be as simple as a held door, an offered elbow, or a meal purchased for the family in line behind you. If you can be anything in the world, be kind.

The Little Things in life that make our hearts sing may seem trivial, but I can promise you they are an important part of the million little pieces that make us who we are. From boredom and pain to gladness and excitement, being aware of the little things in life will indeed make a big impact on our well-being.

What little things will you appreciate today?