Enjoying the little things

Taking time to enjoy the small things in life can help you reduce stress and improve your life satisfaction. (Photo courtesy of Alexis Taylor)

When was the last time you’ve slowed down and enjoyed the world around you?  Or the last time that you were able to look past your beliefs and realize how incredibly beautiful life can be?

A study in 2012 from Rutgers University showed that life satisfaction is highly dependent on one’s personal background.  

For example, an elderly person would feel more comfortable with their life knowing that they have a home to live in and money to support them for the rest of their years.  A younger person who is just out of high school might think that getting into a top school and getting perfect grades will make them happy.

Life satisfaction can also be impacted by day-to-day things that maybe you can’t control.  In fact, according to a 2016 APA Survey, 66% of adult Americans say they felt stress induced by politics.  And now that people have been staying at home for over a year, 32.5% of North Carolinians have reported they have anxiety and/or depression induced by COVID-19 quarantine. 

What to do?

Considering the lifestyles we have made for ourselves during the pandemic, taking time to just stop and enjoy the little things can be very beneficial.  Small things can help improve life satisfaction:

  1. Get off the screen and social media – When you let your life be affected by political trends or events you see on social media, you are only opening yourself more to become upset, or even angered, by things with which you don’t agree.  Living like this isn’t good, so take the time to step away before you engage or challenge people on social media who have differing opinions than you.  Removing yourself from the stress-causing situation will help improve your life satisfaction.
  2. Enjoy the little things – Taking time to “stop and smell the roses” may seem cliche, but it’s evidently very effective in improving your life satisfaction.  Enjoy the little things, like hearing the birds chirping, the weather, or watching a sunset.  Take a walk in nature and see, or actually become a part, of the world around you. 
  3. Be grateful for what you have and who you are – Some people in the world do not get the luxury of living in a free country where you have the right to speak your mind.  I suggest simply reminding yourself of that quite often.  Remind yourself how lucky you are, even if you don’t feel lucky.


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