The Happiness Connection  

Little things mean a lot

Have you ever driven home from work, but have no recollection of how you got there?

This is a common occurrence for some of us, and illustrates how you can go through life without really noticing the people, and experiences around you.

How often have you heard people talking about the little things that make them the happiest, or the last straw that breaks them?

Frequently, we rise to the challenge of big events, only to be defeated by something that, on the surface, seems quite trivial.

In my life, small things tend to move in herds. The last straw, is rarely the only straw involved, but I may not have been paying attention to the first 50 annoyances. It’s the 51st one that gets my attention.

It always surprises me when I hear of people who have been caught completely off guard when discovering that their partner is miserable and planning to leave their relationship.

How can they be so unaware of what is going on? I know many people who were unhappy for years without their significant other having any idea of how they were feeling.

This is the type of thing that happens when you aren’t living in the moment. You don’t notice what is happening around you, often because your eyes are firmly fixed on a future event or goal.

That isn’t to say that you should ignore the future.

Setting goals and having dreams is very important, but don’t be too regimented on the path you take to get there, and don’t focus so intently on your goals that you tune out everything that is happening in the present moment.

You can’t get the precious early days with your children back if you miss them as they happen.

It is important to find a balance of looking to the future, and enjoying the experiences you are having right now, at this moment.

Here are some strategies that will help you be more mindful of what is happening in your life, right now.

  • Practice meditation
  • Take time to drink in the sights and smells that surround you
  • Examine, draw, or photograph something in your environment
  • Keep a journal and reflect on your day: what went well, what are you grateful for, what could you have done differently
  • Every morning before you get out of bed, set an intention for your day
  • Stop periodically during the day to remind yourself of your intention
  • At the end of the day, reflect on whether your day worked out as you intended
  • Look for beauty in your environment
  • Find at least one small experience every day that makes you smile, laugh, or simply feel good
  • Take time to consciously breathe, big, deep breaths
  • Choose a different route home, rather than always taking the same one
  • Do something you’ve never done before

Mindfulness is a hot topic and there is good reason for it. Being fully present in the moment allows you to enjoy the experiences life offers and helps strengthen your connection with happiness. 

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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