My sophomore year of college has been all about appreciating the little things. Ecclesiastes 5:18 tells us that "it is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has give them, and to accept their lot in life". Although it seems like time is fleeting, and we are rushed we should also be recognizing that there is so much beauty around us. Everything from the food we eat, to what we drink and even the lot we have been cast is a gift from God.
Sometimes, we overlook smaller things and go right to focusing on big picture things. We notice the things that ruined our day and never recognize the littler things that make our day to day life so great. For the longest time, I surpassed these tiny treasures and saw one bad thing as the destroyer of my day -- how dumb. Life is full of mistakes and they happen all the time, sometimes even when it's out of our control. If we let such trivial things ruin our day, there would be no good days to be had. Here are four ways to start appreciating the little things, and as you start practicing these tips, you'll start having more and more great days.
Say Thank You -- By giving things and saying thank you, you are showing appreciation for all of the gifts. It's important to show your gratitude for the smallest of flowers and the brightest of days. Even on rainy days there are always things to be thankful for whether it be a bus stop to stand under, a spare umbrella in your car, or that extra change of clothes you carry in your trunk. When it comes to other people, say thank you and genuinely mean it -- thank you goes such a long way and is shows you appreciate their time and efforts.
Start Small -- When I say thank you for the little things, I start small. I say thank you to God for giving me a great day. Then I ask myself "what does a great day consist of?". Well, I opened my eyes, took air into my lungs, walked on two legs, turned my lights on, ran the faucet, and packed a lunch. From health to heat, food, and even water, these are things we all take for granted. Take the time to appreciate them. Understand that these are not easy to come by in some places and you never know when a day might be your last. When appreciating these gifts, I also think about the weather, the fact that I made it to the bus, the person who held the door for me when my arms were full of books, and the 30 minutes I got together with sorority sisters. All things that happen each and every day, but all impact me in some way.
Remind Yourself How Lucky You Are -- One of the ways to do this is to read the news. Sometimes, I turn on the news and see horrible, terrifying stories and other days I see incredibly heartwarming stories of justice, love, and kindness. When I see sad stories, it reminds me that someone has it worse. My life is paradise compared to some. Other days, when I see stories of love I remind myself that I live in a time with medical advancements, and a time where small acts of good character are not hard to come by when you immerse yourself in the right community. Each day, remind yourself how incredibly lucky you are. Yes, sometimes life doesn't go our way, but recall all the times that life did go right in the past 24 hours.
Enact Small Gifts of Love -- Sometimes it takes the smallest acts of kindness and caring to brighten someone's day, which in turn can brighten yours. After all, it makes us feel good when we do nice things for others. Write your grandmother a letter just because. Instead of writing on your friend's Facebook to wish her a happy birthday, pick up the phone and call her. If you can, grab a cupcake with her. Make lunch dates a regularly scheduled activity with your favorite people or even just hold a door for someone or compliment them on their outfit. These things say "I care about you". Tell someone you care about them. Be the positive spark that gets the chain going.