With all the hustling and bustling and pressures of day to day demands at work and/or at home, either self induced or from others, people are stressed and struggling to find a balance and a sense of happiness in their day, let alone in their lives. People may start off in the morning in a positive way, but often by mid-day it quickly fades to outer or inner grumblings, and their energy and mood diminishes right along with it.
Others may even find themselves waking up with a sense of dread or tiredness before their day even begins. Yikes, not a pretty picture, especially if you are having a bad hair day on top of it.
Is it really possible then to ease stress with the simple pleasures of life? Absolutely!
Believe it or not, it doesn’t take a lot to bring stress levels down; in fact, it’s quite effortless. It does require some attention on your part though. The simplest things are generally right there for your enjoyment and benefit if you open your eyes and ears, but because you are rushing around or fretting about this, that and the other thing, these little joys often become overlooked or discounted all together.
All you need some mindfulness and gratitude; don’t underestimate the gigantic gain that these two simple things can do for your stress and your life. Since life can be hectic and often becomes routine and filled with big to do lists, many things are taken for granted, or aren’t seen or appreciated anymore. As I’m writing these words, a robin lands on the bench just outside my window.
If we are busy or pre-occupied with thoughts and tasks and aren’t paying attention, then the simple things that can brighten our day or evening aren’t being acknowledged and therefore are forgotten as if they don’t exist. But, they do exist each and every day. Even words like “thank-you” or “I love you” are frequently said without meeting the other persons eyes or their smile.
You need to slow down. Take a breath or two. Look around you right now. What can you see, hear, smell, taste, or touch?
Don’t just gulp down your tea or coffee. Be mindful when sipping it, be grateful to have it, or to whoever made it or brought it to you. p0-When you walk in the door of your home or office, pause for a moment, look around and welcome yourself. When sitting by a window, look outside. What do you see? Appreciate all of nature’s beauty.
If you are driving and someone doesn’t let you in, or cuts you off, wave or smile at them as if they did. To shift negative energies, do things that brighten up your home or office, or move things around to give it a new look.
Go for a walk, listen to your favourite songs, light candles, sing and/or play an instrument, write, read, meditate, or garden. Engage in activities that you enjoy. Put away the cell phone and computer, shut off the T.V., enjoy your own company or the person whom you’re with.
If you’re feeling stressed you, just need to stop doing and just be for a moment. Breathe, and then take a look around at the simple pleasures surrounding you. There are so many beautiful things and people that you probably have taken for granted or have been too busy to enjoy that are right there before or beside you.
It is a great privilege to be on this planet and there is so much splendor to enjoy; be thankful for all it has to offer. When you are mindful in the activities you are doing, this in itself helps you to slow down and pay closer attention.
See the things you are missing in your life.
Start a mindful and grateful journal if you don’t have one already. Jot down what you noticed during the day; it may be something you heard or saw, or maybe you see it everyday but now see it through appreciating eyes. Also, write down what you are thankful for in your day and life. Appreciate what, and whom, is in your life. In no time at all you will be easing the stress in your life and adding more simple pleasures to your days.
Remember, an attitude of gratitude goes a long way. What kind of attitude will you choose?
The Insight Technique assists you in seeing what is creating the stress in your life, and then learn to minimize it through the simple pleasures in life.