In my last post, I discussed a few ways to identify what could be bringing you down. The next step you can take is finding what lifts you up. They don’t have to just come from big events or grand gestures; they can also come from the little things. These can serve as reminders for you to look back on, but also simply taking the time to note them is an exercise that can help make your days seem a bit brighter.
For example, we were hit with a couple days of thunderstorms in my area — the ones with rain really pounding against your window and lightning flashes abound. Yet I’ve come to notice how the skies tend to look the best after days like those.
Here are a few others that I had written down for myself:
- Being rolled into a blanket burrito
- Little dogs in knit sweaters being walked around the outdoor mall
- Fresh laundry smell of t-shirts bundled in my arms
- Seeing a shooting star while driving home
- Golden retriever head sticking out passenger seat in rearview mirror
- Hugs from the kids who I coach
Try to make it a practice to find something each day. It can be easy to pick out a visual observation, so pay attention to the other senses as well. If you catch yourself smiling or even just appreciating how it makes you feel, take note of it! As Ashley Montagu said, “The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but they seize us.” Even if they may seem small, they will add up as your list grows.
Sometimes it can feel like everything is working against you, and the pain of bearing it all can make the future appear bleak. Do remember that the pain is temporary, that it too will pass. With your list in hand, look back on what has shed light on your life, and look forward to what the next day might bring.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” – Thich Nhat Hanh