Finding Happiness in the Little Things: A Guide to Gratitude

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Happiness could be considered a rarity these days. With so much despairful news, it can be hard to see the bright side of the world. Still, finding happiness in the little things can be easier than you think — as long as you practice gratitude for the things you have and the opportunities you’ve been given.

Why You Should Practice Gratitude

Have you ever wondered why you feel so warm and fuzzy around the holidays? Those times are when you feel most grateful for what you have. You might eat a large meal surrounded by family and friends, then snuggle up in warm blankets and clothes in a lovely home to open presents that you may not necessarily need. You feel grateful for every experience, even if some are less than ideal.

Gratitude typically makes you a happier person, too, which explains why people are so cheerful around the holidays. Intentionally staying grateful can help you expand your worldview and recognize your blessings. You may feel compelled to give away things you don’t use or need to other people who might.

How Gratitude Helps With Finding Happiness in the Little Things

Gratitude teaches you to be grateful for the things you have — whether they are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, cherished relationships or material possessions. Finding happiness in the little things doesn’t mean living a frugal lifestyle. It acknowledges that you love the things you have in your life and would be content with only those that truly mean something to you.

When you find gratitude in your waking life, you can access more happiness. Waking up to realize how grateful you are for a warm shower, even if you’re about to head out to a job you dislike, can make you feel happy with what you have and get to experience. It’s okay to dislike certain situations in your life, as pushing those negative feelings away can be more detrimental than feeling them for a short time.

Try to reframe your mindset. Instead of fretting that you have to wake up and go to work, think of it as an opportunity. You have another day of life, and while you may not enjoy your job, you can use it to make money to contribute toward something you love. Even in the bleakest situations, gratitude can help you appreciate the small things in life.

How Finding Happiness in the Little Things Can Change Your Life

One of the easiest ways to find happiness in the world is to stop comparing yourself to other people. They have situations you may not know about, and you’re doing your best with what you have. It’s a great idea to have goals, as they help you figure out what you want to do with your life, but don’t berate yourself for not being in the same place as someone else — financially, mentally, spiritually or physically.

1. Greater Satisfaction

Appreciating the small things in life will give you greater satisfaction. If something like a sunny day can make you happy, think of how thrilled you’ll be when you see a rainbow after a thunderstorm. You’ll find hope and happiness in things that don’t cost you anything.

This satisfaction could also transfer to possessions. If you’re happy with the smaller things, you may choose to lead a minimalist lifestyle where you don’t have too much clutter to keep up with. Many people find freedom by living a minimalist life with fewer attachments to material possessions. 

2. Improved Health

When you’re happy, your body recognizes it. Happiness can improve your cardiovascular health and keep your heart pumping for years to come. People who are happier live longer, fuller lives. If satisfaction improves your health, isn’t it in your best interest to smile at the small things every day? By finding happiness in the little things, you prepare yourself for a better quality of life each day.

3. Valuing What Matters

Loving the small things in your life means valuing the marvelous things. If you have a fantastic partner, loving support circle and sweet pets, you will appreciate them more than before practicing gratitude. 

You may realize that the people in your life mean more to you than objects and situations like careers and vacations. Practicing gratitude and finding happiness in the little things will teach you what you appreciate most — leaving you to explore that realm of your life even more.

Start Romanticizing Your Current Life

Remember, you are the main character of your life. This life and today are all you are guaranteed, so you need to live them to their fullest. You can romanticize your life, even if you aren’t yet where you want to be, by finding happiness in the little things. Celebrate the journey toward the goals you have, and try to find joy and laughter every day.

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