As I step into the second month of my New Year’s intention, I find myself more dedicated than ever to the pursuit of focusing on simpler, more joyful occasions that often pass unnoticed in the whirlwind of my daily routine. It’s a practice rooted in mindfulness, a conscious choice to pause and truly appreciate the beauty these small, present moment experiences bring to my life. It’s not just about noticing; it’s about cultivating a mindset focused on being fully engaged, aware and experiencing gratitude in the present.
Sound ordinary? It's not. That's because these subtle yet uplifting experiences that previously went unrecognized are now making a positive change in my day-to-day emotional health. This new awareness has underscored the significance of cherishing these pleasant moments - the figurative "small lights" that shimmer amidst the shadows.
From my personal journey, I’ve come to realize that truly savoring instances that touch my soul demands a heightened level of attentiveness. It involves training the brain to purposefully center my focus on the present and breaking the habit of rushing past these little encounters. In the process, I am able to unlock the depth hidden within everyday experiences, transforming the ordinary into extraordinary and enriching my life with greater meaning.
The real magic happened when I began feeling a chorus of physical sensations in my body while connecting with these ‘small lights’. These moments can be as simple as bathing in the morning sunlight illuminating the hallway as I make my way to the kitchen for that first cup of coffee, relishing in the laughter among friends or when I witness the kindness my neighborhood PEETS Coffee baristas demonstrate towards their customers. Each of these lights deserved my undivided attention and appreciation.
Some people call this experience “savoring.” Fred B. Bryant is a prominent researcher in the field and defines the concept as “the capacity to attend to, appreciate and enhance the positive experiences in one’s life.” According to his research, the more people embrace the art of savoring these unique instances, the greater their level of happiness.
Considering that decades of study have shown savoring positive moments can help prevent and reduce depressive symptoms, decrease stress, and improve relationships, doesn’t it make sense to give savoring a try as a powerful tool for strengthening your physical, mental and emotional well-being?
Another takeaway from all this is that mindfulness - is not just a passing interest. It's a powerful, transformative 'way of being' that can enhance the quality of our lives in numerous ways. The pivotal moment arrives when we pause long enough to anchor ourselves in the present, harmonize and integrate each experience. By doing so, mindfulness has the potential to reshape our perspective, improve our mood and elevate the overall quality of our daily existence–leading to experiencing even more moments of joy throughout the day.
So why not pause, notice and appreciate the beauty in simple ordinary moments that you’d otherwise ignore? You might discover that finding solace in these small lights offers respite from the world’s complexities, potentially infusing your life with insights and deeper significance. Ready to give it a try?
Explore these 4 mindful living tips and savor the small lights in your life.