Do you take the time to stop and smell the roses?

How often do you take the time to reflect upon the finer or more enjoyable aspects of your life?

See, we tend to think of life as the passage of hours, days, weeks, and years, when in actuality life is made up of moments.

And when we take the time to reflect, we will more often than not realise that our happiness doesn’t just come from a few ground breaking, life-changing events, but more from a series of what may seem to be simple moments.

Constant striving to live a fulfilling life often leaves too many of us feeling disappointed. So perhaps it’s time we discovered happiness in the simple, everyday things.

If you step into the world of a child, every moment can be full of adventure, opportunity, beauty, and incredible things to do and see.

If we, as adults, can incorporate this childlike view of our daily lives, then we too can appreciate the simple things in life and learn to live in the moment.

Interestingly, in a study published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, researchers suggest that appreciating the meaningful things and people in our lives may play an even larger role in our overall happiness than previously thought.

Conducted at Rutgers University by psychology professor Nancy Fagley, the study found that appreciation and gratitude both seem to be strongly connected to happiness. Though the results suggested that appreciation is twice as significant as gratitude in determining overall satisfaction with life.

Meaning, appreciation plays a significant role in one’s quality of life, independent of one’s personality or gratitude level—a role even more significant than previously thought.

See, here’s an interesting fact. The chances of you being born are 400 trillion to one! So at the very least you should start each day just being thankful to be alive. Then as you go about your day, appreciate little wonderful things and moments, because this will allow your whole perspective and view of the world and life to change.

The stress and strain of living in a world where you are constantly connected, whether physically or electronically, can take its toll.

This is why stopping to smell the roses is a wonderful philosophical approach to life — because after all, one day we will all be gone, so isn’t it important how we live each day?

Some days, it means Carpe Diem, seize the day, and go and grab life by the horns and make things happen. Other days that means taking a day to reflect, to sleep or just to break from our demanding to-do list for 24-hours.

In the words of Catholic Benedictine monk, David Steindl-Rast, “We have thousands of opportunities every day to be grateful: for having good weather, to have slept well last night, to be able to get up, to be healthy, to have enough to eat… There’s opportunity upon opportunity to be grateful; that’s what life is.”

Adopting this philosophy won’t stop negative events from occurring, but it may help prevent you from over-emphasising their importance in your lives. And with practice it will become second nature. As you focus on living in the present moment, you will more easily notice all of the simple pleasures that you used to take for granted.

References:

  How to Stay Motivated

A Scientific Reason to Stop and Smell the Roses – http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/a_scientific_reason_to_stop_and_smell_the_roses