Click here to listen to a short audio about Small Things: SmallThings (mp3)
Small things in life can bring so much happiness:
- a baby’s laugh
- a puppy in your lap
- a joke from a friend
- moments of peace and quiet
- a light breeze on a day that’s not too hot and not too cold
But the small things can get lost when our focus becomes fixed on our problems. Our problems grow in size because they become all we can see. And if all we can see is the problem, how can we ever notice the small, enjoyable things?
The biggest challenge is practicing living in the present, in the NOW. Most of our anxieties (I’d almost say 99%) are based on what has happened in the past, and what MIGHT (but in all actuality, probably won’t) happen in the future. So we are not actually living in the moment – we are constantly living in another time and place.
I was watching an episode of Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab, and as therapy, the group went to a horse farm. They were to touch the horse, make it pick up its leg, and clean its hoof. The leader of this therapy group told them that touching this horse, and attempting to get it to lift its leg, would cause a trigger, a memory of something from their past.
As the celebrities would be “triggered”, the leader would ask them to describe what they were remembering and how they were feeling. THEN, he would tell them to take several deep breaths and RETURN TO THE PRESENT, to a realization of where they were now. Then they were to try again, as an adult, today, in that moment.
We need to learn how to react to triggers, how to take several deep breaths and return to the present and what is truly happening at that moment. Normally, there is nothing to cause fear or depression at that moment. It is also at that moment that we can take the opportunity to experience something that will make us happy.
What small things can you find in your life that can turn your focus away from what’s wrong and allow you to enjoy what is right? What could you do right now make you happy but would not harm you? It’s the middle of summer today, so I could go outside, feel how stifling hot it is, and then come back in to the air conditioning just to enjoy that wonderfully cooling sensation.
I could call or text a friend, watch a movie, read a book, study the bible, cook something healthy but tasty, play with a pet, listen to music, write in a journal, help someone else with a project. I can control my own experience of happiness. And so can you.