You have to enjoy the little things.

Please, take some time to be with yourself.

You’ve heard this before, thousands of times probably. But I am also assuming you’ve taken that advice with a grain of salt, or possibly haven’t taken the time to mull it over.

However, the level of importance it holds is unmeasurable in its ability to improve the quality of your mental health and your life as a whole.

I used to go through life, and still sometimes do, at a rocket-level pace. I push past every moment as quickly as possible to get to the next and accomplish what I need. So trust me I get it when people say that they have a hard time stopping and noticing the things around them.

That’s how it always goes, you focus so heavily on the goal or task you’ve created to make a life for yourself that things tend to get left behind.

I’m not even talking necessarily about making time for your friends and family (which you absolutely should by the way.) I’m talking about really focusing on how refreshing that first cup of coffee is in the morning; to let yourself waste 3 minutes just standing in the sun, paying attention to how the sun feels on your face. Sounds silly right? I promise that it’s 100% not.

Because once you start to just let yourself run with certain emotions or sensations, you start to learn a lot more about yourself.

It’s a door to a world where you are happy to do the hard stuff because all of the little stuff has given you the energy to do it.

So how do we do it? How do we make it happen? It’s something that we often don’t do because, in the rush of things, we don’t even consider that we need to pay attention to our lungs expanding.

Well, you’re gonna hate me when I say you need to meditate. And yes, that’s another tag-along cliche that you’ve been touted to during any self-help conversation, but just give me a chance to explain myself and you might not find it so bad.

In this particular instance, we’re not looking at the criss-cross 20 minutes, breathe exercise-focused mediation. I’m not trying to turn you into a monk or a yogi, you don’t even have to call it mediation if that helps with your mindset.

Instead, I simply recommend finding a comfy chair, closing your eyes, and just taking the time to slow your thoughts down. Pay attention to breathe, try not to let your thoughts have any impact on you, just notice that they are there.

If you can find time to do this during the day, for just as much time as you are comfortable with; you will begin to slow down as a whole with much more self-awareness than you had before.

If you do have an interest in mediation that is much more formatted and official, there are thousands of articles and videos on the internet. Most of which will be incredibly useful to you, but that’s not solely what this particular article is about.

If that doesn’t speak outright to your cause, there is another method I’ve taken use of that has proven itself useful to me over the years. It’s incredibly similar to a tactic utilized by lucid dreamers, I call it the routine method.

With this practice, the whole idea is scheduling time for you to be present with yourself and your surroundings.

There’s always some activity that any given individual does daily. This can be as simple as you making coffee in the morning, to your morning potty break.

So you choose that activity, and every day as you are completing it, wield that as a reminder for you to stop thinking about all the stuff you have to do, and just focus on exactly what you’re doing. Pay attention to what your hands are doing, how the air feels on your knuckles. Take note of any aches or pains in your body and anchor on to those sensations. Hopefully, after you practice this, you will begin to yearn to do it more, and the thought will be more present in your conscious mind.

Really though, and at the end of the day it doesn’t matter how you do it; only that you start doing it.

And with time I wish you to be filled with joy and bliss as to how wonderful and poetic the world outside of our little bubble is. With a little motivation and practice, you surely will.

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Seth Cunningham

Seth Cunningham

Essayist, Blogger, and Fiction writer. A young man in his early 20’s navigating life and building a successful career in ways most people deem to be too hard.