Learning To Enjoy The Simple Things In Life

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Is life moving way too fast for you to keep up, let alone enjoy the simplet things? It’s easy to say we need to enjoy the little things in life, but far more difficult to figure out how to actually do that. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do have some hints and ideas for how to start practicing slowing down and appreciating small things rather than rushing right past them. 

I am a serious offender of running from one big thing to another while paying no attention to anything in that present moment. I have spent months that add up to years of failing to notice or enjoy the most basic things.

In fact, I cringe to think of how many of the best simple pleasures I have driven right past, avoided, ignored, or just didn’t notice in my adult life. 

What Are The Simple Things In Life?

The simple things in life are the things we don’t even acknowledge when we are wrapped up in getting everybody to the right place at the right time and getting all of our tasks to fit into the short time we have for completing them . 

They are small, seemingly insignificant, things that may not even have anything to do with our day. These are most often the important things we whip by without notice, the things that would benefit us the most at a time when we aren’t thinking about what’s good for us. 

These simple things are the basics of everyday life, yet they are the tools we can use to keep our lives in perspective. They may seem like insignificant extras but are absolute essentials when we see their value. 

If you stop to notice the simplest things, you may hear and see the birds outside in the trees, you may see a mama kiss her child’s knee after she falls down, you may notice the color of your husband’s eyes, the lovely taste of your ice cream, the softness or the scent of the clean towels. But only if you’re paying attention. 

Maybe these simple things don’t seem essential. But they are a drink of cold water to a dry and thirsty soul. What a benefit to ourselves and everyone around us when we can appreciate what’s going on outside of our own lives, daily routine and thoughts. 

Being oblivious to the simple pleasures of life can raise stress levels, and is actually a sign of self absorption or self-centeredness. Most of us wouldn’t want that label, but looking inside may reveal a side we weren’t really aware of. 

How To Start Enjoying The Simple Things In Life

First, you have to find ways to notice life’s simple pleasures. If you are constantly in a state of emergency, the things that have no bearing on that emergency are invisible. 

Start slowly, just take a few minutes once or twice each day to freeze in your steps, then look and listen around you. You will see or hear something you didn’t know was there, I guarantee it. 

The things you notice when you actually stop your mind and body from racing, these are the simple joys that you may have been missing all along. We can retrain ourselves to be aware of and enjoy these simple little pleasures.

If you explore each of the hints below, you’ll see that each one holds an array of possible actions you can take. With practice you can experience small pleasures all around you no matter where you are. 

Pay Attention

  • Take a little break to really listen to what the other person is saying
  • Listen to laughter and voice 
  • Observe people
  • Use your senses (smell, taste, touch)
  • Let a smell or a sound or a taste take you back to a pleasant memory

O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” (NASB)

Psalm 34:8

Spend Time With Your People

  • Don’t miss get-togethers for a delicious meal, a cup of tea, or just for fun
  • Give a gift, and if practical, enjoy it with the person you gave it to (play the game together, etc.)
  • Go on walks or bike rides with someone you love
  • Reminisce and remember good times or a happier life

“Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.” 

Wanda Hope Carter

Listen To Music You Enjoy

  • Try to listen well enough to pick out to each instrument that makes up your favorite music
  • Sing and praise God out loud
  • Dance, even if you’re alone
  • Listen to music you remember from a long time ago (if that includes hymns, they have some of the most insightful lyrics)
  • When you don’t know what you need, turn on Christian music and allow God to speak to you through the songs He chooses for you to hear. 

Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.” 

Psalm 105:2

Learn How To Overcome

  • Forgive someone without feeling any need to tell them about it
  • Don’t respond with your emotions; instead take a moment to control the emotions and respond thoughtfully.
  • Assume the best. No matter what. 
  • Pray before being with a difficult friend or family member in your life, and when you’re together, just enjoy their company.
  • Choose not to be offended.

Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.

George Mueller

Ponder God’s Work In Your Life

  • Reminisce about His perfect timing.
  • Think about His healing of relationships, illness, and His help in overcoming obastacles.
  • Take a little time to list people, opportunities, or other big things He has put in your path.
  • Thank Him for the things He has protected you from that you didn’t consider to make a big difference at the time. 
  • Set aside time, just a few minutes, to consider the everyday miracles that He does all around us. 

It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile, the sweet fundamental things such as love and duty, work and rest, and living close to nature.” 

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Look For The Beauty

  • Notice the beautiful colors, and simple things of nature 
  • Take a look at my Pinterest board entitled “Daughter Of The King Of Kings”
  • Visit an art museum or other type of display and really notice the talent He has inspired.
  • Look up. The sky is always awe-inspiring. 
  • Try to see the beauty in even something unattractive to most people, in things that others are missing.

“The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain common work as it comes certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life.” 

Robert Louis Stevenson

Get Your Rest

  • Slow down in this moment and remember what Ann Voskamp says: “Hurry always empties a soul.”
  • Clear your mind, if even for a few minutes
  • Read a good book
  • Take a much-needed nap
  • Look out the window on a cold night or a sunny day and relax

“Real rest feels like every cell is thanking you for taking care of you. It’s calm, not full of checklists and chores. It’s simple: not multitasking; not fixing broken things.” 

Jennifer Williamson

Love Others

  • Look through another person’s outer behavior to notice what they’re really feeling.
  • Write an encouraging note to someone.
  • Touch someone who needs it (give a hug, or hold a hand).
  • Show love in small ways, not to be noticed, but to simply reflect God’s love in all you do.

“A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ.”

Ann Voskamp

Wait

  • Stop hurrying – remember God is never in a hurry but always on time – trust His timing
  • Be patient with someone or something that you feel impatient about
  • Pray for God’s perfect timing for and in every situation 
  • Stop where you are/whatever you’re doing and wait until you feel ready to move on or take the next steps. 

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” 

John Quincy Adams

Be Quiet

  • Don’t say something that you may regret.
  • Sometimes comfort is best given without words.
  • Go about your work without extra noise, just listening to the sounds around you
  • Don’t talk just to make conversation, but take a time out and listen to someone else talk.

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.” 

Norton Juster

Be Thankful

  • List 1-2 things you are thankful for each day.
  • Be polite by speaking thanks to people who help you in the everyday.
  • Be grateful to those who have gone out of their way to help you.
  • Learn to be content, as this is the cure for negativity. 5 Steps To Living A Life Of Contentment may help

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” 

Melody Beattie

If you choose to do just one or two of these small steps on a daily basis, you will have a powerful tool for learning to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Any or all of these may be the new skills you need to feel a sense of accomplishment, have fewer worries, or develop an inner peace you never knew was possible. 

These attitude adjustments can open the door to simple life pleasure as you learn and even demonstrate to others how to use little joys to make positive feelings at no extra cost at all. For quotes on gratitude, see Try The Power Of Gratitude: 20 Quotes That Inspire Thankfulness

No one wants to be seen as thoughtless or self-centered, but we can easily become that way when we are constantly busy and focusing inward. I have found these simple practices to make a huge difference in giving me an attitude shift in times when I find my emotions taking over. 

God has given us beauty even in the midst of confusion and pain and all sorts of troublesome things. All we have to do is learn how to see through the negatives and seek Him in order to regain His perspective on our everyday lives. 

enjoy the simple things

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