I often find myself focusing on events that are our of the norm such as going on a trip, seeing a movie, or trying a new board game. Social media shows me all the exciting things that others are experiencing which convinces my brain that those are what make life important.
But there is so much more to life that the those occasional events. Most of our lives are spent doing mundane tasks: picking out clothes, unloading the dishwasher, and making the bed; there is beauty and comfort in the lives we have built and the routines that keep us going.
Contentment surrounds us if we allow ourselves to be present and notice the small things that make up our big existence. I am working to incorporate my five sense more into my everyday life to experience all the wonders that surround me each day.
There is so much to see
When we first wake up we are greeted with the walls of our bedroom. These are the walls that keep us safe during the night and the walls that display pictures you look at each day.
If you have a roof over your head and walls surrounding you, be thankful.
As you eat breakfast and look outside your windows to see the world happening before your eyes, take the time to notice what you see. Perhaps there are birds at a feeder catching rays of early morning sun showing off the iridescence of their feathers. Or you live in the heart of a city and watch as people start their day, cars deftly moving through streets to get their passengers to their destinations.
Throughout the day we are surrounded by colors and textures and shapes, some made in nature some made by humans. Take it all in.
There is so much to hear
Our days are filled with noises from soft rain falling on the roof to the cacophony of a train station.
Sounds can elicit emotions and bring on feelings of happiness and contentment; the noises our pet makes when they are happy to see us; the voice of our partner, child, or friend; and playing a song you love.
There are sounds that can cause stress and it can be easy to feel that you are surrounded by honking cars and alarms, but when you look for it you will find the world is filled with sounds you never really notice: your partner humming when listening to music, the distant chatter of birds, or the creaking of trees as they bow to the wind.
There is so much to smell
Certain scents have the power to trigger memories. There are some things we may be used to smelling each day, but there are so many more smells if we take the time to find them.
Enjoy the occasions when a smell can create an atmosphere of contentment for you, such as the scent of a new book combined with a fresh cup of tea.
As you wash your body in the bath or shower, close your eyes and focus on the scent, pick out the notes or just enjoy the experience.
There is so much to feel and touch
The touch of a loved one or an item from a loved one can instantly lift our spirits and remind us that we are not alone.
As you put on a favorite item of clothing, pause and enjoy putting it on. Let it remind you of all the places and things you have done while wearing that item of clothing, whether that be a trip across the world or relaxing Sunday mornings on the couch.
When you give affection to your animal, feel their fur, feathers, or skin and allow yourself to be in that moment in time where you are together enjoying each other’s company.
When you walk or sit outside, notice the sun on your skin on a warm summer day or the crisp air that touches your face letting you know fall is around the corner.
Photos on the internet can rarely convey what it feels like to touch something, to feel it against your skin and stimulate your senses. Relish the moments you have touching the people and things you love, it is OK that there isn’t a way to have others feel what you feel.
There is so much to taste
When you first wake up and pour yourself a beverage, whether it is coffee, tea, juice, or water, take a few sips in peace. concentrate on the taste and how it feels when it enters your body.
Leftovers may not always be visually appealing, but getting to enjoy a tasty meal more than once can bring about contentment.
You may not feel your favorite food is worthy of internet praise, but that should not dampen that happiness it brings you. Take the time to enjoy the foods that you enjoy and make you feel good
Social media can be a great way to connect with others, but not everything that you experience needs to be put online for the consumption of others.
Enjoy those things that positively affect your senses.
Don’t spend so much time in the digital world that you forget all the small joys in the physical world that bring true happiness. Finding contentment in the real world can allow you to have a healthier relationship with the online world and help you resist looking for happiness solely in the digital realm.