I recently came across a book called 14,000 Things to Be Happy About by Barbara Ann Kipfer. In a stream-of-consciousness manner, Kipfer lists small, everyday occurrences, items and places that emanate happiness. From library tables to the whirr of hummingbird wings, Kipfer expands on a list she began writing during her childhood. This book is heartfelt and relatable in countless ways, and it prompted me to take a step back and think about the little things I have in my own life that bring me that same happiness.
In doing this, I realized that thinking about the happy things in your life is a wonderful way to practice self-care during stressful times. In the heart of midterm season, this serves as an important reminder that, despite the strains of everyday life, there is always something to be happy about. Thinking about the smallest of things that bring you joy can spark some happiness that can relieve you of your stress, even if for just a few moments.
Another realization I came to while reading this book was that, as humans, we always seem to be waiting for some big thing that will grant us eternal happiness. Whether this be true love, a dream job, children or something else, we always seem to be anticipating the grand event that will guarantee our happiness forever. However, I’ve come to understand that the little things often hold greater sentiment than any of those larger things can. After all, it is through the little things that happen each day that we are able to get what we want out of life. One day, you’ll notice that the little things actually are, themselves, the big things.
So, the question is: what are the little things in your life that bring you your own unique type of happiness? As the following weeks and months go by, I encourage you to consider this question and to try to think of a new little piece of happiness every single day. Personally, I have been doing this for the past few weeks and I can honestly say that it has already changed my outlook on life. Next time you are struggling to study for a class you dislike, or get into an argument with a loved one, or find yourself stuck in any other type of stressful situation, take a step back and remind yourself of all those little things that you have to be happy about. Soon enough, you’ll realize that the little things in life really are pure magic.