The Little Things Count!
Nancy Wasson, Ph.D. Tip of the Week
Most everyone wants to enjoy a happy relationship and to have a happy life. However, happiness is often viewed as something possible in the future that is unattainable in the present moment.
We tend to dream of the big things that we think could bring us happiness, such as finding the “perfect” partner, buying the “perfect” house, securing the “perfect” job, inheriting a fortune, etc. Many people dream of relief from their current circumstances and long for a better life.
But even in the midst of emotional distress, we can still find moments to focus on the things that we enjoy and that bring us pleasure. According to Carol Holmes, “A happy life is made up of little things...a gift sent, a letter written, a call made, a recommendation given, transportation provided, a cake made, a book lent, a check sent.”
Life is composed of many small things that can be a source of satisfaction, contentment, or pleasure. We just have to pay attention, notice the many tiny details of our life, and nurture a sense of gratitude for the numerous blessings that are present. The taste of a sweet juicy orange, the fresh smell after a refreshing rain, or the delightful feeling of a breeze on a hot day can bring moments of pleasure and happiness if we train ourselves to stop and appreciate them.
Once you adopt this philosophy and start noticing the cumulative effect of little things on your happiness, you can extend this approach into your relationship. Notice the little things your partner does for you that you may have been taking for granted. Then start looking for opportunities to do little things for your mate that will add pleasure to his or her day.
Can you run an errand for your partner? Surprise him (or her) with a cute card or his favorite snack? Can you linger an extra five minutes over dinner or spend extra time snuggling at bedtime? Can you work on being more patient and showing more appreciation? Perhaps you could give your mate a backrub or foot massage at the end of a tiring day.
All of these small acts add up fast in a relationship—they increase the happiness quotient of both partners. And as you become happier, this happiness will circle back through your relationship and your life. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your mate.