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When life gets busy and overwhelming, it can be easy to focus on the bad stuff and forget the small but beautiful moments that make us smile. Taking time to notice and appreciate the little things—a spontaneous hug from someone you love, a meme that made you giggle, or whipping up a batch of homemade yogurt for everyone to enjoy—can make all the difference. When we focus on the good, we can choose to remember life’s long, tiring or stressful days for the happiness they contained too.
In our last blog we talked about the benefits of upcycling. Here’s an upcycling project that provides a fun way to capture small moments so they can shine.
All you need to do is find a glass jar – we suggest choosing the largest one you can so you can store lots of great memories! Wash and dry it. You may want to decorate your jar or give it a name like “Magic Moments” or “Made Me Smile”.
Each time something happens that sparks joy for you, jot it down on a slip of paper, fold it up and pop it in the jar. Note down the date, the people and what happened that made you feel grateful. Using different coloured paper can be a fun way to add some brightness. You could add stickers or embellishments to your note, or just keep it quick and simple. Whatever works for you!
On a special occasion like your birthday, New Year’s Eve, or just a time when you’re needing a pick-me-up, open up your jar and read your treasured moments.
Encourage everyone in your family or household to contribute their memories too! The fun comes on that evening where you all sit down together, open the jar and read the notes one by one. Who knows what funny or heart-warming moments your partner or child might have noticed that passed you by? The sharing of memories adds to the fun and makes it much more inclusive than a personal diary.
If you have teenagers or older children, they might want to create their own memory jar too. It’s a great way to teach the power of gratitude and remind them to appreciate the little things in life.
A lot of life is spent working towards big goals and celebrating big occasions – weddings, Christmas, holidays, a new house. But even life’s ‘normal’ days are filled with loads of little things to be thankful for, from taking your first delicious spoonful of yogurt in the morning to hugging your kids goodnight at bedtime.
Here are a dozen ideas to help your brain notice life’s little-but-lovely moments.
The positive aspects of gratitude might seem like common sense, but leading scientists have investigated the power of gratitude too. Research by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, shows that people who regularly practice gratitude experience more positive emotions, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
And it’s about not the ‘size’ of what you’re grateful for, but the attention given to it. You might be grateful for something as simple as a delicious homemade dessert or a particularly crunchy apple – the key is to notice what you’re thankful for and reflect on it.
By welcoming gratitude into your life, noticing small pleasures and giving them a way to shine, even the most humdrum of days can be a source of happy memories. We’re certainly grateful for that!
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