The Things You Notice Around You When the World Stops
Have you ever stopped and appreciated the world around you? The trees. The bright blue sky. The glimmering sun. The birds chirping to greet you in the morning. The immense amount of energy you get when you wake up. The abundance of feelings that you experience each time you open up your eyes.
We are so focused on being the hustle-bustle corporate slaves in the city, we often forget to appreciate the things around us. How we often forget to appreciate that we could live another day, alive and breathing. How we often forget to be compassionate towards others. How we often forget that being grateful doesn’t always have a grand entrance.
Being grateful could be as simple as you can see the sun shines on another day. Saying gratitude could be as simple as a “thank you” to your colleagues for helping you out in a certain matter. It could be as simple as a “I am grateful to have you by my side” to your significant other. It could come in the simplest way of saying “I love you” to your family, even though you rarely say it or not used to it.
It doesn’t stop there. Have you hugged yourself today and say that you are proud of you? Have you told yourself that you’re an exceptional human being who needs to be loved by none other but you? Have you told yourself that “I am okay. I am grateful for everything that I have now. Living in the present makes me realize that worrying about tomorrow will only increase my insecurities and anxiety.”
According to Harvard Health Publishing from Harvard Medical School article, saying gratitude could boost optimism within individuals, exhibited a significant increase in happiness, and improve relationships between friends and colleagues. A simple “thank you” could increase someone’s motivation to work harder and nurture your relationship with them. Moreover, according to the research performed by Joshua Brown and Joel Wong, in which they put into an article in the Greater Good Magazine, gratitude has long-lasting effects in the brain.People who are more grateful are more attentive, more sensitive to the experience of gratitude, and might contribute in improving mental health.
It took me a while to grasp the concept of gratitude. I am used to have this fast-paced environment, I tended to rush things and have never stopped since. So, when my world stops around me, I realize that I need to look around a little bit and notice that I have missed a lot of things. Just like that Billy Joel song, “Vienna”, when he sings this particular lyric:
“Where's the fire, what's the hurry about?
You'd better cool it off before you burn it out”
So, stop for a while. Take a deep breath. Appreciate the things around you that you have missed while chasing the journey up to success. Bask yourself under the sun once in a while. Ground yourself to appreciate Mother Earth. Give yourself a big hug and tell yourself that you are proud of yourself for being able to reach until this moment. Notice the little things your family does. Notice that when you feel gratitude towards your surroundings, you feel that your face glow naturally. It lits up and your smile a little bit each day.
In the midst of the chaotic world, you are allowed to slow down for a little while, be grateful, and get back up again.
Because in the end, you are your own company. Enjoy every living moment with yourself.
“Slow down, you crazy child
And take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile
It's all right, you can afford to lose a day or two
When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?”
Harvard Health Publishing, “Giving thanks can make you happy”, https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier, Harvard Medical School
Greater Good Magazine, “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain”, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_gratitude_changes_you_and_your_brain, Berkeley University, 2017.