The Power of Little Things

April 08, 2019

Last week, after a poor night’s sleep, I sat at my desk handling a number of small, irritating-but-necessary tasks. Outside, the sky was gray, threatening rain. I ran into minor problems with a couple of my tasks, and by lunchtime I was feeling frustrated, tired, and as if a heavy weight lay over my head. Nothing terrible had happened, but tell that to my mood. Sometimes it doesn’t take something big to influence your mood—little things add up.

Little bad or irritating things all morning can add up to a grumpy, out-of-sorts afternoon. (As I was typing this sentence, I typed grumply instead of grumpy—and I rather like it! It sounds just like I felt!)

Little good things, on the other hand—simple pleasures or happy little things, whatever you want to call them—can improve an ordinary or even a grumply day.

On the day in question, I treated myself to a cup of good quality hot chocolate, and an afternoon visit to my horse. It helped.

More happy little things I turn to to keep the grumply days at bay:

  • Walking through the yard to see what’s blooming
  • Cuddling with my dog or cat
  • Dropping everything to read for a few minutes
  • A rest—even 10 minutes sitting quietly can be surprisingly refreshing

It also pays to nip small nuisances in the bud whenever possible—replacing the kitchen tool that doesn’t work properly and annoys you every time you use it, or making sure each location that needs it has a set of scissors, a note pad and pen, for example.

In April on Catching Happiness, we’re going to explore how little things, baby steps, and tiny changes can add up to a happier life. I hope you’ll join me!

What are some happy little things that lift your mood? 

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  1. Dear Kathy I have those moods get me at times too. A cup of hot chocolate or tea often gives me a lift and a walk with my pooches for sure usually does the trick. Will be looking forward to your April baby steps. Hugs!

    1. Stopping for a hot drink seems to hit the reset button, doesn't it? Hope the weather is good enough for your to take the dogs for a walk!

  2. You have a good skill set at balancing your moods. In my morning pages I've been writing down the weather, time of awakening, what pen i'm using, and recenty I've added Mood, because sometimes I don't know what causes moods...but the thing is that just recognizing them for what they are already lightens me...A mood changer: going out somewhere to, but of course, sketch!

    1. I like the idea of writing down your mood while journaling. Sometimes it's hard to remember how you felt from day to day, and depending on your bias, think you're happier or sadder than you really are.