I've been reading a lot lately about living simply. I think it probably has a lot to do with the recession, which has given everyone a renewed interest in enjoying life without spending a lot. It seems like a lot of blogs and news articles have been focused on how to enjoy a more simple kind of life.
Even in the field of psychology, I've noticed a trend toward focusing on the simple things. There's a lot of recent information about "mindfulness," which is basically being aware and focused on the present moment. It might include noticing all the sensory details of your situation, or explicitly thinking about what's unique each day, or even doing some relaxation exercises to become calmer and more present-focused. Being mindful actually can help people with depression feel better, and there's a lot of other research coming out about its benefits for everyone.
Combining these two, it might be a good idea for everyone to take some time to really pay attention to and be thankful for what we're experiencing right now. It will not only make your day more enjoyable but it doesn't cost anything! :)
The first thing that came to my mind when I was thinking about this is our family's morning routine. Every morning, Dan gets up about an hour earlier than me. (Yeah, that's what happens when you're a teacher and have to leave for school at 7:15!) Sammie usually gets up with him to go outside and eat breakfast, but then she comes back upstairs and snuggles with me. When Dan gets all ready, he comes back upstairs too and we spend about fifteen minutes just laying in bed, talking with each other and playing with our puppy, and just overall preparing for the day. It's small but honestly it's probably the most precious part of my day. I love focusing on just being in that moment rather than worrying about the rest of the day ahead. I think if I was focused on the future rather than the present, I would totally miss enjoying those fifteen minutes.
What about you? Have you been trying to live more simply, or be more mindful? Is it working?