“We do not remember days, we remember moments” – Cesare Pavese
It’s that time of term again. Assignments are piling up, due dates are right around the corner, and there may be moments where you doubt your ability to make it through the term.
You may feel that keeping your head above water is all you can do, so when ‘seeking happiness’ is mentioned you might roll your eyes and think ‘as if I have time right now?! I need to have my head in books, not in the clouds if I want to pass’.
What if I say you’re wrong? You do have time.
And that this ‘happiness quest’ will likely improve your grades, heck even your whole life.
Research shows that the happiest people are actually ordinary. They share similar lifestyles, incomes, hopes and dreams as the rest of us. The difference is how they spend their moments. Studies demonstrate that happy people ‘appreciate the little things’ which boosts their life satisfaction. As complex as humans are, one facet of our psyche is unbelievably simple:
What we focus on becomes our reality.
To put countless longitudinal studies into plain language – look at the good, feel good, look at the bad and feel bad. Pretty simple, huh?
It just a matter of changing our lens to see the stars.
Changing our focus to the positive, however small, brings direct benefits. Behavioural science writer Winifred Gallagher argues that happiness increases are often recorded in less than a week from utilising a positive lens and appreciating the small things. That’s almost faster than your Amazon Prime delivery, so it’s worth a try!
Tiny Moments Challenge:
1. Small things, big wins.
We all have funny little quirks or everyday superpowers that spark joy. These seemingly insignificant things are more important than you think. These tiny moments make life special. They are worth taking time to note. My everyday superpower is squeezing the last bit of toothpaste from the tube and peeling an entire orange in one satisfying spiral. There’s nothing more I love than guessing the time to the exact minute and arranging my pencils in colour order. Tell me, what are your everyday superpowers or quirky loves?
2. Give your undivided attention to the good you want to enjoy.
Put down your phone, take out your headphones and turn down the TV. Be right there in the moment. Wrangle all five senses into working as a team to let the moment really shine. Let dinner, for example, take centre stage. Smell the steaming lasagne, marvel at its beautiful burnt spots, taste its cheesy goodness and feel that warm fullness in your belly.
3. Be greedy.
Don’t just appreciate the moment at the moment. Enjoy it beforehand and afterwards. Think about when these tiny moments can take place and reflect on the pleasure. Ask yourself questions such as, ‘What do I feel in this moment? Where do I feel it in my body? Why is this moment so special to me?
4. Share these moments.
Opening conversations about your secret mundane joys is like putting salt on food. The bland is instantly enhanced. You’ll find that you not only feel joy from hearing from others, but you will also connect with them on a deeper level. After sharing your joyful quirks, you’re more likely to think of these people too. I continue to think about my mum every time I use the window squeegee!
5. Spice it up.
If you’re feeling everything is dull and not worth savouring, then make the ordinary extra-ordinary. Neuroscientist David Eagleman says, when you inject novelty into your life, you prevent the blur. Move dinner to sit on the floor, wear a stellar set of odd socks or memorise your study materials while in headstand. Your excuse to be quirky arises, it’s all in the name of happiness.
Now that you’ve got the secret tips go ahead and start your quest. Bring the goalposts forward so there are wins every day. You don’t have to wait for big celebrations or life-changing events to feel good. It could be right now.
What are you waiting for, start collecting these moments, it’s the cheapest but most valuable collection you’ll ever own. Keep going until you collect the full moments set, otherwise known as the good life.
To get started on this journey, join the ‘Tiny Moment’ competition hosted by the Counselling and Wellbeing Team. Send a picture or video of your tiny moment to CQUni Student News Facebook page using the Send Message button between 12 – 30 October 2020.
Each week on Friday at 3.00 pm, two prizes (a set of earbuds and a polaroid camera) will be awarded. We will announce the winners on Facebook, so make sure you tune in to see if you are a winner!
Find out more about the competition by viewing the terms and conditions.
Written By Liza Costello, CQUni Counselling and Wellbeing team member.