We’ve all had those moments that stay ingrained in our memories… your first day at school, learning how to ride a bike, or maybe even playing in the snow for the first time. They may not necessarily be extraordinary events but they are small, perfect moments that have meaning for each of us. And research shows that the more we stop to appreciate the little moments in life, the happier we will be. So how can we learn to value them more?
1. Learn how to savour
Scientists have found that the happiest people in the world all have one thing in common: they know how to savour things.
Savouring means learning to do one thing at a time, and allowing yourself to live in the present moment.
Maybe it’s enjoying that first sip of coffee in your favourite cup each morning, or going for a run in your favourite green space - the more we can pause to notice the beauty and positivity around us, the happier and healthier we will be.
2. Take it slow and find your ikigai
In Okinawa, Japan - known for having a population with the longest life expectancy in the world, the islanders often talk about “hurry sickness” afflicting the west.
Hurry sickness is when you feel constantly rushed, and never have enough time in the day to complete all your tasks. Sound familiar?
Sadly, our obsession with trying to do more and more in less time, ultimately leaves us feeling stressed, dissatisfied and exhausted in the process.
ikigai means 'a reason to enjoy life',
or 'a sense of purpose'
So what’s the secret to a long and happy life? Okinawans like to take it slow and go with the flow. They also talk a lot about ikigai, which means 'a reason to enjoy life' or 'a unique sense of purpose'.
This means staying true to yourself, and taking the time to appreciate the little things in life that provide comfort, delight and enjoyment.
Whether that’s gardening, walking in nature, having tea with friends or practicing tai chi - ikigai is something you discover and pursue everyday to give your life a greater meaning.
3. Reawaken the senses
One easy way to help you live in the moment is to pay more attention to the tangible things you hear, see, smell and taste everyday. These are all foundations of mindfulness.
The more we feel present in our bodies by connecting with our senses, the less we are prone to overthinking, worrying or feeling stressed out.
Try to find ways to embrace the senses in your daily life. Maybe it's an object, photograph or keepsake that makes you feel calm or inspired whenever you look at it.
Also think about the materials you surround yourself with everyday - something we are passionate about at BU through our commitment to sustainable design. Even just a small adjustment to your desk space can make all the difference to mental wellbeing. For more tips on building a more mindful workspace, read our blog here.
We’d love to hear your tips on living more mindfully and savouring the moment. Share your story with us on Instagram @BU_Lifestyle.