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Here’s why counting the little joys in life is a vaccine for pandemic stress

Updated on:27 May 2020, 11:06am IST
We often run after the big things and the huge wins. And yet, even science suggests that counting the little joys in life and being thankful for them is the key to a happy life.
Naina Sharma
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Small things can make a huge difference in dealing with stress and anxiety. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Every person in this world right now is living in a period of great internal and external insecurity. This is a remarkable reminder for human beings that we all belong to one energy. We undergo the same experiences and emotional reactions throughout our lives.

Then, why do we choose to become unkind, ruthless, and chase each other to win the game of life? Why are the fastest-growing nations crippled with depression and anxiety?

Well, every adversity gives a jolt to human beings and triggers different emotions and thoughts regarding self, others, and life. No wonder, covid-19 is impacting many people’s lives in the same manner.

Here, let’s practice the virtue of reflection and acceptance and rethink fundamental human goals through the collective consciousness. What do we considering as the essential pillars for leading a happy and meaningful life?

workplace stress
Try deep breathing exercises to reduce stress at work. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Is it an outward success, status, and appearance, or infinite little joys that are the potential source of happiness and meaning at individual and collective level?

Well, our individual self always strives for balance, connectedness, authenticity, and autonomy, and by keeping that in mind we can inculcate the habit of practicing and experiencing little joys.

Here’s why basking in the little joys is important
When we immerse ourselves in healthy behaviors and habits to bring balance in our physical and mental system, there is a sense of fulfillment which brings us closer towards well-being.

While mastering a difficult skill or working on bigger goals in life, we can derive confidence to pursue all the challenges which are essential for our growth by acknowledging small milestones and small wins. As they help us in exercising our strengths, values, choices, and reduce the discrepancy between real and ideal self.

There is also a common tendency to dwell on hurtful feelings from unfulfilled expectations while maintaining relationships. We can strengthen our relationships by recognizing small behaviours and their worth, paying gratitude for them, and by being gentler and kinder to self and others.

There is science behind counting the little joys too
Many neuroscience researches have clearly established that when we experience little joys—through paying gratitude, adopting healthy habits for the body and mind, performing acts of kindness with self and others, reminiscing old memories, pursuing autonomy in beliefs and choices, exercising self and relational trust—then networks of brain regions and neurotransmitters get activated by these pleasant events and having a positive impact on our psychological state and immune system too.

exercise from home
Want to stay fit and stressfree? Then you should try exercising. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

These little joys can help us in planning and building cognitive and emotional resources to deal with adverse situations. They create the potential to strengthen resilience during traumatic events and see them as a source of growth and opportunity.

From a holistic perspective, we can conclude that all the important things that matter to us in this universe are actually a combination of many small things.

So, it becomes highly important to ask ourselves what are those different biases that hold us back from experiencing pure joy?

Why do we try so hard to find joy and keep running after big and occasional happiness when there is plenty of space on a regular basis through acknowledging and appreciating basic, simple things in life?

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Naina Sharma Naina Sharma

She, Licensed Clinical Psychologist, works in a well reputed hospital VIMHANS in Delhi. Passionate about offering ethical services to the field of mental health. Believes in embracing the life and creating significant difference in people’s lives.