By Kimberly Mikesh

5 ways to pay attention to the little things when you're insanely busy

Tags Living Happier

Everyone wants to be happier. And research has told us time and time again that the one simple take away you need to be happier every single day is to live in the moment and pay attention to small details. Attention, mindfulness, presence -- whatever you want to call it -- means not flipping the switch to auto-pilot or lamenting things in the past. Show up authentically to every moment (or as many as you can -- let's be honest, no one is perfect and if they say they are, they're lying) and live your life. When you do you'll see there's a lot there to like.

1) Taste your food: How often can you say that eating is an experience? Sure, there are fancy-pants meals here and there that you remember, but do you remember your lunch last Wednesday? Did you even have lunch last Wednesday?! Stop eating as a means to an end. Be purposeful and enjoy it

2) Take out the headphones: Does your commute involve popping in your ear buds and tuning out until you arrive at your destination. (How did I even get here?!) Guess what, you probably missed a ton of awesome stuff along the way. Maybe you missed two BFFs sharing a laugh together or someone walking their adorable dog. In isolation it's no big deal, right? But it's these tiny little things that remind you of an awesome time you had with your BFF and your favorite pet growing up (or now!) and these small happy things compound until you open your eyes and realize that today was pretty darn good.

3) Be lazy:  That doesn't mean endless movie marathons on the couch, although those are cool too, on occasion. Chances are, part of the reason you're so busy is that you're trying to do too much. There are plenty of things that you absolutely can't cut out like work and family obligations, and spending time with friends, but there are efficiencies, too. Rather than spending 30 minutes each day making dinner, dedicate an hour over the weekend to prepping and chopping and you can cut your dinner time routine down by 10-15 minutes/day. It doesn't sound like much, but you've already freed up more than enough time to pick up that meditation habit you've been meaning to form

4) Switch lanes: Step 1: Flip on directional Step 2: Check your mirrors and merge left directly into the slow lane. Yep, the simple act of slowing down will give you a better chance of taking notice of the small things that happen throughout your day. This can be as simple as ditching your multitasking habit in favor of being a uni-tasker. Bonus: believe it or not it will make you more productive.

5) Listen: This one is a trifecta of good vibes; it will make you a better friend, employee and partner. We spend lots of time each day in conversation whether it's in meetings or over the dinner table. But are you truly listening? Two sentences in and your mind is already drifting to that next deadline you have to hit or who's picking up the kids, or what's for lunch. Mmmmm .... lunch.... but when you find yourself drifting, bring yourself back. You and whomever you're conversing with will be glad you did. 

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