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Finding Small Joys in a Stressful World

It seems that every day is just a race to the finish line, and I’m often running through mud. I leap out of bed every morning, hurry through my shower, rush out the door, hurry to work, eat breakfast while driving, and then speed through my day. After I work my shift, I hurry home and rush through all of my household chores until bedtime. I have very little time to simply be still and enjoy the moment.

Excessive stress can have a negative effect on your health. The American Heart Associations recommends trying to pace yourself, get enough sleep, laugh often, engage in physical activity, learn something new, volunteer for a charitable organization, visit with your friends, give up harmful habits such as smoking, make a list of your tasks, and try not to worry about things so much. You can read more about that here, American Heart Association Fight Stress with Healthy Habits.

I find my joy where I may. We live in a hurry, hustle, move faster world, and it’s important to take note of the small joys that life offers. Those small joys are precious. That first sip of coffee in the morning when the rich flavor hits all of my taste buds is one of my favorites. Seeing a butterfly or ladybug cross my path makes me smile. Hearing a baby laugh lifts my spirits. Waking up to birdsong is a rare treat that I always savor. Hitting all of the traffic lights on green simply makes my day.

It’s so easy to get caught up in doing everything that needs done to the point that we no longer enjoy ourselves. We are getting ready for the state to come and monitor us at work this week. That translates into pulling several files and making tons of copies. We want everything they’ve requested to be organized and easily located.

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Yesterday morning as the stress was starting to overtake my sunny disposition, I put the copier on auto feed and walked back to the coffee pot. I poured the last of the dark fragrant goodness into my cup and doctored it accordingly. Then I just stood in the back room next to the empty coffee pot, closed my eyes, and savored a healthy sip. After a couple minutes, I felt better. I made another pot of coffee, and continued my day with a much healthier outlook about everything.

I highly recommend laughing often. Last night while driving home from work, I got behind an old Ford F-150 with a cow bell tied to its bumper. The sight was so unexpected and comically charming that I laughed for a good two miles. Life is short. Find those small joys and relax.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven. If you have enjoyed these seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe by entering your email in the appropriate box below, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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