We’re hardly going to be the first people to ever suggest that you “stop and smell the roses.” To pretend that we invented the phrase would be positively LOL-worthy. Go ahead and LOL if you want.
Just because we didn’t invent the phrase, though, doesn’t mean we can’t use it… and now that spring is officially sprung for so many bulldoggers out there, we’re going to do just that. Flowers (not just roses) are popping up just about everywhere. Were you not entirely aware of that? Allow us to kindly suggest — as your friend! — that you pay just a liiiiittle more attention.
Yogis and mindfulness experts would probably call this “being present.” We try to lean away from yoga stereotypes, so we’ll resist the urge to use that phrase. Instead, we want to give you realistic, practical advice that will make it that much easier for you to really be in the details of everything that’s going on around you. It’s easy to be distracted in our crazy lives and routines, and we can hardly blame you for failing to smell the roses and watch the sun set and do all of the other things that make you appreciate the exact moment that you’re in. But we want to help you do it! Here are five things you can do to get started…
1. Get up earlier. We hear your objections. I’m not a morning person. I need the sleep to be more productive. There’s nothing for me to do at that hour, anyway. All of those things may be true — but that doesn’t change the fact that adjusting the ‘ol alarm clock will extend your day… and therefore extend the window of opportunity you have to really pay attention to the world around you. Squeezing even an extra ten minutes out of your routine with an earlier wake-up will allow you to rush a little less and enjoy a little more. How can you smell the roses — or do anything else that’s not explicitly listed on your schedule — when you quite literally don’t have enough time to even look around you?
2. Leave the headphones (or earbuds or AirPods or whatever else you prefer) at home. At this point, most of us don’t even think twice about putting some music or podcasts in our ears when we go for a walk or work out. The same goes for when we’re making dinner or taking a drive. Seriously — when was the last time you did any of those things without a soundtrack of some kind? We’re willing to bet it’s a rare occurrence. If you’re seeking to be more present, we challenge you to press pause on that incessant soundtrack. Without consistent noise to process, you’re bound to find yourself being more observant about the world around you and being a little more thoughtful as you go.
3. Write it down. You’ve probably heard of gratitude journaling, which is a practice that we’re highly in favor of. In addition to writing down things you’re thankful for, you might consider jotting down a handful of unexpected things you noticed at the end of every day. Establishing this practice will ensure that your eyes are always open to the details that are usually so easy to ignore.
4. Take more walks. If you’re looking for more roses to smell, you’re not going to find them sitting at your office desk or binge watching Netflix on the couch. Put yourself in the position to find the roses (or the new friends or the beautiful views or the cute animals or whatever it is that makes you smile) by forcing yourself out of the boring routine. Get outside! Get walking! Get away from the ordinary.
5. Take a pic. Your phone is basically always in your pocket. Why not use that handy camera for more than just screenshotting the latest annoying conversation you had with your sister or commemorating the new shoes you’re wearing? Take photos of the beautiful things that surround you instead. Using your camera to capture those details will make you more likely to seek them out… plus, you’ll have them ready in your phone to review later on as a reminder of what happens when you stop and smell those freakin’ roses!
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