Even Amid Strife, Try to Find Happiness in the Little Things

For today's UN International Day of Happiness, NPR traveled to the struggling country of Nepal in order to learn what makes its citizens happy. For many, it's the little things in life that bring them the most joy.

For today's UN International Day of Happiness, NPR traveled to the struggling country of Nepal in order to learn what makes its citizens happy. As NPR reporter Donatella Lorch writes, there isn't much about Nepal's current political or economic situation that spurs glee. But for many citizens, it's the little things in life that evoke the most joy.

For example, there's the middle-aged farmer who explains how self-sustenance — growing all the food she and her family eats — makes her happy. It's the sort of thing her family has been doing for years and that in and of itself is special to her. Then there's the ex-Communist revolutionary living in a remote mountain town who explains that when he's angry about the government, there are always "small, fleeting moments" that soothe him: children in the street, his baby goats playing, the sunshine and the rain.

The piece is a lovely glimpse into the lives of ordinary folks who capture bliss from the jaws of sadness, whose ambitions and remembrances fuel the joy in their lives. Think about the distracting elements in your own life that prevent you from drawing happiness from the little things. Is it your phone? The internet? What stresses do you unnecessarily place on yourself? Identify areas in your life to simplify and then try to focus on the little things — the "small, fleeting moments." It's out of observance of the infinitesimal that great joy can be derived. You just have to retrain yourself to see it.

Read more at NPR.

Photo credit: nevenm / Shutterstock

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