Appreciating Beauty

Beauty is right before our collective eyes every day. We have all had those times when we really appreciate a sunset, a starry night, a cardinal singing in a tree, the kindness of a stranger, or a nice cup of coffee and conversation with a friend. For me, the smiles and laughter of my two young boys really light up my day. I know, it’s cliche but it’s true.

But all too often we “tune in” to what aggravates and annoys us. This is like eating junk food every day – it’s just not good for us. That’s not to say that we should be blind to the ills of the world. We should notice those and use them to spur us to action. However, the effect of dwelling on the negative of the world and ourselves is likely to be feelings of dissatisfaction and possibly depression.
Instead of focusing on the negative, try to take a moment every day to notice and appreciate something beautiful. Don’t just make it a passing thought…really soak it up. If you do this more than one time per day, that’s even better. In doing so we are really training our brains to “tune in” to beauty. Like all things, if we practice at this, we will improve. Like improving our diet, noticing beauty more often will have positive and long-lasting health benefits. Don’t just give it a try for a day or two – try to incorporate this into your daily life. Then you’ll see the difference.

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