the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Appreciating the little things makes the biggest impact

Taking the time to reflect on the mundane moments in your life can bring you joy.
Stephanie Cheng
Senior Janki Kothari takes a moment to capture a photograph of the flowers near the front office. “I think that because we’re humans, we always need to take a step back and take take in the bigger picture instead of worrying about the little details. I think appreciating mundane moments is very important to keep ourselves from getting overwhelmed and just regulating our emotions.”

Oftentimes, we feel bogged down by the same, cyclic routine. However, we don’t have to remain in that state because the solution is right in front of us: appreciating the mundane.

The act of romanticizing mundane moments has become a new form of practicing mindfulness, or concentrating on the present and becoming aware of our surroundings, thoughts and emotions. It has also given us a greater sense of autonomy and control over our own lives, especially after the turmoil of the pandemic.

A study conducted by psychology researcher Ting Zhang found that documenting our quotidian experiences, such as the conversations and meals we have, through self-reflection can bring us unexpected joy. 

Reflecting on the seemingly unexciting gives us a space to make sense of the ways we interact with the world. Self-reflection can manifest in the mundane far more often than it does in the remarkable. By paying homage to the insignificant, we declare that everything is somehow necessary and constructive in its own way.

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Apart from improving our overall well-being, reflecting on the mundane also has tangible physiological effects, from reducing blood pressure, strengthening immune function and alleviating the impact of stress. However, the most lasting impact is the process of self-discovery. 

Zhang’s study reported that over time, the most dull moments become more remarkable. He summarized that we often underestimate how much we appreciate our everyday experiences, such as watching television, and over-inflate our perception of “extraordinary events,” like Halloween. 

Remaining attentive to life’s mundanities can help us preserve what is important. Our daily experiences are what occupy much of our lives, and those fleeting moments become the connective tissue of life’s meaning. 

Previous research has reported that individuals find meaning in their lives from three factors: feeling that their life makes sense, having a goal-driven purpose and feeling that their lives matter. Cherishing our daily life experiences — something called experiential appreciation — has been shown to be an effective way to make our lives more meaningful. 

Savoring, or mindfully concentrating, has become a method of enhancing feelings of joy by appreciating and emphasizing the small positive experiences we have — from indulging in your favorite drink to seeing a close friend. 

Grand events, like dances or graduations, are what we often associate with being wellsprings of joy. However, mundane moments, like taking a walk outside or listening to music, can also bring us joy, and are far more accessible if we don’t brush them off. 

The cure for your stress-ridden life is simple: from having lunch with a friend to going on a short walk, you can turn the pleasant, routine things in your life into something meaningful and joyful.

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About the Contributors
Kaelin David, Opinion editor
Hi! My name is Kaelin David and I am in the 12th grade, serving as the Opinion editor for The Hoofprint. In my free time, I love playing around with website design and reading literary magazines.
Stephanie Cheng, Photo manager and Media editor
Hi, my name is Stephanie Cheng and I am in 11th grade this year! This is my second year as the Hoofprint Photo manager and first year as Media editor. I am also in the Symphonic Orchestra on campus in addition to playing the piano outside of school. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going on walks and scrolling Pinterest.
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