"Among the first casualties of a too-busy life are the simple, sensory enjoyments that often do not survive in the fast lane. When you find time to be quiet and alone, even for a half-hour or less, such fragile pleasures may be rediscovered. They are part of what can make life feel more complete and satisfying. Suggestions for experiencing these small ecstasies include:
• Listen to the small sounds of your household that trigger positive feelings in you: someone singing, children playing, your spouse or partner laughing, a pet making its familiar quirky noises, or someone engaged in a favorite hobby or pastime.
• Close your eyes and take a memory trip in your mind to a time and place that brought special enjoyment to you. Ask yourself, "What did it look, smell, feel, and sound like?" "What tastes, textures, and emotions are associated with this experience?" " Can I re-create this wondrous time and hold it inside of me?"
• Do some things differently that you usually do in a distracted or off-handed manner. Specifically, try doing them alone and without speaking. This might include taking a walk, preparing and eating a meal, bathing, exercising, and listening to music you like. Notice whether the sensitivity of your senses is heightened or your mind is more engaged and attentive.
• If you have someone in your life who is willing and interested, try making love in a silent, yet demonstrably affectionate way. Without words, you may discover that other ways of communicating-through eye contact, smelling, touching, and body language, for instance-may take on new meaning.
• In your bubble of quiet alone-time, note the ways you appreciate yourself. Give yourself credit for who (and how) you are. Mentally note your best qualities, including aspects that others who are around you a lot (i.e., spouse, family members, colleagues, boss) seem to undervalue. If you like parts of your body, acknowledge that, too, opening your eyes to take them in."