Updated: Feb 4, 2021
Feb 4, 2021 is World Cancer Day! I thought that this made today the perfect day to share a small realization that I had while recovering from my most recent cancer treatment.
As part of the radioactive iodine therapy I received to treat my thyroid cancer, my doctor recommended switching to a low-iodine diet two weeks before the treatment. This meant that I had to avoid foods containing iodized salt, dairy, and seafood.
Two days into the low-iodine diet, I started experiencing whole body aches and pains. Given the current state of the world, I know you might all be thinking that it could have been COVID-19. Thankfully, it wasn’t! I was actually going through symptoms of iodine withdrawal, which, amongst other indicators, includes headache and muscle pains. Aching and miserable, I came to understand how valuable some small yet often overlooked things may be in life -- in my case, iodine. I realized how easy it is to take stuff for granted. And in doing so, we forget to enjoy those little things.
When we grab salt from the supermarket, do we ever stop to wonder what happens if the ingredients list does not include the word ‘iodine’? In the early 1900s, the Morton Salt company recognized the value of iodine for the healthy functioning of our bodies and began adding it to common table salt. That one small change has had a huge impact on the health of people in general, but most of us never give it a single thought.
My experience and subsequent realization have driven home the lesson that life isn’t about “big things”, leaving me even more appreciative of a quote by the American writer Robert Brault: “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were big things.”
Find meaning in the little things
How many things are we aware of but rarely take the time to appreciate?
When was the last time you…
Watched the sunset?
Set your phone aside for an hour to read a book?
Walked in the rain?
Went out for a walk with a friend?
We should try to spend more time in quiet contemplation and enjoy simple pleasures throughout the day. This will improve our moods and make us feel happier overall. Ignoring these small joys, our existence becomes monotonous and can leave us feeling sad and frustrated. Once we consciously try to find meaning in the little things, life has the opportunity to become more purposeful and beautiful.
The little things keep you grounded
Focusing on these small details drives away negativity and calms the mind almost like magic. Once you’re present in the moment, you’ll be filled with more positive thoughts and emotions. You’ll be able to feel relaxed and grounded, which further enhances your overall well-being.
Once you start cherishing these moments, you will also be able to appreciate how indulging in such mindfulness benefits you. You may discover a well of joy and fulfillment within yourself, just waiting to be drawn from. Step out of your daily grind, be grateful for the little things, and see the richness they can bring to your life! As always, if you want to share some of the little things you enjoy, feel free to reach out to me. I’d love to hear from you!
Editor : A.J. McGinnis
Photo : Madhuri's Photography