How to Find Beauty in the Mundane
Finding beauty in the mundane aspects of everyday life may seem challenging at first. However, with some practice and a shift in perspective, you can train yourself to appreciate the little things and see the wonder in the ordinary. Here are some tips to get you started:
The first step is simply to pay more attention to your surroundings. Often we go through life on autopilot, lost in our own thoughts and concerns. Make an effort to be fully present and aware of the textures, colors, sounds, and smells around you. Notice the play of light and shadows, the intricate patterns in nature, the hum of traffic in the distance. Tune into the symphony of sensations unfolding all the time.
Appreciate the Details
Life is made up of tiny moments. Slow down and appreciate the details. Notice the rainbow of colors in an oil slick on the pavement, the swirls in the foam of your coffee, the bumps and ridges in a piece of tree bark. Examine objects up close and appreciate their uniqueness. Look for the beauty in small, everyday things.
Find Beauty in Imperfection
Nothing in nature is perfectly symmetrical or flawless, yet this imperfection is part of its charm. Embrace the quirks. Notice the moss growing between the cracks in the sidewalk, the knots and whorls in an old wooden table, the slightly lopsided petals of a flower. Perfection is dull, but the imperfections make things interesting.
Photograph the Mundane
Choose an ordinary object – a weed growing through the pavement, litter collected in a gutter, a dirty old tire – and photograph it from different angles, playing with light and shadow. The camera often sees beauty where our eyes may overlook it. Photography helps you gain a new appreciation for mundane subjects.
Make Time for Contemplation
Set aside time each day for stillness and contemplation. This can be just 5-10 minutes of sitting quietly, ideally somewhere outside. Observe your surroundings without judgment. Feel the air, listen to sounds, notice colors and textures. Simple contemplation reconnects you with the beauty all around you.
Find Inspiration in Art
Look at art depicting ordinary objects and mundane scenes. Paintings like Giorgio Morandi’s simple still life paintings of bottles and bowls or Norman Rockwell’s slice-of-life portrayals of ordinary people. Notice how the artists found beauty and intrigue in commonplace moments. Let it inspire your own unique way of seeing.
Change Your Environment
If you’ve become desensitized to beauty where you live and work each day, shake things up with a change of environment. Take a different route to work, visit a new neighborhood, or travel somewhere totally new. The novelty helps you see with fresh eyes, noticing lovely details you previously overlooked close to home.
When you feel frustrated or bored with your mundane routines, bring in a sense of gratitude. Appreciate having a place to live, food to eat, and simple pleasures like a hot shower. Remember the privileges you enjoy. Practicing gratitude fosters an appreciation for the everyday blessings you have, helping you find beauty in the small and ordinary.
The capacity to find beauty, wonder, and inspiration in the mundane is a skill you can cultivate. Begin tuning into your senses, focusing less on your thoughts, and simply appreciating the little moments unfolding all around you, no matter how ordinary. With practice, you’ll gradually learn to see the world through a lens of beauty.