Life”s simple pleasures have the power to buoy your spirits and sprinkle joy into daily life.
These lovely moments nourish your soul and remind you that the little things do matter more than you think.
And they help you appreciate the present moment with more mindfulness and gratitude.
Don’t miss out on these moments by focusing solely on the big wins and momentous occasions that make a life-changing impact.
Even on a bad day, seize the opportunity to recognize a simple pleasure right in front of you.
In fact, simple pleasures can help you recover from a bad day — and make the good days even better.
What Are Simple Pleasures?
The old saying to “stop and smell the roses” reminds us not to neglect or ignore the simple pleasures surrounding us.
Although we all don’t necessarily relish the same little moments, these mood-boosting doses of joy have some things in common.
Most simple pleasures:
- Are free to all or cost very little
- Don’t take much time
- Are available almost anywhere
- Often appeal to the senses
- Often produce emotional satisfaction, awe, bliss, or gratitude
Daily pressures and the weight of your personal problems can make you blind to these pleasures. You might feel your life responsibilities prevent you from tuning in to pleasurable moments — or you feel guilty if you do tune in.
Perhaps you tell yourself to delay fun or happiness until you check everything off your task list, but this mindset is counterproductive.
By avoiding small doses of joy throughout the day, you become vulnerable to greater stress and dissatisfaction with life. You may even come to believe that life is joyless.
How to Notice Life’s Little Pleasures
To be more receptive to the little pleasures life has to offer, make an effort to pay attention to the present moment. Take moments throughout the day to focus on all that surrounds you that is positive, beautiful, and meaningful.
Your conscious effort to notice the here and now gives you a break from worries about the future and regrets about the past.
When you connect with the present moment, you have the clarity to appreciate even the smallest gifts all around you.
Here are some ways to shift your focus and engage with the present moment:
- Wiggle your feet and toes to ground yourself in your body.
- Stand up and stretch your body.
- Pay attention to any stressful or negative thoughts.
- Take ten slow, calming breaths.
- Give yourself a moment of quiet, free from distractions.
105 Simple Pleasures to Savor
When you feel warm and fuzzy about the little things, you invite more happiness into your life. Don’t let simple pleasures like these slip by unnoticed.
1. Eating warm cookies just out of the oven
2. Slipping into fresh, clean bed sheets
3. Putting on new socks
4. Finding new pants that fit
5. Holding a door open for someone
6. Finding something that was lost
7. Meeting a friend for lunch
8. Hugging loved ones
9. Planting seeds in spring
10. Napping on the couch with your cat
11. Holding a baby
12. Eating ice cream on a hot day
13. Relaxing in a bubble bath
14. Watching someone blow out birthday candles
15. Passing out candy on Halloween
16. Coming home to a clean house
17. Opening a fortune cookie
18. Finding a good parking spot
19. Reading a book with a satisfying ending
20. Guessing who did it in a mystery story
21. Singing along with a favorite song
22. Giving unwanted clothes or household items to someone who needs them
23. Petting an animal
24. Solving a problem
25. Pausing to appreciate an amazing sunrise or sunset
26. Listening to waves crash on the shore
27. Discovering a new food you find delicious
28. Receiving kind or appreciative comments from people you’ve helped
29. Getting invited to a party
30. Fixing something that was broken
31. Listening to the breeze pass through the trees
32. Keeping a diary
33. Comforting someone who is sad
34. Finding money in the laundry
35. Seeing someone you care about reaching a goal
36. Being surprised with a gift
37. Getting a big wagging welcome home from your dog
38. Watching little kids hunt for Easter eggs
39. Listening to birds sing
40. Seeing squirrels raid a bird feeder
41. Seeing a rainbow
42. Feeling enthusiasm for the day
43. Being told that you look good today
44. Getting complimented on a job well done
45. Putting up holiday decorations
46. Lighting scented candles
47. Enjoying your hobbies
48. Building something with your hands
49. Watching people open presents
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50. Pausing to admire a bee working in a flower
51. Getting sunny weather on your day off
52. Feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep
53. Knowing that your bills are paid
54. Picking fruit off a tree
55. Receiving a text or email from an old friend
56. Reaching a money-saving goal
57. Knowing the answer to a question
58. Taking a walk with a friend
59. Savoring the aroma of fresh coffee
60. Eating hot soup on a cold day
61. Putting on clothes warm from the dryer
62. Jumping into a pool on a hot day
63. Admiring beautiful landscapes
64. Laughing with your family
65. Kicking back in a recliner when you’re exhausted
66. Smelling freshly cut grass
67. Soaking pancakes in syrup
68. Seeing improvement as you practice something
69. Listening to music
70. Spending time alone with your thoughts
71. Doing something to improve your health
72. Feeling invigorated after exercising
73. Taking a hot shower when you’re especially grubby
74. Getting only green lights when you drive
75. Finding out something costs less than you thought
76. Napping in a hammock
77. Breathing fresh, clean air
78. Getting hungry when you smell good food cooking
79. Knowing that people love you
80. Continuing family traditions
81. Feeling confident about doing a task
82. Teaching someone how to do something
83. Watching a good movie
84. Feeling safe at home
85. Volunteering in your community
86. Seeing results after a long effort
87. Seeing a shooting star
88. Mailing goodie packages to friends and loved ones
89. Watching a garden grow
90. Feeling accepted for who you are
91. Massaging lotion into dry skin
92. Having the right tool for the job
93. Being listened to
94. Throwing away useless clutter
95. Feeding your pets
96. Enjoying the sound of rain falling
97. Cracking a joke
98. Finding a cloud’s silver lining
99. Remembering to be kind to yourself
100. Giving directions to someone who is lost
101. Indulging in a leisurely breakfast
102. Trying something new and liking it
103. Arriving on time
104. Discovering a shortcut
105. Celebrating a friend’s success
What Small Pleasures Bring You the Most Happiness?
Even if you struggle with living in the moment, you’ve surely taken pleasure in minor victories and beautiful things.
People may debate about the best simple pleasures of life. But what matters are the pleasures that bring you joy and heal your spirit.
Take a few minutes right now to look around you. What simple pleasures do you notice? What is right in front of you that lifts you up with gratitude, happiness, or fulfillment?