Last Updated on August 4, 2022
As human beings functioning in a fast-paced, constantly evolving world, we tend to get swept up in the humdrum of life. Our days are filled with tasks. Our to-do list is long, and it continues to grow.
In these hours filled with chores, events, and miscellaneous to-do’s, it’s easy to fall into a rather monotonous routine. It’s easy to become blinded to the beauty of the present moment because we are so swept up in what’s to come next. We trade our sense of calm for a sense of accomplishment and trade a moment of peace for a moment of progress.
Missing the moment, however, means we are missing out. Life is passing us by.
While the to-do list will always be there, and the tasks will always need to be tended to, we can still find time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures. So, what are simple pleasures?
These activities, yes, simple pleasures, will create a pause in our day and allow us a beautiful opportunity to reset, refocus, and reinvigorate our souls so we can show up more intentionally in our lives and feel alive.
What is a “Simple Pleasure”?
Simple pleasures are just as the phrase describes. They are small, simple things that bring moments of pleasure to our day. Simple pleasures can be people, places, events, or things. They can be seemingly small and silly, or they can be incredibly personal and heartfelt.
Everyone’s definition of what a simple pleasure constitutes is going to look and feel a bit different. What brings joy to one may not bring joy to you.
Not only do simple life pleasures bring us joy, but they are often free. We can access them at almost anytime without having to spend a dime. This reminds us to never underestimate just how much happiness can be fostered by something so simple and inexpensive.
Why Simple Pleasures are Important in Our Lives
Simple pleasures are important for a wide range of reasons. When we stop to pay attention to the little things, we press pause on our day. Even if for just a moment, it allows us to stop and just, be. It allows us to fully embrace the present moment without thinking about what we didn’t finish or what we need to do next.
Additionally, simple life pleasures are important because life can be hard. No life is free from suffering. At times, we all face challenging situations that can bring a lot of pain, sorrow, guilt, and fear to our lives. When life feels challenging, we need these moments of joy to remind us what it means to be human. These moments allow us to embrace what it means to be fully alive.
If our days have grown mundane, life’s simple pleasures also remind us that peace, joy, love, and positivity are just around the corner. There are things we can do to cultivate more of these positive feelings and allow these emotions to brighten our day. They are the antidote to boredom and a way to live a more connected, wholesome life.
How Enjoying the Simple Things Can Help Us Achieve Our Goals
You may be wondering how paying attention to the simple things in life can help you achieve your goals. The fact is, when you tap into life’s simple pleasures and allow more happiness into your day, you are likely going to experience a renewed sense of positivity and productivity.
Simple pleasures often bring the most happiness. They allow us to ditch the to-do list, even if it is just for a moment, to focus on what matters most. When we take a break from our unending task list, we can focus on our goals and move closer to achievement.
The simple pleasures in life can help offset the negative thoughts and emotions that can cloud our outlook and impede progress. They provide us with that opportunity to reset.
In the moment, we can pause, notice how we are feeling, and practice gratitude. We can channel positive emotions into our bodies which will allow us to stay more productive as we work towards our goals.
What are Simple Pleasures? How Do We Enjoy Them
Much of life is experienced through our five senses. Our senses allow us to collect data from our environment so we can form an idea or perception of what is happening around us and what is happening to us.
We can fully experience life’s simple pleasures through one or a combination of our five senses – sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch.
Examples of Simple Pleasures
We’ve talked a lot about simple pleasures – what they are, why they are important, how they can help us achieve our goals, and how we can enjoy them. However, we have not talked about what they look like. To move this concept from the abstract to something more concrete, here are a few examples of some of the most common simple pleasures in life.
Sights That Give Us Pleasure
Our eyes allow us to see the beauty that exists all around us. Here are some simple pleasures you can access via your eyes:
- The look the dog gives you as you walk into the house; the way it wags its tail because it is thrilled you are home
- The bright buds on the tree across the street or the flowers beginning to bloom
- The soft yellow light of the sun as it enters your room in the morning
- The yellow light of the moon and stars as you stare up into the night sky
- Watching children giggle and play together
How We Enjoy the Simple Things in Life Through Sound
Our ears allow us to access the sounds of the world around us. Here are some examples of simple pleasures in life that can be accessed via our ears:
- A beautiful song being played or listening to your favorite music
- The sound of a cool breeze on a hot day
- The pitter-patter of rain on the window on a hot summer day
- The sound of cool water flowing down a creek as you explore a peaceful place
- The laughter that echoes between you and your friends as you watch an uplifting movie
- Birds chirping on a spring day
- The sound of crunchy leaves under your feet on a crisp autumn day
- An unexpected compliment from a stranger
Simple Pleasures Through Scents
Have you ever heard the phrase, “stop and smell the roses?” Our nose allows us to tap into all the smells that surround us in our environment. We can, quite literally, breathe in the joy and positivity evoked by some of the most simple pleasures in life. Here are a few examples:
- The smell of fresh sheets as you take them out of the dryer
- The scent of freshly cut grass on a hot day
- The aroma that fills your home when you take freshly baked cookies out of the oven
- The smell of apple pie as you gather around a table with loved ones for the holidays
- The smell of an aromatic candle as you lounge in the tub after a long day at work
- The sweet smell of coffee percolating in the kitchen as you start your day
How Taste Provides Simple Pleasures
Another way we experience and interact with our environment is through taste. Taste can transport us back in time. It can also bring a moment of sheer joy. Here are a few examples of how taste provides simple pleasures:
- The warm feeling of hot coffee flowing in your mouth following your first sip
- The gooey, soft taste of warm, freshly baked cookies or an equally decadent dessert
- The cold, rich taste of ice cream as you dip into your favorite hot fudge sundae
- The taste of your favorite meal prepared by a loved one
- The taste of a cool beverage on a hot day
Touch Can Evoke a Memorable Simple Pleasure
Never underestimate the power of touch. They say that a simple touch can invoke healing of the body, mind, and spirit. Touch is one of those simple joys that can have a big impact on how you feel. Here are some examples of little pleasures experienced through touch:
- The feeling of fresh sheets on your skin as you escape the day for an afternoon nap
- The feeling of warm, clean clothes fresh out of the dryer
- The feeling of a cool breeze as it lightly touches your skin and blows through your hair
- The warmth of a hot shower
- Walking barefoot on the beach as the water lapses against your skin
- The warmth of a hot cup of your favorite beverage in your hands on a cold day
- Snuggling up with an old friend to watch your favorite movie
Final Thoughts: What are Simple Pleasures
What are simple pleasures? Sometimes, the smallest moments bring the most happiness. Whether it is blowing bubbles, taking an afternoon nap, watching children giggle, taking a hot shower, smelling freshly cut grass, or receiving an unexpected compliment, never underestimate just how much happiness those small moments can bring to your day. They are all around us.
We just need to take advantage of them.