How to value the small things

Are you guilty of ‘I’ll be happy when…’ thinking? New research shows it’s not the big events that fulfil us but the small pleasures, says Martha Roberts


How to value the small things

1. Cultivate a philosophy of appreciation

When was the last time you were thrilled over something as simple as blowing bubbles? Cultivating a philosophy of appreciation is about seeing opportunities in the seemingly insignificant, and reframing them as important to your wellbeing.

2. Understand that life is made up of ‘moments’

These are just as vital as conventional units of time. When you review your day ahead and think, ‘Meeting at 1pm’, also say, ‘Moments matter’, then make a pact with yourself to notice the sun break through the clouds, or the wind move through the trees.

3. Write a list of daily ‘joys’

At the end of the day, create a list of things that stood out for you in a ‘small pleasures’ book. If you’ve had a tough day, you may have to work hard to find a positive moment. Even if it’s, ‘Drank the perfect coffee’, that’s something to find joy in.

Small Pleasures’ (The School of Life, £14.99)

Photograph: iStock