In this post we will cover what exactly life’s simple pleasures are, as well as how to become more aware of them.
Here you will learn the benefits of engaging with life’s simple pleasures, and the ways they contribute to peace of mind.
If you are ready to reap the rewards that life’s simple pleasures have to offer, then this post is for you!
Let’s get started…
What are Simple Pleasures?
What are the simple pleasures in life, and how do we become more aware of them?
I’m sure, without much effort, there are several that immediately come to mind for you. Those little moments throughout our day that make us stop, smile, and maybe even breathe a sigh of relief.
Those moments that give us a feeling of warmth, comfort, and contentment.
Simple pleasures are known for bringing us into the present moment by activating some (or all) of our senses. Those senses being touch, scent, taste, sight, and sound.
There are plenty of extensive lists that provide simple pleasures examples, but with a little practice you can recognize them for yourself when they arise.
5 Simple Pleasures that come to mind for me are:
- The first sip of a fresh cup of tea or coffee
- The aroma of a seasonal candle or fragrant essential oils
- Wrapping up in a warm blanket while enjoying a good book
- A stormy day at home with the sound of rain on the roof
- Putting on relaxing music and cozy lounge-wear after a long day
These are just a few, but there are many of these little moments to be experienced throughout our day. Even more if we include the simple pleasures in a relationship, whether with colleagues, friends, and family.
These simple pleasures will engage several senses, and provide a feeling of peace & contentment.
Overlooking The Simple Pleasures
What happens when we overlook simple pleasures? And what would cause them to go unnoticed?
One of the most common reasons we overlook simple pleasures is because we are on autopilot. We are going about our business throughout the day, without much awareness of the present.
When we are on autopilot, our mind tends to drift to what we’ll be doing later, or what we should be worrying about.
Another reason is that we are not regularly activating our senses. This can happen when we are rushing through our day, or again, living on autopilot.
When this is the case, it is easy to overlook even the simplest of pleasures. Things such as downing a cup of coffee without savoring the scent, or eating our lunch without really tasting each flavor.
The funny thing is, they most often go unnoticed when we could benefit from them most, such as during stressful or overwhelming situations. They can even be overlooked when we are bored, restless, scattered, or aimless.
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Over the span of 7 days, we will cover a variety of topics that will allow you to find ways to slow down, reset, and simplify.
However, if during these times we engage with the simple pleasures that can be found in the moment, we will find they offer us a chance to rest and reset.
One example of this is when we are stuck in traffic. Typically we may find ourselves feeling frustrated, restless or even bored in this scenario.
However, this could be a great opportunity to notice and appreciate the scenery around us, or enjoy an uplifting song or podcast.
Shifting our focus to the simple pleasures takes us out of our head and into the present.
What happens when we have a habit of overlooking simple pleasures?
For starters, we tend to allow our minds to wander, which can take us into a state of worry or concern.
We may also turn to escapism practices, such as mindless consumption of media, especially if we are bored or aimless.
A habit of overlooking the simple pleasures sets us up for a day filled with passivity, or the flip side, a day of hurriedness.
The tasks may feel mundane, and overall we feel as if we’re just going through the motions. Or we rush past all the little moments, and fast-forward to the end of the day, just to get up and do it all over again.
As it says in one of my favorite simple pleasures in life quotes:
The simplest things are overlooked. And yet, it is the simplest things that are the most essential.
Noticing Life’s Simple Pleasures
What is the result of regular awareness of life’s simple pleasures?
We are more mindful, engaged and most importantly present, which is where peace and contentment can be found.
Simple pleasures offer us a pleasant form of engagement in the moment, as well as an anticipation for something to enjoy later on.
The mere thought of a simple pleasure waiting for you at the end of the day could even get you through a stressful situation at work.
This might be as simple as taking your shoes off after a long day and slipping into some cozy socks. Maybe relaxing on the sofa with your favorite snack while enjoying a movie and cuddling with your spouse or pet.
There are so many of those simple little moments, the key is to not only notice them, but allow ourselves to fully enjoy them.
Make a point to allow yourself to truly enjoy the simple pleasure - without thinking you should be somewhere else, doing something else, or doing something ‘more productive’.
Our minds love to solve, plan, strategize, and worry. The mind also loves to know what’s happening next.
It takes effort, patience and consistency to keep our focus set on the present, and allow the simple pleasure to be fully enjoyed without immediately moving on to the next thing.
This is where the full benefits of the simple pleasures can be experienced, and where we reap the rewards of peace of mind.
Cultivating Peace of Mind
So how do we cultivate peace of mind using simple pleasures?
By understanding that regularly engaging with life’s simple pleasures is a form of self-care.
We don’t have to wait until we are at home in a robe running a hot bath with a lavender candle lit to experience self-care. We can use simple pleasures as a form of ‘mini self care moments’ throughout the course of our day.
How do we make them a regular part of our day? More than likely they are already there, we just need to be mindful of them!
One way to do this is by setting an intention at the start of each to notice, and engage, with as many simple pleasures as you can.
You may even want to journal about them. Explore the feelings they impart by writing about the different senses that were activated while experiencing them.
Another way to utilize a journal in regards to life’s simple pleasures is to get your journal and a pen, set a timer, and write out as many simple pleasures that come to mind for you as you can.
This is a great way to know what they are for you, as well as a way to be on the lookout for them within your day.
Next, make the effort to build them into your daily routine. If one of your simple pleasures is enjoying a cup of coffee and reading, make the time for it.
Find a way to fit these moments into your day that lets you savor & enjoy them without feeling rushed.
Making time in your schedule for simple pleasures, as well the intention to notice them, will set you up for regular moments of contentment, and peace of mind.
The intentional awareness of life's simple pleasures results in peace of mind.
Again, it takes effort, patience and consistency to turn this practice into a habit.
However, it is also very simple, because these moments are more than likely already strewn throughout your day.
Just set the intention to notice them, allow them to activate your senses, and use them as a means to peace.
What About You?
What about you? What are some of the simple pleasures you look forward to each day?
Let us know in the comments below!