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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Why it really is the simple things that make us happy

I guess we don't have to be told that it's the small things in life that really matter. Washing your car on a  warm Sunday morning, playing with your dog in the park, or seeing a family member return from a long absence are some of the things that warm the cockles of our hearts. 

And to those of us who will never be blessed with beauty, own a mansion, or find fame, it is indeed cheering news. For it is the most modest of daily pleasures that make us happiest, a poll claims. Finding a £10 note in an old pair of jeans and being told you’ve lost weight emerged as life’s greatest good mood triggers in a study of 3,000 adults.

The poll, which set out to find the top 50 things that make  people happy, revealed that happiness is accessible to us all – through the simplest day-to-day occurrences.

And these are the best 30

What’s more, by the time you read this, you’ll already be well on the way to cheery spirits – for 38 per cent of us feel happier on a Saturday than any other day of the week, particularly when we  wake up and realise the weekend starts here.

Sunshine was found to be largely responsible for us feeling jolly, featuring in the top 10, while having a quiet moment to yourself, hearing a baby laugh or the smell of freshly cut grass also change our mood for the better.

The smell of freshly cut grass makes number 38 on the happiness list
The smell of freshly cut grass makes number 38 on the happiness list
Most of those polled said they appreciate generosity from others – warming to those who offer an elderly person a seat on the bus or train, or who pass on their parking ticket in the car park.

The hustle and bustle of everyday life means the average person is only happy for half the week. But, a spokesman for Three Barrels Brandy, who conducted the research, said: ‘Despite not feeling entirely happy for three out of seven days of the week, it doesn’t take much to lift our spirits. ‘We can be having a terrible day when a quick thank you from the boss can and make us feel great. Small gestures from friends and family also work wonders.’

This is surely a reminder to us all that, in the fast paced world that we live in, where so many people, from greedy politicians and bankers down, are chasing a fast buck, that there are many simple pleasures in life if we would only just open our eyes and see them around us an in every sphere of our lives. Like the man said - "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans". 

Amen to that brother!

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