Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SLU chapter.

Lately, life has been feeling very simple. My past couple of months haven’t been filled with crazy late nights or outstanding accomplishments. Honestly, my life has been pretty ordinary. When I first realized this, I started to have one of my bi-monthly crises where I evaluate my entire life and try to change everything. But then a friend reminded me that most of our lives aren’t made up of extravagant moments, but rather the simple, daily ones that we often take for granted. It’s easy to forget but vital to remember that the little things are the greatest pleasures and the most deeply satisfying parts of life. 

I really think that practicing gratitude can have long-term implications on our quality of life. Science thinks so too. In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity and build strong relationships. I notice a significant difference in my mood on days in which I make an intentional effort to be grateful for the big and small things in my life. 

I know, we’ve all heard it before. We all know that we should be more grateful. But how do we actually do that? Appreciating the little things in life means focusing your attention on what nurtures and sustains you in life. Examine everything that brings you even the smallest bit of pleasure. Take a minute to appreciate all the little things in your life that you usually overlook, but actually make your life what it is. Ultimately, our lives are just made up of a string of ordinary things. By appreciating these common (or uncommon) occurrences, we can cultivate happier lives. I have a running list of things I am grateful for that I reference or add to whenever I am feeling particularly down or dull. Here are just a few things that I am grateful for, and maybe you are, too.

19 little things we can all appreciate:

  1. Waking up feeling well rested.
  2. Your favorite tee shirt.
  3. The smell of rain when the windows are open in the summer.
  4. Rediscovering songs you loved as a kid.
  5. Where your food comes from. 
  6. How much your pet loves you.
  7. Free WiFi in public.
  8. Comfortable silence.
  9. Getting a window seat on a flight.
  10. Free samples at Costco.
  11. Gas station bathrooms that actually have toilet paper.
  12. Having a good hair day.
  13. Watching old home videos.
  14. That first true warm day of spring.
  15. Your favorite elementary school teacher.
  16. GPS.
  17. Hearing your favorite song playing at the grocery store.
  18. When fortune cookies happen to say just the right thing.
  19. Peppermint tea.

One of my favorite poems is a beautiful reminder that there is joy in ordinary things and that we should celebrate them. So I will leave you with it. 

“The Orange”

At lunchtime I bought a huge orange—
The size of it made us all laugh.
I peeled it and shared it with Robert and Dave—
They got quarters and I had a half.

And that orange, it made me so happy,
As ordinary things often do
Just lately. The shopping. A walk in the park.
This is peace and contentment. It’s new.

The rest of the day was quite easy.
I did all the jobs on my list
And enjoyed them and had some time over.
I love you. I’m glad I exist.

— Wendy Cope 

Hi! I am currently a senior at Saint Louis University studying Speech Language and Hearing Sciences and Spanish! I am from the suburbs of Chicago and love spending my time reading, going to concerts, and being outside!