Opinion: Little things that give us a glow

Chocolate and sweet treats give a slice of contentment.
Chocolate and sweet treats give a slice of contentment.

The best things come in small packages. Small is the new big. Little things are lovely.

Being of a diminutive stature myself (lengthways even if not widthways), I’m rather fond of any sayings singing the virtues of all things miniature and “fun sized”.

But it’s not a myth circulated by small people that the little things in life often mean the most, it’s the absolute truth … and that’s not a little lie.

I am a generally happy and cheery person with an optimistic “glass half full” attitude to life, and I can’t be doing with those who are eternally pessimistic, gloomy and always focusing on the negatives.

On pondering why I am usually in a sunny mood – even when it’s raining, I realised the secret to happiness is the little things that give us a glow.

These tiny things might not seem much in isolation, but when you add these small moments of joy together, they leave you with a smile on your face throughout the day.

For instance, the other day, I was rooting through my mass of handbags looking for one to go with an outfit when I opened a clutch purse I haven’t used since a Christmas party last year.

To my delight, on opening it, I discovered a tenner in the zipped section.

Even though it was my own money, I felt like a millionaire and it gave my day a little lift.

From chatting to friends, I realise that finding money we never knew we had, whether it’s in the pocket of a coat we’ve not worn for a while, or in a neglected handbag, is an ultimate feel good moment.

In a similar vein is the thrill we get when we go to the till to buy something in the sale – only to find it’s been reduced even further and is cheaper than on the price tag.

Getting something for free is also a pleasant surprise that cheers us up.

However, not all mood boosters are monetary related, as some of the little things that make us happy don’t cost a penny.

Getting into a bed with freshly washed bed sheets gives you a lovely glow – as does that moment when you wake up before your alarm goes off and realise you can sleep for longer.

The old saying may claim that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but when it comes to happiness, food certainly gives both men and women a slice of contentment. Especially chocolate and other sweet treats.

Having something to look forward to and a sense of anticipation also puts us in good spirits. Booking a holiday, planning a night out or even a night in can fill us with elation.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just major events such as getting married, having a baby, moving house or getting a promotion which fill us with bliss, but the small and often unexpected pleasures that give us a little something to smile about each day.

Random acts of kindness – whether we’re on the giving or receiving end – also give us a feeling of contentment.

Helping someone in need gives you the feelgood factor while having a stranger hold a door open for you or pay you a compliment gives you a wave of pleasure.

Along the same lines is the proof that saying thanks or acknowledging a job well done costs nothing, but is priceless in the spark of happiness it can give someone, as many people say praise from a boss or co-worker puts them in good humour.

Haphazard moments when luck is accidentally on our side can also fill us with glee. Getting to your car just before the rain comes pelting down, every traffic light turning green just as you get there, your car passing its MOT without needing anything done and hearing your favourite song come on the radio the instant you turn it on are all such moments.

Some of the things that make me happy are hearing the sound of my children’s laughter; having a relaxing bubble bath with a good book; walking through crunchy brown leaves in autumn and separating a Custard Cream with the biscuit and cream perfectly intact.

So just because the sun isn’t shining, doesn’t mean you should feel gloomy or full of despair.

Take a look around you and you’ll find plenty of little things to perk you up – even if it’s only for a few minutes each day.