It's the Simple Things in Life That Make You Happy

Happiness isn't measured by the money you have or don't have, but by those simple things that you wouldn't change for all the money in the world.
It's the Simple Things in Life That Make You Happy
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

The simple things in life are like the stars that shine on clear nights. They’re always there, surrounding you with their subtle magic. However, it’s not every day that you stop to look at them or even remember that they exist.

As a matter of fact, it’s only when you lack them, when life presents you with a problem, that you suddenly appreciate what really matters. In fact, it’s then that you realize what gives meaning to your existence.

Simple things that you find in your everyday life, the kinds of things that, in bad times, help make everything make sense.

Some people say that the simpler our way of life, the fewer worries we have and the fewer mistakes we make. After all, we’re all free to complicate life as much as we want. We all have the right to take risks, aim for our goals, and have a social circle as wide and varied as we want.

As a matter of fact, the main thing, the key to everything is not necessarily in leading a simple life, but being simple in your thinking and knowing what’s important. What really makes you happy. What identifies you. From there, you’re free to build your own micro-universe.

Let’s take a closer look.

The simple things are the greatest things in life

couple embracing on a sofa enjoying the simple things in life

Recently, Google published its most common searches. One of the most popular was “How to be happy?”

Being happy means closing your eyes and not wanting anything else. Therefore, you should stop measuring happiness by the money you have or don’t have, but by those simple things that you wouldn’t change for the world.

Undoubtedly you have more than one thing that you wouldn’t trade for the world. It might be your children, your partner, your siblings… maybe even your pets. Because what they give you and what you offer them is an exchange of affection that’s priceless.

However, the problem is that life, sometimes, isn’t easy at all. For instance, the most important thing in the world for you might be your children, but you have to work such long hours, you can’t spend as much time with them as you’d like.

boy with his dog

Without a doubt, you’d prefer everything to be easier. Therefore, you sometimes feel lost in the face of so much pressure and so many obligations that take you away from what’s truly essential. Let’s think about these aspects for a moment.

Lead a full and conscious life

Leading a full and conscious life means understanding where you are in your life right now, and living in the here and now.

  • You must be aware of what your heart tells you and your own needs. For example, maybe working more hours gives you the opportunity to have more things, but you’d really rather invest that extra time in your family.
  • Living a full life also means understanding that every effort you make is worth it. That’s because everything you do makes you happy and offers happiness to your loved ones.
leaf with dew representing the simple things in life

The pleasure of simple things

Not all people know how to enjoy the simple things that life offers them. Perhaps it’s because they’re unable to see them. Or maybe they don’t appreciate them and are more inclined towards material attachment and immediate satisfaction. The kind that doesn’t ever last.

Breathe, love, be happy, enjoy the simple things in life. These are the only things that really matter. The rest, believe it or not, is only of secondary importance.

Enjoying simple pleasures is something that many people do because they already possess inner peace. In fact, the enjoyment of simple things comes to some after a long journey where, suddenly, they discover pleasures that they’d not previously even thought about. For instance:

  • The joy of good friendships.
  • A “Good morning” and an unexpected hug.
  • The contagious laughter of a child.
  • The smell of the grass after the rain.
  • The sun when it sinks into the ocean in absolute silence.
  • Waking on a Sunday morning with the whole day ahead and no work to do.

Don’t hesitate to start to practice this simplicity of thought and emotions. Because, when you finally find inner happiness, it’ll last forever as it’ll be connected to your true being.

The balance of simplicity

As Lama Yeshe states: “When you experience the sense of balance, you experience an incredible universal spaciousness. Your constricted and rigid mind becomes totally open because it has reached the middle way from external thoughts. Your mind feels very comfortable and for the first time it really makes you mentally healthy. It’s not just another theory, it’s a life experience”.

What is it that Lama Yeshe is trying to tell us with these words? He’s saying that simplicity is a mental attitude and balance is fundamental. If we go from place to place clinging to the fact that material things will give us genuine happiness, we’re wrong. On the other hand, observing and appreciating the simple things in life offers us a mental balance that generates countless psychological benefits.

colored girl smelling a flower

Images courtesy of Zac Gertz and Pascal Campion

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Russell, B. (2015). La conquista de la felicidad. Debols! llo.
  • Powell, J. (1996). La felicidad es una tarea interior (Vol. 43). Editorial Sal Terrae.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.