We all have those days in which everything seems to go wrong. When the alarm interrupts a wonderful deep sleep, when your housemates left a complete mess in the kitchen or when the sky is of the saddest shade of grey… for the seventh day in a row! In these moments you have two choices. You can either choose to have a negative mood throughout the day or you can choose to try your best to be happy focusing on the little things that bring you joy.
Choosing the second option is never easy, we all prefer to be grumpy when life isn’t on our side, it’s just easier. But if you choose to be happy you will be able to bring positivity not only to your life but to the one of those around you as well! A great way to turn your mood upside down during difficult times is gratefulness. There are tons of little things that we tend to take for granted, lots of little acts that we do not appreciate as much as we should, many little lovely moments in our lives that we tend to ignore. Spending a few minutes every day reflecting on how grateful we are for all of these will not only lighten up our mood but also change our disposition for the day. In the beginning, it may be difficult to come up with things to be grateful for but over time you will find more and more!
Here is our list of thirty little things to be grateful for to give you some ideas of where to start from!
1. The sun on your skin
When was the last time you sat in the sun doing absolutely nothing, simply enjoying the warmth of the sun on your bare skin? Science has proven over and over again that direct sun on your skin brings many benefits to your whole body but I can assure you that direct sunlight will also have tons of benefits for your mindset! So, sit and enjoy!
2. The smell of books
Take some of your old books, the ones you enjoyed reading the most during your childhood and browse through the pages remembering your youth.
3. A hug from an old friend
There are people we hug on a daily basis as a habit, as a way to say ‘hello’. But next time, put some thought into it, squeeze a bit stronger and enjoy the moment. Be grateful for your friend being there for you.
4. Freshly picked flowers
Roses, tulips, gardenias, orchids, sunflowers… They smell like spring and make your room instantly colourful.
5. Entering a library
The cracking sound of the ancient wood under your feet, the many volumes all diligently piled up on the shelves on the wall, the young students studying their textbooks. Nothing relaxes me more than a day at the library.
6. A silk shirt on your skin
The smooth and fresh feeling of silk on the bare skin is among my favourite feelings. Plus, one hundred per cent guarantee you will look wonderful!
7. An endless country road
Walking for hours only with your own thoughts on an endless country road, watching the trees around you, breathing in the fresh air.
8. The happiness of making gifts
Thinking about a thoughtful gift for a relative, putting all your effort into making it and imagining the happiness it will bring.
9. Preparing warm cookies (and eating them!)
Preparing chocolate cookies, a cheesecake or simply a warm cup of hot chocolate. Sharing the end result with your housemates chatting about your day while enjoying homemade food.
10. A summer night
Organize a summer night outside with your best friends or your family. Spend the night watching the stars and warming up in front of a campfire with heavy blankets on your shoulders while hugging each other. Bring a guitar and sing together.
11. Reading a magazine in the morning
Taking a slow morning, reading your favourite magazine, knowing that today you have all the time in the world to take care of yourself.
12. A gesture of kindness from a stranger
Seeing a man picking up something from the ground and throwing it in the bin, helping an old man cross the street or just sharing a simple smile. The people around you are so much more worth it than what you think, just learn to observe and appreciate.
13. Watching your favourite movie while eating junk food
Create a cosy environment, with freshly washed blankets, tons of pillows and junk food. Turn the lights off and let the movie begin!
14. Taking a long warm shower
After a long stressful day, nothing will help you relax more than a long warm shower. Bring with you your favourite soap and shampoo, dry soft towels and relaxing music for a complete treatment.
15. An old tree popping up outside of your window
Give a bit more credit to the old tree standing in front of your window or safely anchored to the soil of your garden. I’m sure you tend to give it for granted but if you think about it, it probably arrived there long before you did.
16. A night spent remembering past adventures with your best friends
Plan a theme night: ‘our past together’. Ask everyone to think about a funny event that happened in your past as friends and share them together. I can assure you there will be lots of laughs!
17. Juicy fruit in season
Strawberries, peaches, watermelons, apricots. Nothing is more refreshing than seasonal fruits in the middle of the summer.
18. Singing together
Sing, sing and sing! Happy music, sad music, music with no words! Sing out loud and stop caring about other people’s thoughts. Chances are that they will sing along!
19. The presence of the people you love
Spend a moment to be grateful for the people you met in your life. For your best friends, your family, your colleagues, your loved ones. Not everyone is as lucky as you are to have so many great people in their life.
20. A glass of wine shared with someone you love
Some cheese, some olives, romantic music in the background and tons of candles. A bottle of wine, two glasses and your loved one next to you. Who could ask for more?
21. Learning something new
Spend some time learning a new skill, how to make candles or how to make paper, or go back to study something you enjoy, such as how to choose and pick up the right herbs to make tea. It’s something you will always bring with you.
22. A quick nap after lunch
Take some time to recharge after lunch. Take a quick nap of about 30-45 minutes. You will wake up rested and ready for a productive afternoon!
23. When someone you just met loves your favourite band, author or team
There’s a weird connection that can be created instantly when you meet someone that worships your favourite band, book or team as much as you do. These moments are rare, so make sure to give them the appreciation they deserve when they come up!
24. A bike ride
Jump on your bike and ride for a good hour or two into the unknown. Discover new places around your area and stop to grab a bite to eat in some little town.
25. A flower field
Stop for a second to appreciate the beauty of a flower field. Examine all the wonderful colours surrounding you and be grateful for what nature is showing you today.
26. The smell of coffee in the morning
Nothing is as cosy as the smell of a smoking cup of coffee early in the morning. Sip your coffee slowly and try to come up with things you will enjoy today.
27. The taste of your grandma’s best dish
Sure, the pizzeria in the corner makes great pizza and the little restaurant you tried last week has quickly become one of your favourites. But nothing beats your grandma’s cuisine! Next time you visit her, make sure to eat slowly and focus on each bite.
28. A contagious laugh
Some people have a soft shy laugh while others laugh with all their bodies. Despite your type of laugh, make sure to laugh every day! Laughs are contagious and you will probably make someone else happy as well!
29. The company of a pet
Whether you have a cat, a dog, a bunny or a sea turtle, spend some time playing with them today. Nothing warms our hearts more than the cosy fur, or shell, of our little pets.
30. Your own self
Lastly, be grateful for yourself. For trying your best today to be happy and bringing positive energy to yourself and to the ones around you.
Practising gratitude is an everyday reminder that our lives are not as bad as we think. It’s a way to put our lives into perspective, a method to help us give priority to the little things we enjoy over the ones we hate. From now on, if you’re experiencing one of those days when everything seems to go the wrong way, stop for a second and think about five things that you’re grateful for today. It’s never too late to give your day a positive twist!