Some people call it their guilty pleasure whilst for others it’s a simple pleasure – or perhaps you’ve a penchant for both? If so, well done!
I’ve always been an advocate of celebrating the simple pleasures in life and how they can impact your brain health and there’s a science backed research paper to prove its positive benefits.
Using a unique real-time survey method, researchers from the University of Melbourne have for the first time, found that experiencing more simple pleasures during the day is related to making better progress on personal goals.
They also found that having a bad day full of annoyances derails people from their goals, but that the negative effect of such annoyances can be completely cancelled out if people experience a counter-balancing high number of simple pleasures.
The study’s lead author, Associate Professor Nicole Mead says the results have implications for life both at home and at workplace and with so many of us currently in WFH mode is really is crucial to take time out.
Why are simple pleasures vital for goal progress? Modern day life, even without the stress of Covid-19, is full of struggles and challenges, which erode the very psychological resources we need to make progress on our goals.
This study suggests that simple pleasures have the power to restore those feelings of positivity and happiness, giving you the energy and perspective you need to pursue the difficult but important things in life.
“Our results suggest that the real power of simple pleasures that make us feel good seems to come from when things aren’t going well. A simple pleasure seems to restore people’s psychological reserves to do well,” says Associate Professor Mead
Taking time to indulge in a simple pleasure like leafing throw a magazine, going window shopping or enjoying a take-away coffee in your local green space may actually help to fortify us psychologically to make progress on our goals.
When it comes to TV my guilty pleasure is Modern Family (Cam makes me laugh every single time), First Dates or re-runs of Come Dine With Me. On the simple pleasure front it’s going for a walk on the beach, anything to do with new stationary, browsing bookshops and ordering a takeaway to enjoy with my family.
In fact the book I am currently reading is from The School of Life and its title is ‘Simple Pleasures’. It’s dedicated to the little things that can charm, enrapture or entertain us.
The mission of the book is to build a philosophy of appreciation that encourages us to explore more deeply and get more out of it – the many sources of happiness that are currently a bit neglected.
So please don’t be neglecting your happiness, it’s so important in these every changing times.
Dr Clara Russell