It’s the simple things that make us happy 2020

Published on Tue Nov 15 07:50:00 GMT 2011

We all dream of winning millions on the Lottery, buying a big house and travelling the world, but it seems it is the simple things that cheer us up the most.

A new survey has found it’s the small things in life which satisfy us most, such as finding a £10 note in an old pair of jeans or receiving a thank-you note in the post.

In a bid to find out the top things that make us happy, researchers asked 3,000 adults to talk about life’s simple pleasures.

Getting into a bed made with freshly washed sheets, seeing an elderly couple hold hands, a walk in the country and waking up on Saturday and realising it’s the weekend can also boost our mood, according to the study on behalf of Three Barrels Brandy.

Unsurprisingly, many of the things that cheer us up are related to sunny weather and holidays, such as swimming in the sea and driving with the car window rolled down.

The happiness poll also revealed that the average person is only happy half the week due to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

A spokesman for Three Barrels Brandy said: “Despite not feeling entirely happy for three out of seven days of the week, it doesn’t take much to lift our spirits.

“We can be having a terrible day when a quick thank you from the boss can make us feel great. Small gestures from friends and family also work wonders.”

The findings are published as many of us are feeling the onset of the winter blues, when the colder weather and dark nights can make us feel a little low.

There is even a medically-recognised condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a type of depression triggered by the seasons.

It affects up to one in 14 people in the UK and women are three times more likely to be affected than men.

An NHS spokesman said: “SAD is sometimes known as ‘winter depression’ because the symptoms are more apparent during the winter.

“As with other kinds of depression, two of the main symptoms of SAD are a low mood and a loss of interest in ordinary things.

“As SAD most commonly happens in winter, the symptoms are worse in the winter months.

“SAD sometimes affects people in the summer, although this is rare.

“In the UK, it is thought that SAD affects seven per cent of people. it tends to affect mainly younger people, especially those in their 20s.

“Like any type of depression, SAD can be a difficult condition to live with. Symptoms can make you feel tired, stressed and unhappy.

“However, a number of treatments and medications are available, including light therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy.”

If yours is a milder case of the winter blues, it’s important to do more of the small things that make you feel better.

Chris Lynch, of Kettering, says what most puts a smile on his face is singing.

He said: “I’ve recently joined a local theatre group and I always have an extra spring in my step after a good rehearsal. Just getting out of the house and being ‘social’ at the same time is a bonus.”

Sally Debra, of Corby, says a cuddle from her three-year-old daughter cheers her up, while Heather Robinson, of Rushden, and Shirley Arthur, from Corby, say the sun shining is their greatest mood-booster.

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