top of page
  • Writer's pictureIsabella Hsu

The Small Things of Life

“The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things . . . the trivial pleasure like cooking, one's home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.”

Barbara Pym


It’s an emotion, a state, even a way of living and experiencing the world. Thinkers across cultures and ages have expounded the benefits of and necessity for gratitude in daily life. They weren’t alone–neuroscientists today are becoming more and more interested in gratitude and its benefits, both psychological and physiological.

While many of us might think of gratitude as a mere emotion, it can be a powerful tool for building resilience in body and mind. Recent studies have shown that regular experiences of gratitude are linked to greater wellbeing. Mood, sleep, blood pressure, and exercise, are just some of the areas affected positively by an increase in gratitude.

Thankfully, these benefits can be achieved easily and with little to no cost. Researchers have found that simple gratitude practices–gratitude journaling, visualization, loving kindness meditations–when practiced regularly over a period of time, are enough to significantly boost wellbeing.

Why not start one of this simple practices today? Gratitude journaling is easy, all it requires is a few minutes every day or week to sit down and list five things you are grateful for (for more information about gratitude journaling click here). Begin this powerful practice today and experience its benefits for yourself!

While we could continue to extoll the many benefits of having a gratitude practice, we thought we’d keep it simple. Here’s celebrated poet Mary Oliver on finding gratitude (and so much more) in the small things:

Oh do you have time

to linger

for just a little while

out of your busy

and very important day

for the goldfinches

that have gathered

in a field of thistles

for a musical battle,

to see who can sing

the highest note,

or the lowest,

or the most expressive of mirth,

or the most tender?

Their strong, blunt beaks

drink the air

as they strive


not for your sake

and not for mine

and not for the sake of winning

but for sheer delight and gratitude –

believe us, they say,

it is a serious thing

just to be alive

on this fresh morning

in the broken world.

I beg of you,

do not walk by

without pausing

to attend to this

rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.

It could mean everything.

It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:

You must change your life.

– Mary Oliver, “Invitation,” A Thousand Mornings

13 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page