When life is getting you down or you are just have a bad day try this to lift your mood. Take 10 or 15 minutes to list the simple things that make you smile, things that lift your spirits.

Make a list just some of the simple pleasures of your life. Here are some of mine……

The sparkly, jewel encrusted pen with which I write.

A warm fragrant bubble bath before bed.

The first sip of a glass of ruby red wine, preferably taken at a winter fireside or in the heat of the land of it’s origin.

Coming home to find my cats all curled up and content in various corners of the house.

The silence that slowly envelopes the house, as humans and animals take to sleep.

Fresh bed linen.

A walk in the rain

Watching the birds feed from the freeders hanging from the tree just outside the window.

The smell of baking.

The taste of chocolate cake about 20 minutes after it comes out of the oven.

The comfort of knowing that everyone is in on a stormy winter night.

The chatter of family conversation over Sunday roast.

Seeing a washing line full of washing on a bright and breezy day.

Coming across a squirrel while on a walk in the park.

A warm sunny summer afternoon spent reading in the garden.

Our postmen – who seem to always be cheerful.

Going for a walk and realising that Ireland is still a country where strangers often smile and say hello as they pass by.

Fridays – no homework, no cooking and no school lunches till Monday.

Coffee and a scone at the kitchen table, while reading the paper, having completed the weekly marathon of grocery shopping.

How beautiful my garden looks on a frosty bright winter morning.

A sunrise walk on Dun Laoghaire Pier.

Listening to my kids deep in childish conversation, oblivious to my presence.

These are some of my simple things, simple pleasures. Most cost nothing. All that is required is making some time to stop and think about what makes life so beautiful. And the more you think, the more you realise that it is not the big shiny things but the little things that happen every day… these are the things that make life beautiful. Grab a pen and begin your list. And the miracle is that once you train yourself to look for these golden moments, you will find that they will multiply. So revisit your list often and add to it.

And on a down day, take out your list and have a read. You will feel much the better for it!! I promise.