NEW YORK — Want to make someone’s day? It’s as simple as cake. In fact, a new study finds one in five Americans say the dessert is their favorite “simple pleasure.”
The survey of 2,000 Americans reveals that while some love a tasty treat, 19 percent prefer piping hot tea — the gossip kind.
Among America’s top 50 simple pleasures, respondents selected sleeping in a freshly made bed, the feeling of the sun on their face, and going to the beach as some of their favorites. Being somewhere new, watching a favorite movie, and seeing stunning views all make the list as well. However, the top choice is listening to a favorite song, with having a nice dinner following in second place.
It turns out, the average American only enjoys eight moments of simple pleasure each week – about one a day. These experiences don’t stay around long either, as the satisfaction of a moment’s pleasure lasts for about 20 minutes on average. However, 11 percent say they get a glow for up to an hour.
Looking on the bright side of things, literally
The research was commissioned by Small Luxury Hotels of the World, which also commissioned poet Laurie Bolger to come up with a piece on life’s simple pleasures.
“I wanted my poem to remind people about the feeling you get when you are able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures,” the wordsmith says.
“But on the other hand, I also wanted to highlight that the reason some of these things are so enjoyable is because they are a break from the norm.”
“Feeling the sun on my face is definitely one of my favorite simple pleasures in life, and I’m glad the survey reflected that – and that we’re starting to see brighter weather too.”
When it comes to good weather and the outdoors, 22 percent enjoy seeing flowers and trees blossom. More than a fifth enjoy exercise enough to put it on their list. Swimming outside, discovering new food, and people watching also make the cut.
Work and kids leave little time for little pleasures
Unfortunately, the OnePoll survey finds 63 percent believe they don’t get to enjoy life’s simplest pleasures often enough for their liking. Another 62 percent say they don’t have enough time during their day to take advantage of small pleasures as much as they should.
Around four in 10 add work commitments are a major hindrance. Nearly the same amount (39%) think being a parent has left them with less time to enjoy simple pleasures, although they appreciate it more when they do.
“Our list found many of life’s pleasures are ones often found on [vacation], such as seeing a stunning view, waking up to sunshine, taking long walks and discovering new places. It’s on our travels that we’re able to experience an abundance of life’s simple pleasures which have a longer-lasting effect on us. Now that it looks as though coronavirus restrictions are starting to slowly lift, we’re hoping people will be able to enjoy some of these pleasures at home and abroad before too much longer,” says Richard Hyde, Managing Director, Small Luxury Hotels of the World, in a statement.