These days, it feels as though our society tends towards feelings of unhappiness. Nothing is enough for us – we want more clothes and bigger houses and fancier cars and nicer restaurants. But here’s the thing. None of that actually makes us happier. In fact, most of that stuff makes us less happy because it doesn’t truly satisfy our soul.
So let’s forget the idea that bigger is better. Here is a list of a few little things that make me happy:
- Getting to sleep in an extra half hour
- Sunshine on my face when I’m walking the dog
- Impromptu coffee dates with friends
- Feeling sand in my toes
- Pushing my niece on the playground swings
- A warm cup of tea
- Making someone else smile
- Doing yoga
- Freshly painted toenails
- Snuggle hugs from a baby
- Long chats with my sister
- Freshly baked cookies
- A clean car
- Climbing into a freshly laundered bed
If you were to sit down and make a list of things you’re grateful for, what would make the list? What wouldn’t? Take a look at my list. Notice anything? Nothing on that list involves money or buying things. Because new things don’t make me happy. Money doesn’t make me happy. Feelings make me happy. People make me happy. Love makes me happy.
Sometimes, the moment we are in sucks. I know that. Life is rarely perfect. But it’s how you respond to the terrible times that really defines your happiness. If you succumb to the negativity, then clearly you will be unhappy. If you don’t focus on the bad, but instead feel gratitude for other little things that are going right, that positive mindset will seep into all areas of your life. If you are constantly choosing to see the good and be thankful for what you have, then eventually it won’t require conscious choosing – gratitude will become your default mindset. You can literally rewire your brain to stop focusing on the bad and to see the good instead. All of that positive energy has a huge ripple effect throughout your life – it will make you a kinder friend, a kinder family member, a kinder coworker and a kinder stranger. You will be kinder to yourself, and you will be happier because of it.