A good life is a collection of happy moments.
Appreciating the little things is key to our happiness. Research shows that gratitude for the little things in life is crucial to promoting happiness. That means focusing your attention on what is enjoyable and good for us in our lives rather than those events that are annoying, frustrating, or hurtful. It is easy to take the everyday things that make us happy for granted.
We also need goals to motivate us and these need to be challenging enough to excite us, but also achievable. Choosing ambitious but realistic goals gives our lives direction and brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when we achieve them.
An Interesting Weekend
Last year I spent a weekend in Dingle with a group of friends. While checking out after breakfast on Sunday the owner of the B&B said to us:
“Look at that woman outside the front door. She’s drinking her tea in the rain! Is she mad!’
Intrigued, all eight of us went out to talk to her. We Irish are used to rain in all its forms. It was just a light shower. The lady in question was from Texas and not at all perturbed by our curiosity. She gladly answered our serious question:
“What in God’s name are you doing, drinking tea out here in the rain?”
With a big smile on her face she replied:
“I have wanted to visit Ireland for a long time. On the 1st January I decided to make it a reality. I planned my trip carefully, all the places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do, like kissing the Blarney Stone. I had this dream of drinking Irish tea in the Irish rain and everything came together this morning. It’s so wonderful! I’m so happy I got to do this!”
It was evident how happy she was.
Over lunch and reluctant to go home we had a discussion on the little things that make us happy. We then brainstormed new ideas to make us happy.
Here are the results:
25 Things we do that make us happy
- Lighting a Happy Candle!!!
- Going for a long cycle
- Reading a great book
- Having a long bath with scented candles and relaxing music
- Sharing a bottle of wine with friends
- Sharing a wonderful meal with friends
- Watching my family enjoy a meal I cooked
- Going out for a meal
- Being with friends
- Walking the dog
- Walking in the woods
- Walking on the seashore
- Watching a great movie
- Listening to amazing music
- Watching the night sky
- Watching garden birds on the bird feeder
- Meeting a friend for coffee
- Going to a hurling/football/soccer/rugby/ match
- Horse Racing: A day at the races
- Enjoying a nice bar of chocolate
- Being involved in the local community
- Going on holidays
- Exploring a new city
- Swimming in a warm sea
- Relaxing by the beach on a warm day
Ideas we explored:
Drinking tea in the rain
Dancing in the rain – any of which would make us
Laugh in the rain!