Let’s be honest: We all have days where we are stressed to the max. But if you think hard enough, there is always something that cheers you up, even if only for a moment. The Clog is here to present to you a list of all the little things we know you love but you might never think about. Hopefully, these little snippets of happiness brighten your day.
An elderly couple holding hands
This definitely deserves to be at the top of the list. Whenever I see an elderly couple holding hands, I am filled with tremendous joy. First off, it reminds me that true love does, in fact, exist. Also, it’s simply the most precious act of kindness to hold someone’s hand as you walk through life together. Beautiful.
The sound of little kids playing in the distance
My old apartment was located right next to a preschool. Every morning, as I would walk to school, I would hear children giggling and screaming with joy as played with their friends all day and learned from their beloved teachers. Even if I couldn’t catch what they were saying as I was passing by, I always felt better when I heard them laughing. I currently live across the street from the cutest kindergartners, and every single day, they spend hours riding their bikes outside. While I’m studying, I can’t help but smile as I hear and see them through my bedroom window.
When someone squeezes your arm before they say goodbye
This one is quite subtle, but be honest: I know you love it too. When someone squeezes my arm a little tighter as they leave, it signals to me that they wish they could stay and that they miss me already. Sometimes, the simplest touch (with family members or whoever is in your social bubble during COVID-19) can go a long way.
All things to do with the weather
Maybe it’s the sound of the rain when you’re inside, warm and cozy as you’re wrapped up in a blanket — rain can be the most soothing sound. Or maybe it’s when the sun begins shining on an extremely cold day, and you can feel the sun rays warm up your face. Or when you wake up to find your room filled with sunlight in every corner, and you automatically know it’s going to be a good day. One of my personal favorites, though it’s unheard of in Berkeley, is when you wake up and realize it snowed while you were sleeping.
Being made a cup of tea
This one used to be true for me until one late night, when my sister brought up hot tea while I was studying in my bed. As I grabbed it, she said, “Oh my gosh, boy, do I have tea to spill!” She was probably going to tell me about something that happened at school, but she didn’t have the time, as I went ahead and literally “spilled the tea” as she handed the mug over to me. Actually, she technically spilled it. It didn’t just go through my sheets, but through my entire mattress and all over the floor, as if there were gallons of tea in the tiny cup she handed me. I still don’t understand how it spilled absolutely everywhere. But that’s beside the point: Being made a cup of tea by surprise is a simple act and brings a smile to my face every time.
A passing smile
Whenever you’re walking around, it’s nearly impossible to not see at least one person smiling. If you didn’t already know, smiling is most definitely contagious. When you see someone smile, you usually smile back and pass it on! It can quite literally turn someone’s day upside down to right-side up. Smile more often, even while you’re wearing a mask! It has no bad consequences and is proven to make your day a little better.
A stroke of inspiration
This one might be my favorite. It’s when you are sitting there thinking about something you can’t remember. Or you’re trying to come up with something creative or intelligent to say on your paper, and all of the sudden, it comes! The “gasp,” whether silently in your head or out loud, is one of the most fulfilling feelings.
Smelling freshly baked cookies
Honestly, I would argue that you don’t even have to eat them to feel happy. For me, just smelling them and knowing that something wonderful has just been baked fills me with joy.
Waking up on a Saturday morning and realizing it’s the weekend
Most college students can resonate with this one: We love the weekends! Even if you’re studying all weekend and don’t have any extravagant plans, it’s comforting to know you have a break and some time for yourself (and to start the homework assignments you procrastinated on that are due Monday). Even though this feeling sometimes lasts for only a couple seconds, it’s a wonderful feeling when you catch it.
No, I’m not talking about bills, but letters addressed specifically to you! There is something so satisfying about opening up a letter or a gift that was sent to you in the mail when you don’t know what’s inside. Receiving mail always makes me warm and fuzzy inside.
Putting on clothes when they are fresh out of the dryer
Yes, I agree, it sucks when you get shocked with static after pulling clothes out of the dryer! But after the little shocks comes the warmest feeling in the world. It feels like getting a warm hug that lasts for the entire day.
Alright, this list can go on and on. A few more I’ll throw out are finding out someone likes you, looking back at old photographs, watching someone offer their seat to someone else in a bus or hearing your favorite song playing without queuing it up next. No matter how odd and chaotic the year 2020 is for you, let’s look at our glasses as half full. Let’s find happiness and joy in the little things.
My sister’s former cross country coach, now about age 75, made a deal to himself when he was 20 that for the rest of his life, he would do one nice thing a day so that he could make another person smile, and these include simple easy things that anyone can do. For example, when he’s paying the bridge toll, he’ll pay the extra $5 for the car behind him. But these “little things” don’t have to involve money. Sometimes, he would simply reach out to an old friend and leave them a quick voicemail saying he hopes they are doing well. He simply takes five seconds to a minute out of his day to complete small tasks that probably make another person’s entire week.
Sometimes people think being happy means they have to make money so they can be comfortable with their living arrangements, diet, wardrobe and life in general. I agree that being successful in the workplace, buying your dream apartment and having a fashionable sense of style are all great things that make people really happy. But, I would argue it’s the smaller things that truly fill us with joy. It’s the tiny little actions we do or see others do that fill up our stomach with butterflies before being flushed with warm and fuzzy feelings.
So, I encourage you to find the little things that make you happy because life is too short to go a day without smiling and finding joy in all the small moments. Let’s avoid the winter blues this year! Let’s do it together. Let’s start spreading little moments of happiness to others and embracing the snippets of happiness we encounter every day.