Melancholy. Feeling blue. Despondency. Overwhelm. I wasn’t diagnosed with clinical depression until well into adulthood, but thankfully, I had by then found some small ways of coping. One of these is my Happy Little Things. Call it gratitude, thankfulness, looking for the silver lining, or just learning to stay positive. Whatever name it goes by, positivity helps bring good things into your life. Implementing positive practices better your relationships, conversations, outlook; basically your entire self.

When I was in college, I came across a book that I referred to regularly, a book I continually use, a book I frequently open. That book is 14,000 Things To Be Happy About. Simply a list, there is no commentary, no explanation. When I would find myself getting down, I would read the list of the author’s happiness, a list Barbara Ann Kipfer has been keeping since childhood, until I eventually could think of something of my own. I would then jot my own Happy Little Things in the margins, to refer back to later.

It’s amazing how much it helps me to be positive even when the storms of life and my emotions are raging around or within me. Especially as the holidays come to a close and the winter doldrums set in, I encourage you to brainstorm your own Happy Little Things. I’ll give you some of mine to get started.

our cockatiel whistling the Addams Family theme song
sleet on the window
my daughter singing everywhere she goes
British spelling: cosy, realise, colour, doughnut, theatre
freezer meals
my favorite coffee cup
my Tree of Life ring
the public library
“I have no patience for jam hands!”
Hobbit doors

positive thinking depression coping creating happiness

Milan, Italy and Milan, IL not being pronounced the same
“Nitwit! Oddment! Blubber! Tweak!”
measuring children and recording their growth on the basement door
a keeping room
reading out loud
a brook running under the ice
pocket watches
the phases of the moon
learning new things
potlucks with friends
Apple Pie whiskey
the four phases of womanhood, experienced every monthly cycle
a truly life changing pencil sharpener
personality tests
Tuesday Morning (the store)
Sunday morning (the day)
trying to organize
end of the world movies
Chiddlers, Kiddlets and Younglings

A positive outlook on life leads to restorative relationships, encouraging, constructive conversations, and happier, healthier habits! Making a simple list of your Happy Little Things is a fantastic way to start having more positive thoughts. You could make a goal for, say, ten things a day. I really want to hear what you come up with!

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  1. Lauren Peterson
    Lauren Peterson December 2, 2017 at 9:20 pm #

    This is so beautiful!! First of all, thank you for trusting us with a vulnerable piece of your story. I appreciate the realness and truth in this post. Secondly, I LOVE YOUR LIST. My fav….although judging a Happy Little Things list, even if it’s positive, feels a bit odd…is “Milan, Italy and Milan, IL not being pronounced the same” 😆 That also brings me greeeat joy! Here’s my 10 for today (thanks for the inspiration!)
    *Reading books next to the hubs on the couch like I always wanted to do as a little girl
    *date nights…esp ones at Barnes and Noble 🙂
    *my daughter needing to touch her forehead to mine while she falls asleep
    *when my dog leaves me alone
    *when my dog snuggles me (fickle is my middle name)
    *turning off my phone
    *the sound of rain
    *the “sound” of snow falling
    *food that tastes better leftover (chili, mashed potatoes)
    *Taco Bell (this is getting real…)

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