Creative Commons/Stephanie Young

Creative Commons/Stephanie Young

Top Talker:
What’s On Your Happiness To-Do List?

Do you even have a happiness to-do list? I don’t, but I feel like I should write a full list after reading this blog post. The writer talks about nine things to put on your happiness to-do list and it’s a charming read about things to do to raise your joy quotient. They are:

  1. Hug more people
  2. Talk to strangers
  3. Be open to the idea of dating
  4. Wear the most expensive and ridiculous item of clothing in your closet on a random afternoon
  5. Tell people you love them
  6. Learn how to say please, thank you, and I’m sorry
  7. Repeat #6, more often than you’d like
  8. Believe in yourself
  9. Follow your own advice

Related: 10 From GEM: 10 “Notes To Self” To Remember Every Day

This is one person’s list and I think it’s a good start. Even though number 3 doesn’t technically apply to me, I love the idea of dating my husband. I think all married couples should date within their marriages.

I cannot express enough love for number 2. I am naturally an introvert and usually don’t go out of my way to talk to strangers. Yet, I’ve found that even brief conversations with people I just meet on the street have been strangely fulfilling.

Last week, I was at the local police station to pay a ticket for a traffic violation. When I was in the clerk’s office, another woman walked in who was checking on her court appearance. She turned around and asked me what I was there for. I told her and asked her the same. We went on to have a fascinating conversation.

She had gotten into trouble for resisting arrest stemming from a domestic violence call. She talked about her estranged spouse and her young children. I don’t think she was looking for encouragement, but I gave it anyway. She seemed grateful that I took the time to engage her in conversation. Really, I’m the one who felt happy. It made my day that a perfect stranger felt comfortable enough to have that kind of conversation with me.

This happiness to-do list got me thinking and I would add a few more items to it:

  • Be grateful. There’s something about gratitude that instantly makes me feel better and more joyful. When I take some time to really think about all the things and people who add to and support my life in every way, I am thankful to my core.
  • Look for silver linings. This is hard to do all the time and there are many occasions when I don’t get it right. But, when bad things happen, I’ve made it a personal exercise to find the good in it. Nothing in this world is all good or all bad. Bad situations are the best times for growth, and growth makes me happy.
  • Smile. It is one of the simplest and most effective ways to feel better and make others around me feel good—even if it’s just for a moment. When I smile at strangers, most of the time they smile right back.

Related: The Happiness Exercise

What about you? What would be on your happiness to-do list? Share your thoughts below.



picmonkey alexis

Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is managing editor of Good Enough Mother. Read more about Alexis on her blog or follow her on Twitter @LillieBelle5. You can email her at alexis [at] goodenoughmother [dot] com.