Happy Things Lists: Habits, Activities, & Routines for a Higher Level of Happiness

Mind-Melding Monday is tapping into collective knowledge from around the world to solve problems and come up with the best answers to all sorts of questions.

Each week I’ll pose a question or two on the blog for readers to respond to while I investigate on my own and seek expert input, whether it’s for research, curiosity, awareness, or conversation.

The following week will address the results and ask something new.

Hey everyone! Hope you’re having a great day so far.

Since there was no question to address in last week’s post, I’ve already explained a little about keeping a “Happy Things” list, its benefits, and a few ideas of what habits and activities make us more satisfied with life–even if they don’t seem like it–before asking:

What are a few habits, hobbies, activities, or other things that always uplift you?

Community answers:

  • Time with friends/conversation. It’s most important when you’ve got the least time.
  • Pets – almost everyone who responded mentioned time with furry friends and science shows that having a pet increases mental health–for everyone.
  • Sunlight / light boxes or glasses. (I’m trying these for insomnia.)
  • Curling up with a book
  • Good / favorite movies and shows
  • Comedy – A funny performance, YouTube video, or Limerick quickly changes moods.
  • Silence and solitude
  • Spending time outside
  • Animal watching
  • Babies and baby animals, particularly puppies.

Puppies chewing each other's faces

  • Napping
  • Baking
  • Planning and scheduling tasks – being organized and prepared saves stress and time. Bullet journaling is everything for this.
  • Coffee or tea
  • Walking
  • Online courses and research – Loads are free! I like Coursera, but a Google search will amaze you.
  • Cooking
  • Slowing down to appreciate things (AKA “Savoring”)
  • Crafts
  • Music – Especially that one song. Doesn’t everyone have one or two?
  • Candles and lava lamps (I like my Himalayan salt rock lamp because it has a dimmer and was really inexpensive.)

Did I mention dogs? Sooo many people said dogs!

Further research suggests adding these to your routine

This is where the work comes in for many people.

  • Regular exercise – Everyone knows this is important. Not everyone finds enjoyable or bearable activities and sticks to them. Try new things, switch it up, take the stairs. Search YouTube for short workouts. This one’s only 5 minutes.
  • Adequate sleep – Are you getting enough? Sleep recommendations by age.
  • Helping others – Science proves it is better to give than to receive.
  • Meditation – Just few minutes a day gives major results and you can do it anywhere!
  • Keeping tidy – Clear space, clear mind. Messes are distracting and sometimes overwhelming. (After quite a long period of not being able to keep up with the house, I swear this is true.)
  • Practicing gratitude – Think of or write down three things you’re thankful for each day for a week. I bet you’ll notice a difference.
  • Creating and working toward goals – Forward motion is key! Not doing this can lead to depression.

A couple lists to look over:

Imagine or write your own.

Get personal, get silly, think of tiny things… think BIG!

Most importantly, compare your list to how you spend your time.

Reevaluate priorities and low quality or time-wasting activities, then take small steps toward balance.

The clock is ticking. Go do something you love.


Further Reading:

5 Reasons You Need a Happy List

10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science

31 Habits of Happy People – Backed by Research & Psychology

Thank you to my fellow bloggers Angela, Ashley, Ayah, Donna, Jina, Kim, and Liz for your contributions!

Questions for next week:

We recycle all we can–and hope you do toobut are looking for more ways to minimize household output.

What are some unusual ways to reduce waste?

What do you reuse or repurpose?

Comments, messages, and links appreciated. Thanks for reading, I look forward to your responses and results!

Let me know if you’ve got a question for MMM.


14 thoughts on “Happy Things Lists: Habits, Activities, & Routines for a Higher Level of Happiness

  1. I need to go to my happy place (the beach) soon before I lose my mind, music helps me in the interim.
    We do recycle and reuse when we can. I try to repurpose things like pickle jars for everything from crafts to leftovers, and of course, other containers like sour cream and butter get reused for leftovers if not recycled. I reuse planter pots and try to grow my own herbs (sometimes) inside in my aerogarden, for a while there I made my own scrubs and lotions but got lazy and now I’m back to store bought. That’s all I can think of right now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Get thee to the beach! (Or listen to some beach sounds with your eyes closed near a window? 😉)

      We reuse containers for leftovers too, though I’d really like to switch to glass. (And buy in refillable glass.)

      Aerogardens are so neat! My house is a jungle of jade plants but I’m hoping we can fix the box garden on out porch soon and get at least herbs, greens, and a few tomato plants going this year.

      How did your lotions turn out? Were they cost effective? Did you like the way they worked?

      I’d like to make some but am afraid I’ll spend too much and make something slimy or funky smelling. (There are a lot of recipes out there!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The best ones just use coconut oil and sugar with some essential oils in them. I just used on my body because when I used it on my face, I started having issues. I have super sensitive skin ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I feel you with having sensitive skin. Are you talking about a sugar scrub or lotion? I like Epsom salt scrubs because they help with aches and restless legs and the salt rinses easily but they can be harsh on my skin too. Great for finding cuts and scratches! 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “Get personal, get silly, think of tiny things… think BIG!” You hit the bullseye with this sentence!!

    I don’t do much of recycling, but I try to reduce waste.

    I try my best to not use plastic straws when possible. I want to be a couple of reusable ones and always keep one in my bag. I also got a cloth kit, where I could keep a non-plastic fork and spoon with me 24/7.

    I might jump in with more ideas later, but this was a great post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Ayah!

      I wish restaurants would stop giving straws by default here. I think as many straws get thrown away as used by the end of the day from contamination.

      I like the idea of your kit, that’s really cool! If everyone did that, we’d be so much better off.

      Please do come back—I want to know what you reuse and repurpose, or what you’d like to. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy things. if only life was as easy as listing down the things we should do – it should at least count, right? You did say something like that, didn’t you? I should try the exercise – regularly – and adequate sleep. both of which, though i try, am failing at.
    To reduce waste – i can’t say i recycle much – and maybe this is not what you mean, but I read once an article about a gardener who uses all the parts of vegetables she doesn’t eat to create fertilizers for her garden – vegie skins, peels, egg shells, and so on. all go into the blender, create a paste and goes on back to the soil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, it isn’t easy, but we can all take steps. I think a lot of the time the little things we love or would benefit from doing get ignored and forgotten too easily when we waste time with things we probably wouldn’t consider a priority but have become routine.

      That’s a good use of food waste, though I wouldn’t want to clean the blender!

      There’s a big rotating drum we put scraps in for compost. It smells absolutely wretched, but it does the trick. Wouldn’t want it any closer to the house though.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The region where I live is very environmentally friendly, so recycling and composting is very easy. The guinea pigs will happily much on things I might otherwise throw in the compost, like bell pepper cores. I reuse ziploc sandwich bags. That’s about it – I’m not really very creative when it comes to reusing/repurposing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’re lucky to have a good setup for recycling and composting too.

      Our dog doesn’t like (or isn’t allowed to have) most of our food scraps.

      I’m getting such a funny image of you with the guinea pigs in the kitchen like Cinderella and her mice.
      (It might be nap time.)

      Liked by 1 person

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