This list is a compilation of experiences that occur in relationships that give people joy. Many of these were written directly to me and come from different perspectives. If you would like to add yours then feel free to leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hopefully you will find some inspiration from this list and go after what brings you joy!
1. Making a new friendship. Meeting people and getting to know someone new is always great. Different people bring different perceptions, stories, experiences, etc. and can play an impact on our lives and vice versa. If you find yourself unhappy with your friendships currently or not having that many friends, then try to find ways to meet other people. There are so many people in the world, and there has to be someone who you can really have a meaningful friendship with.
2. Comforting a friend and helping them escape their troubles no matter how small or serious. Sometimes a way to help ourselves feel better and get through troubling thoughts and times is by helping others.
3. Getting to know someone. Yes, some people may be annoying, not quite what we expected, or all out disappointing but the process of learning about someone is beautiful. Some of the best ways to figure out how to be happy can be through meeting and interacting with different people. There are billions of people in the world and for each person that disappoints there is another who will exceed our expectations.
4. The key to how to find happiness, can sometimes come with the quality of time you spend with someone. Sometimes little things such as taking a walk with a friend and just talking with them regardless if it’s just joking around, getting to know that person better, or a serious conversation can be relieving.
5. Talking to a friend who you know is listening. Notice the word listening. A lot of people want to know how to be a friend to someone, or more specifically how to be a better friend to someone. There are not too many answers to that question but what really helps constitute a good friendship is knowing that someone is listening to you, and actually cares. Talking to a friend who is listening really can be very comforting.
6. Catching up with old friends who you have not seen or talked to in a long time.
7. Being able to have someone to whom your thoughts can turn to in troubling times is also very important. You may not be able to speak to that person at that given time for whatever reason, but just thinking about someone who means something to you whether it is a friend, a child, a relative, or a stranger you met briefly can be very comforting and be an additional way to find another reason to be happy.
8. Receiving a big, warm hug from someone. Sometimes finding reasons to live can be with a small gesture such as a nice hug from someone. Again, it may be small, but seeking physical comfort through a hug or something similar can make you feel better at the time.
9. Seeing someone you care about again after a very long time. Whether near or far, try and do something with someone that you have lost contact with. If meeting up with this person is not possible, then send them an e-mail or call them on the phone. Either way sometimes reconnecting with people who you care about or were close to at one point can be helpful with feeling happy again.
10. Going out partying with friends. Something about hanging out with a group of people and having crazy fun can really help. Be social and get out and do something with people. This can help you not focus so much on the negatives of life for a bit and make some more positive memories.
11. Giving someone something they have always wanted or needed and seeing their expression of gratitude and happiness. Sometimes seeing other people happy can help you feel happy as well, especially if it is someone you love and care about.
12. Resolving past conflicts with friendships or family. Sometimes letting go of past grudges are pain really lifts a huge weight off of your heart.
13. Staring into the eyes of someone you love
14. Receiving a poem from someone special no matter if it is well written or not, or whether they wrote it themselves or decided to quote it from another source. The point is that someone took the time to give you a poem that they felt had something to do with you in some way.
15. Thinking about positive ways you have impacted people or made people smile.
16. Seeing a the face of a newborn child.
17. Chatting with someone younger than you about their life, or giving advice to people in general. Over a lifetime you gain tons of experience in many different areas, and it is always good to give people advice who may lack that experience if they need and want it. Just talk to someone about what is important to them, and give them advice if it is needed. Great way to get your thoughts off of your own problems, and really help someone.
18. Receiving a gift or card from someone whether it is a surprise or expected.
19. Community service and giving back to people less fortunate. This is by far one of the things that really helps me find a life of meaning. There is nothing as great as taking the time to do something to help someone who really needs it.
20. Falling in love with someone amazing and acting like a crazy idiot because of it.
21. Sending care packages to soldiers.
22. My children
23. Playing fun games with little children.
24. Meeting someone who changes or influences your life in some way.
25. Donating money to an organization for a good cause. This is especially good for people who really cannot donate their time, so putting money towards a cause can also make you feel better and more importantly help others.
26. Hearing someone tell you that they love you, especially if it is someone you want to have love you or that you love in return.
27. Receiving a compliment no matter how small or large from someone always feels nice. This is a two way street as well, since it always feels good to compliment someone and see how much it improves their mood. Be appreciative of sincere compliments from others, and if you like something about someone then do not hesitate to tell them.
28. Teasing someone playfully. Sometimes it is fun just to put all serious aside and just tease someone playfully , make some crazy jokes, and try to have a good time. This can really improve your mood if you just need to relax and have fun with friends.
29. Doing random acts of kindness such as leaving anonymous cards to your friends telling them how wonderful they are, buying someone you don’t know a gift randomly, leaving change around for people to find. Not only is this really fun to try, but really does make you feel good that you are hopefully improving someone’s mood.
30. My marriage and my relationship with my significant other.
31. Talking with someone on the phone, or even via instant messenger actively for many hours. Definitely something you cannot do with everyone, or all the time, but it is always nice when it does happen.
32. Seeing your family happy and watching them achieve their goals, and seeing some of their wishes come true.
33. Receiving wonderful kisses from someone that you love.
34. Receiving a smile from someone that you never met before, and also sending a stranger a smile yourself.
35. The knowledge that someone admires you, and really looks up to you. Does not matter if this is a friend, sibling, parent, coworker, or whomever, it is nice that someone considers you their role model.
36. The feeling when the weekend comes and you get to just relax and have some fun.
37. Being able to not do anything with a friend and still have a great time.
38. Receiving an apology from someone who really hurt you in the past. Even if things cannot be fully forgiven, an apology is always a good first step and helps set the stage for letting go.
39. Realizing that someone unexpected cares about you.
40. Serenading someone or being serenaded. It is fun, and a really nice and sometimes romantic gesture to sit by while someone sings to you or plays a song for you, and this goes the other way too. Try it!
41. Forgiving someone for something hurtful that they have done in the past.
42. Adopting a child and providing them with a family and a home.
43. Volunteering at a nursing home or club that you enjoy.
44. Attending a fundraiser that helps or supports someone.
45. Having your hair played with or brushed by someone else. Even playing with someone’s hair or styling it can be really fun.
46. Watching cheesy movies either with friends or by yourself.
47. Accepting someone for who they are as a person. You may meet people who possess traits that rub you the wrong way or do things you simply don’t understand, but learning to accept someone rather than fighting to change someone usually results in increased understanding and less negativity.
48. Reconnecting with an old friend or family member on an online social network.
49. Working with someone from an opposing religious or political viewpoint on a common task. Sometimes you both end up learning from each other and you may develop increased tolerance and understanding towards another.
50. The day that someone expresses their desire to marry and spend the rest of their life with you.
51. Seeing others around you doing well and being happy.
52. Tell your significant other how attractive he/she is.
53. Give a friend or lover something they have wanted for a long time.
54. Try to have a better relationship with your partner’s family and friends. Not only will this have a positive influence on your relationship with your partner but you’ll feel closer to his or her family and friends.
55. Help a friend find a job. If you are looking for a job, then ask some good friends to help out. Finding jobs can be challenging but having supportive friends can make this challenge less daunting.
56. Help plan a trip with someone. Even if you aren’t going, planning the trip can still be a fun task and make you feel like you are part of the experience.
57. Volunteer to help out with a wedding of a friend or family member. You may feel better being an active part of making someone’s wedding day go smoothly and happily.
58. Ask for help. If things are getting really bad then don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may be surprised at how supportive family and friends can be when you actually ask for help.
59. Call someone you know who is having a hard time. Talk with them and be supportive. I’m sure they will appreciate your call, and you may feel better doing something for a friend you care about.
60. Be outspoken about your feelings. If you are having a difficult time expressing yourself then find ways to express yourself to someone. Writing e-mails, texts, letters, phone calls or through other mediums are ways to communicate with someone.
61. Visit a special place with your loved one. Only you and that person knows what that special place is but going back to that place can remind you both of how meaningful and wonderful your relationship or friendship is.
62. Ask for help. If things are getting really bad then don’t be afraid to ask for help. You may be surprised at how supportive family and friends can be when you actually ask for help.