Things That Make Me Happy {An Exercise in Thanksgiving}

Such a great way to get remind myself of what really matters in life. I'm going to try this for Thanksgiving this year.

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Have you ever written a “Things That Make Me Happy” list? It’s a great exercise to develop a more thankful heart!

As I’m writing this, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. The trees in our neighborhood are almost bare, well, with the exception of the lichen that stays year-round. And the neighbors are starting to take their Halloween decorations down.

I love Thanksgiving so much but I’ll admit that it kind of gets muddled with all of the other celebrations in November and December for us. We have our anniversary, two birthdays (in our family of three!), and about a million other things that are going on. It can be easy to make it all about the meal and forget to take a moment to be thankful for all we’ve been given.

So this year, I want to start a little early. This week and next week, I’m going to share a couple of exercises I’m doing to slow down and truly enjoy this season.

Such a great way to get remind myself of what really matters in life. I'm going to try this for Thanksgiving this year.

When I wrote my book, The Creative Retreat, I added two pages with the heading, “Things That Make Me Happy” written in my handwriting. I drew clouds to cover the pages and encouraged readers to fill the clouds up with things that make them laugh and fill them up with joy.

I know the word, “happy” has been debated many times in terms of it not being a very good indicator as to whether something is good for you or even a good indicator of “true” gratitude, but hopefully you’ll hear me out here.

Such a great way to get remind myself of what really matters in life. I'm going to try this for Thanksgiving this year.

When I think of what makes me happy, time and again, it’s the simple things. Many of the things that bring a smile to my face and make me laugh out loud are not things money can buy. They’re often things that are readily at my disposal.

The thing is, I tend to forget about them.

Such a great way to get remind myself of what really matters in life. I'm going to try this for Thanksgiving this year.

In the busyness of life, in the day-to-day of getting things done, those little things are pushed to the side, ignored, stepped over, and sometimes even become a source of frustration. (i.e. “I don’t have time for this! I need to get dinner on the table!” kind of attitude . . . though, that’s a bad example. I’ve been known to skip getting dinner on the table in order to do something fun.)

Anyway, my point is, those “things that make me happy” aren’t necessarily bad. I’m not talking about being narcissistic here either. We’re talking about opening our hearts to gratitude, not trumpeting, “It’s All About Me!” to anyone who will listen.

It’s more of an exercise where you take the time to notice and slow down. You honestly ask yourself, “What does make me happy? What brings me joy?”

Related: How a Sticker-Covered Book Makes Me Happy

Such a great way to get remind myself of what really matters in life. I'm going to try this for Thanksgiving this year.

Some of my things right now?

~ My daughter’s giggles. Those will probably be at the top of my list forever. She cracks me up.

~ Gorgeous billowy thunderhead clouds. Okay, they’re technically cumulonimbus clouds. We don’t get them very often here (in my opinion) but when we do, whoohoo!

~ Tuesday night Bible study with a group of wonderful women. This is one of the highlights of my week. So grateful.

~ Dark chocolate (I suppose this is “happiness” that I would have to buy, right? Worth it.)

~ Going on a run. I’ve been getting back into running as of late, and it feels so wonderful to be out on the road again.

~ And going on walks with my family on the weekend, even if it’s raining. This Saturday morning ritual has become my favorite time of the week.

Such a great way to get remind myself of what really matters in life. I'm going to try this for Thanksgiving this year.

There are many more things that make me happy . . . but now it’s your turn. What makes you smile? What are the little things you could think about and say a prayer of thanks for today? Some of these things can be journaled about, listed in a planner, or even put on an personal inspiration board.

I hope this little exercise encourages you and helps you to remember all the good things in your life. Next week, I’ll be sharing a simple Thanksgiving craft we’re doing as a family this year, so stay tuned!

I hope you all have a wonderful {and creative} day!

P.S. A year or so after I wrote this post, I wrote a book on happy journaling. You can get it on Amazon and start your own happy journaling process where you draw moments in your day that bring a smile to your face. Stick figures welcome!

2 thoughts on “Things That Make Me Happy {An Exercise in Thanksgiving}

  1. What a lovely post! When we focus on the things that make us happy, even the smallest of them, we realize we are truly blessed! Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party this week!

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