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10 Things That Instantly Spark Joy and Brighten Your Day

We all need a little boost sometimes. Luckily there are hundreds of ways to exercise your mindfulness muscle and give yourself that happiness pick-me-up you're looking for.

Often it's as simple as shifting our attention to a few of the little things that are easily taken for granted. By practicing appreciation for the small things, we train ourselves to recognize these moments more readily, which aids in living happier overall.

1. Driving on New Pavement

It doesn't matter if you're in a beater or Benz; if there is one great equalizer for all motorists, it's the quality of the road being driven.

The moment your tires hit the fresh pavement, it feels like flying. Everything becomes quieter and feels more peaceful.

I give thanks to all the road crews out there. I don't think there is any other job that is more disliked by all and never given proper appreciation for a job well done.

By the time the road is finished, they're off to the next place, making motorists miserable until they finish.

2. Making Consecutive Greenlights

Traffic is moving, and you're not speeding. As you approach each intersection, there is just enough time between the light turning green and the approach of the vehicles around you that no one has to slow down. Your commute goes on like this for several intersections.

What could have been a ten or 15-minute drive has now been cut in half. You arrive at your destination early and have a few minutes to relax and collect your thoughts.

3. The Smell of Coffee Brewing

Maybe this is not so universal, but I can remember loving the smell of coffee as a kid long before I enjoyed the taste. Even now, as an adult, I don't always love the taste of coffee as much as I enjoy the smell.

4. The Warmth of the Sun on Your Skin When it's Cold Out

Did you know this sensation even has its own word? It's called Apricity. Have you ever sat in a sunroom on a sunny winter day or been outside when the wind is still and you can feel the warmth of sunshine even when it's below freezing? It's an amazing sensation that's sure to make you smile.

5. Getting Into Fresh Bedsheets

Turn-down service, anyone? Generally, making the bed is not everyone's favorite activity. Lots of weird angles straining to pull the fitted sheet over the corners of a heavy mattress and lots of walking back and forth.

However, looking forward to and eventually getting in the fresh sheets at the end of a long day is a real treat. Something about the smell, and the un-rumpled smooth feel, is just the best.

6. The Smell After Rain

Depending on the season, the way it smells after rain will differ. The smell after a strong summer thunderstorm is especially lovely.

Just like the warm sun on a cold day, the smell after rain also has its own word called Petrichor. The term was coined by two Australian researchers in the 1960's.

Though it may not technically be rain, waking up to fresh snow on a sunny morning also comes with its own crisp fresh scent that is delightful.

Especially if it's a true snow day and you can enjoy sledding, skiing, or other winter activities all day.

7. Coming Home to a Clean House

If you work outside the home, it is really nice to keep a neat home and not have the dread of chores looming over you when you get home tired from work.

It's even better when you've gone on a trip or vacation, had a wonderful time, and come home to a tidy place. I can't think of any other way to take pride in where you live than to keep things looking nice and neat.

8. The Feeling After a Great Workout

Mmmmm endorphins!

You'll be relieved it's done, glad you did it, and happy with the results over time.

No matter your preferred form of physical activity, it's always great to move your body and challenge yourself, even if that means going for a walk.

9. Removing Stickers or Plastic Film

Pulling the protective plastic off new devices or removing stickers in one piece is not only a skill but an art form. New device screens, small electronics, or that clearance candle with the sticker ruining the vibe. These are all moments to be savored by the few.

When you catch the corner just right and outmaneuver the security design to remove the sticker in one clean pull, you have a little victory to cherish for hours.

10. Using a New Razor

There's nothing like the first shave with a new razor. The fresh look and exquisite feel of smooth skin must be truly cherished for exactly ten minutes before it feels stubbly again.

If laser hair removal became a novel thing do you think you would miss your old trusty razor? I'm not sure I would.

An Extra Spark:

Peeling an orange or another fruit in one continuous piece. P.S. bananas don't count! Of course, there are peeling machines that can peel a fruit or vegetable in one go, but it's another thing to do it as a clumsy human.

Sure, this is what kids are amused by at the lunch table but isn't that the point? To let ourselves be amused by the simple and mundane?

In Closing

Smirk, roll your eyes, laugh, or bask in the memory of enjoying one of the experiences on the list. Admit it; these are the silly little things that can really pick up your mood if you give them the chance.

Hopefully, there were a few things on the list you've had the chance to enjoy, and possibly a couple of items you hadn't considered before. Look for these little sparks to crop up where ever you go and share them with those around you.

"one of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats" - Iris Murdoch

Indulge in the simple pleasures.

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