35 Mundane, Surprising Or Extraordinary Things That Made People Very Happy
In our fast-moving world, we rarely get the chance to stop and think about the forces that drive our happiness and our sense of purpose. Sure, we can find books, podcasts, and blog posts detailing a zillion things that can immediately get our serotonin flowing, yet it may still remain a mystery. But the truth is, our lives are full of wonderful moments — we just sometimes need to be reminded of them.
Thankfully, Redditor MyForever_NameNow thought we could all use a little joy when they reached out to 'Ask Reddit' with a wholesome question: "What’s the happiest you’ve ever felt?" The thread immediately became a hit as people typed out a host of funny, uplifting, and heartwarming stories to brighten each other's day.
Below, you’ll find some of the best responses that prove everyone has a different idea of what it means to be happy, and that’s completely fine! Get ready for a wave of positivity as you continue reading through these stories, and scroll down to find our in-depth interview about the role of happiness with psychologist Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. Then hit upvote on your favorite entries and share this post with anyone who might need a bit of a boost!
I had recently come out of the closet to my grandmother. At the time she said she still loved me, but she wouldn't want to meet a boyfriend. OK.
She called me a few days later, crying. She told me she had been wrong, she would be happy to meet anyone who loved me, and hoped I would feel welcome to bring them to her. The joy I felt was...indescribable.
This might be weird but I keep thinking back to this and how I will never have this experience again:
I was 13, nerdy, loved to draw, grew up rural. My Grandma lived close to a big city. Went to visit her in the Summer and then went to an Japanese culture fest in said city. I was overwhelmed by the experience. Bought two super sweet Neon Genesis Evangelion artbooks.
When I went back to Grandma's place by train, I missed the stop and got off one stop later. It was quite late already, but a warm summer night. Next train back would come in 2hrs.
These two hours, alone during a summer night with two artbooks at a tiny, rural train stop surrounded by trees and absolutely nobody else around were pure bliss. A weird feeling of peaceful, 'liminal' joy that I can't properly explain.
Different happiness than love, etc.
I haven't really told this story to many people because I know nobody would truly understand the feeling, and that would kinda ruin my memory.
Can you guess how many results you get if you Google the phrase "how to be happy"? Over 3 billion! This enormous number may surprise you at first, but the truth is that happiness is a goal that many aspire to achieve in life — even if they have trouble pinpointing what it actually means.
After all, the definition can vary from one person to another. For some, it’s globetrotting the world and discovering hidden destinations that bring the beauty of this planet into a new light. For others, it’s digging in the dirt of their garden and slowly watching plants grow. Whatever your idea of happiness is, it’s a true driving force that helps people connect with one another and cope with the twists and turns of life.
To explore this conundrum, we reached out to Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., a psychologist and creator of Mental Drive. He started this well-being initiative to help people lead healthier, more fulfilled, and successful lives by giving them access to psychological tools they can use daily. "Happiness has deep neurochemical roots and is a biological process as much as it is a feeling," he told Bored Panda.
Trying to keep up with my dog and boyfriend as they ran along the beach chasing the dolphins that were in the water. I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe. It was a sunny March day so nobody up and down for miles, just us. The bright blue sky and glimmer coming off the ocean - the salty mist while the waves crashed and the cold ocean at our feet.
God I haven’t ever felt so alive in my whole life. It was one of those moments where I wished I could have it burned into my memory. Like I could tuck it away and live in it forever.
That was a good day.
when my youngest was born, she really wanted out and my wife made it to the bathtub, and she came out with my help, she had the umbilical cord around her neck and i managed to get my finger under that and free her, that first cry made me so happy.
she's eleven now and sitting on the couch right now eating chocolate and watching TV...
Once I was driving from Philly to Las Vegas. On one leg of the trip, I got a bit of a late start and I really wanted McDonalds breakfast (this was before they served it all day).
My clock said 10:22, and I was about 15 miles from the next exit, so I knew I would never make it. Then I crossed over a time zone and my clock changed.
"When we are happy, dopamine and natural endorphins are released. We literally are chemically altered in a way that feels good. That process is tied to events in our lives and so the search to engage in activities that make us feel the neurochemical euphoria is a mission for many of us," he explained. "Happiness is a biological signal that is very primitive and very core to our assessment that we are safe and secure in the world."
I was taking a walk in December last year when everything around me in my personal life was hell. A feeling of calm washed over me, and I started to look at how beautiful the sky was. I was crystalline in that perfect moment, and cried a few happy tears. I realized that being "present" is the only way to truly *live*... The past and the future are illusions and robbers of life. Ever since then I am extremely committed to finding beauty in every day things. I frequently feel very happy now, because I never run out of things to marvel at.
When I finally felt that I've gotten over my depression and no longer have suicidal thoughts.
When the doctors told me last year my wife was coming off the ventilator that she had been on for two weeks due to Covid.
While happiness has become a pursuit for many, some people have formed twisted perspectives of it. We often hear phrases like "put on a happy face" or "choose to be happy", even when we encounter adversities and feel angry, sad, or frustrated. People who deny these feelings and pretend to lead a joyful life also ignore a part of what it means to be human. But according to a study published in Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, the more value and focus you put on happiness, the less happy you are. Or, in other words, obsessive pursuit of happiness may be the very barrier that prevents people from achieving it.
"People who value happiness to an extreme degree are less likely to attain happiness in both the short term and the long term,” psychologist Felicia Zerwas told Forbes. "One reason that scientists think that valuing happiness might backfire is because it might lead people to feel more disappointed at times when happiness is most within reach."
I remember being in 8th grade watching a movie at my girlfriends house and we were giggling and commentating on the movie the whole time and just remember thinking I would marry her someday. I’m now 29 and we still giggle and commentate on every movie just like we did when we were kids, but that “young love” feeling is a very happy feeling for the first time, I’m just so lucky to still have those feelings 15+ years later
My ex, who loves frogs to death, asked me to go frogging with her early unto our relationship, not to kill them, just to catch and identify them. Its one of my happiest memories and without a doubt the most attracted I've ever been to someone.
Its actually when I started to realize how strong and how smart of a person she was which combined with everything else made be fall head over heels.
When a friend invited me as an accompanying person to her friend's New Year's Eve party. All the people there treated me like an ordinary person, not a hideous worm.
in junior high school, I was one of the most disliked people at school, I was persecuted by students and the teacher. These experiences caused me a kind of fear of other people and the conviction that I am the worst abomination. But at this party I was treated like an ordinary person, it was the nicest thing I experienced.
Really, nothing nicer happened to me.
Alternatively, accepting your emotions as they are in the current moment gives you a better chance of reaching this blissful emotional state. Thankfully, you don’t have to glide through life pretending to be cheerful all the time or disown your negative feelings. Remember that you can always find light, even in the darkest hours.
Psychologist Klapow agrees with this line of thinking. He pointed out that happiness is possible in micro-moments of our life. "So even in the worst of situations, we may find a minute, an hour, a fleeting experience of happiness. In fact, in bad times, our ability to search for meaning, to find meaning, and literally to find the silver lining, and the good that lies within the bad, can give us the emotional fuel to stick with and work through bad times. Happiness is a soothing emotion that helps reduce the pain of a bad situation. As such, it helps us get through the worst of times."
1st: when I found out I wasn't going to be homeless
2nd: when I sold a copy of my novel to someone that wasn't family or friends 👍
Birth of my daugther. No comparison. The little s**t just floors me every day. Today we were watching PJ Masks together and she gave me a hug out of the blue and just said "Thank you" and went back to watching. What the f**k do you do after that...
I feel it every time I'm alone on the open road with a good playlist and no watch or need to know what time it is. When the windows are down and the weather is nice and I'm on my way to explore a new town. That is when I feel the happiest.
But sometimes, it’s just hard to find happiness in the world. From fake news and gloomy headlines to the slew of negativity that reaches us every day, staying positive seems like a difficult task. Of course, it’s important to arm ourselves with knowledge to become well-informed and rounded citizens. But adding a dash of uplifting stories to the content we consume can significantly brighten our mood and offer a refreshing change of pace.
"We live in a world where we are surrounded by incoming information," Klapow told us. "From the people we directly engage with, to our social media connections, to the television, radio, streaming, video, and the like content that is at our fingertips. We are in a position literally to surround ourselves with content that we have curated to influence our mood."
The day my daughter was born. 5 years trying and 5 cycles of IVF. Worth every tear.
When my family got the word that my grandma was going to beat her cancer
The first time I kissed the girl that is now my wife.
The psychologist explained that while we need to understand the world and events around us, it’s equally crucial to balance the emotional content of the information we take in. "This is not the same as living in an unrealistic reality that we have conjured up, but rather to look at the inputs of information and interactions and treat them like a balanced diet," he added.
"We need a variety of emotional input and one component is happy, and optimistic information. It gives us balance and perspective on the world and it is critical for our mental health and wellbeing."
Grew up kind of poor, didn't go on my first vacation until I met the woman who'd become my wife. We went to Tennessee and got a cabin with a hot tub and some good muscadine wine. It was night time, gently thundering and raining, little bit of a mist coming in to the high rise porch we were on where the hot tub was, just relaxing, buzzing. To me it felt like the perfect setting, perfect feeling.
Tied with that, she's the first person I saw the ocean with. Took over 6 hours to drive there, we unpacked, walked out to the ocean about knee deep, holding hands. The sound of the waves and the seagulls. The look of happiness on her face as she stared out.
Have a friend who everyone wants to date. He's the ideal man: smart, funny, intelligent and patient. When I feel down he comforts me until I'm no longer sad. He hugged me so tight when I opened up to him about a past eating disorder. A bunch of girls found out and were jelous, saying that I was pathetic and dumb and a burden on his life. He said to them, infront of me, "I would rather have 100 sad conversations with her than listen to you all drone on about how much you wunna suck my d**k.". It was really funny and made me smile for the first time in a while.
Camping. waking up early to gather kindling and firewood to start a fire, getting some water to boil for coffee. getting ready for a hike or stroll through the woods and just being able to breathe and hear the sounds of nature. It's my happy place.
According to Klapow, happiness is neither good nor bad. "The same goes with every emotion we experience. Having happiness as an emotional component of our life is an important contributor to a balanced mental health state. Perpetual euphoria is not healthy, and neither is perpetual distress. Seeking to balance our lives with doses of happiness gives us strength and balance to our overall emotional state," he concluded.
When I finished the final training exercise in Marine boot camp (The Crucible). Proudest moment of my life because I never would've thought in a million years I would've made it through.
I now know how dumb that was to think, but still. The sense or pride I had in myself that day is unmatched to this day.
7 months clean from Jib (Crystal Meth)
never going back under any circumstances. Not even if the cutest chick on the planet who would be willing to bang me if I took a shot of ice.
The meth lifestyle is very dark and depressing. I'm glad Im not there anymore.
**EDIT: Jib is a slang for Crystal Meth just like Tina, Ice, Speed, Clear etc**
When I asked my crush out on a date and she said yes. It was the second time I asked someone out, but my first yes. I was so incredibly happy and relieved that I couldn't stop shaking (I have tremors), I had to take an extra dose of my meds to calm down a bit. I was on Cloud9 for about a day until she texted me saying she was busy etc etc, so essentially a rejection. The date never happened, but for 24hrs I had the greatest euphoria I've ever felt and wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
Every time I see my son. The world stops and it’s just his happy face.
The happiest I've ever felt, was two days ago. I was big spoon, he was little spoon, we were both tired as f**k. I burried my face in the cosiness of his bed sheets and let the warmth of his body just flow through me. I've been living with depression and anxiety for the last 10 years of my nearly 22 year old life, and that evening, I felt something I hadn't felt in those 10 years: peace of mind, and genuine sense of affection. The guy and I aren't a couple, and it's not a FWB thing either, it was platonic and caring. Two people in need of some affection, but he has no idea how happy he made me that evening/night. It's made my longing for love and affection worse since then, because that's how the (my) brain works, but at least I've got this little memory to treasure and safeguard now.
I was working at a call centre and living in a basement.
I literally have no idea why I was so happy.
It lasted for like a month. Strange times.
Me and my crush were hanging out one time, and all I could say was. “I like you… a lot.” And she just smiled and said “Me too.” Has to be the happiest day of my life so far.
I went and visited my older brother who works at a restaurant on a ski resort and I picked the perfect day with tons of powder to go snowboarding with him. He’s good, I’m fairly new. We were doing some carved out tree runs that I still felt pretty unsure about and we’re making me super out of breath. I got up from a break and said “Let’s do this”. I then dropped in like a pro and shredded the first two carves and got a “hell yeah” from my older brother. Felt so validated.
When we bought our house. I thought I'd always live in apartments. It meant so much to me to have a final last place to live.
That first week when I first separated from the military.
I felt so free and happy it was unreal. I'm very happy these days, but I don't think I can reach that peak happiness again.
When I turned around to see my fiancée in her wedding dress at the end of the aisle. Makes me happy every time I think of it
I was with my ex in northern Thailand. We rented an old stick shift land cruiser. I was driving and my ex fell asleep. I had the music on and was driving through miles and miles of mountain roads and rice fields. No one on sight just us. It still is one of my most treasured memories.
Sitting on a roof with my best friend, smoking a joint and listening to some music. Can’t explain why exactly, but it was magical
I *should* say it was the birth of my children, but I can't help but think back to that time in 1998, The Undertaker threw Mankind off Hell In A Cell, and plummeted 16 ft through an announcer's table.
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