50 Unexpectedly Wholesome Situations To Brighten Your Day (New Pics)
Sometimes we need to brace ourselves before hopping online. Reading the news and scrolling through social media can be unexpectedly distressing experiences. You never know what tragic event has occurred since the last time you checked in with the world, but we can expect one thing: the news is usually filled with more upsetting stories than uplifting ones.
For a refreshing change of pace, many people turn to the Unexpectedly Wholesome subreddit. With a community of over 170k members, r/UnexpectedlyWholesome is a warm, safe place where users share situations they’ve experienced or seen online that end in an uplifting twist. From parents being surprisingly supportive to animals acting as adorable as ever, enjoy this list of reminders that our world still has plenty of positivity left to go around. Then if you’re in need of even more heartwarming content after finishing this piece, we’ve got you covered with another Unexpectedly Wholesome Bored Panda list right here.
You know that saying “out of sight, out of mind”? I think that idea rings true for a lot of us. And this day in age, where we’re dealing with, or at the very least witnessing, a pandemic, war and the destruction of our planet due to climate change (that we caused!), it can be easy for uplifting stories to fade right out of sight. And it’s not our fault. When all we see in the media is upsetting reports, it's an understandable reaction to feel like nothing good ever happens anymore. But with pages like Unexpectedly Wholesome, we can bring positivity back to the front of our minds, even for just a few minutes each day.
Writer Emily Torres published a piece last year titled “Why Are We Craving ‘Wholesome’ Things In 2021?”, and she hit the nail on the head by saying, “In a year that’s left nothing but holes in our hearts, we’re all trying to find some way back to our whole selves.”
Emily went on to liken the holes in our hearts to nutrient deficiencies that we can help fix with regular supplements like “smell[ing] the clean fur of a sun-drenched puppy”. “Wholesome moments are everywhere,” Emily notes. “If only we’ll pay attention to them.” She recommends readers become more observant in their daily lives and, instead of rushing through things, stop to appreciate the little things. It’s hard to describe the feeling one gets when experiencing or witnessing a purely wholesome moment, but it’s sort of a rush of warmth that almost does give the sensation of a hole being filled.
Emily also notes that being uplifting doesn’t have to be a temporary state. “Being ‘wholesome’ is not a performance; rather, it’s a state of being that is sustainable and life-giving to us and those around us.” It’s natural to feel a longing for wholesomeness, and we owe it to ourselves, and those around us, to feed that desire and allow positivity to blossom.
Santa Comes In Many Forms
So how do we find positivity in our daily lives? Aside from a few minutes on the Unexpectedly Wholesome subreddit each day, a doctor might also prescribe you a healthy dose of positive-thinking content through books or podcasts. Luckily, the internet has unlimited resources to help you boost your serotonin levels. One book on this topic is The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life by New York Time’s best-selling author Shawn Achor. Achor is the author of 5 successful books, but The Happiness Advantage is his most popular and is described as “the happy secret to greater success and fulfillment in work and life—a must-read for everyone trying to flourish in a world of increasing stress and negativity”.
I Just Saw This On Fb I Don’t Know If It’s Been Posted Here But I Had All Sorts Of Feels!!! I Definitely Smiled Tho
As far as podcasts are concerned, the world is your oyster in finding positive content there as well. One popular research-based positive podcast is “The Science of Happiness”, which is hosted by award-winning psychologist Dacher Keltner. The show, which has been running since 2018, now has 115 episodes, with each one featuring tips for leading a more joyful life. Topics the show has covered include “How to Find Your Spark in Life”, “How Gratitude Renews Us”, “24 Hours of Kindness” and “Scheduling Time to Feel Awesome”. Listeners also give the podcast glowing reviews. One fan wrote, “It’s wonderful to learn about yourself through other people’s experiences. It takes the pressure off and allows the listener to be inspired without being deterred by one's own insecurities. These stories are entertaining and thought-provoking.”
They Stay With Us In Unexpected Ways
It Warms My Heart To See People Who Are Often Stereotyped As Violent Be Caring And Companionate
Everyone’s definition of wholesome may be slightly different: some people are thrilled by the sight of babies while others only melt when they see adorable animals. Even virtual encounters and memes can be incredibly wholesome for some people. In 2017, Time magazine published a piece titled “How the Internet Is Getting a Little Nicer, One Meme at a Time” detailing the story of how Twitter user @JonnySun gave the Sad Kermit meme, which was viral at the time, an uplifting twist by challenging his followers to turn “a virtual punch line into a symbol of hope”. Some of the captions submitted were “when you remember how much someone loves you" and “when you’re so proud of how far you have come, and excited for how far you have to go". While memes often have a more cynical twist, they can be used to promote a little positivity online as well.
I Mean, We Were All Thinking The Same Thing
Football Coach Cancels Practice...
One of the reasons the posts on this list are so enjoyable is because the endings are unexpected. But why do our brains always jump to the worst case scenario? Why do we start reading something and begin to brace ourselves for bad news? According to Meg Jay, a clinical psychologist, our brains are actually wired to expect the worst. “When early humans were wandering the Earth, underestimating what was around the corner (or in the bushes or the forest) could be deadly,” Meg explains in a piece for Harvard Business Review. “This is why the most primitive parts of our brains take a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach to uncertainties, both big and small.”
Taking Time To Love One Another
Apparently jumping to the worst case scenario, or catastrophizing, is incredibly common, especially for young people. Meg explains that we’re most likely to have a mindset that assumes the worst between the ages of 18-35, because those are typically the most unsettled years of people’s lives. She goes on to note that the development of the prefrontal cortex that’s happening during our 20’s doesn’t help the situation. “That doesn’t mean young adults can’t cope. Rather, it means that now is a great time to hardwire new habits, such as slowing down and thinking things through.”
People Helping People
Meg then goes on to share tips on how we can stop catastrophizing situations and develop healthier habits. Her first tip is to “stop time traveling”. Most of our fears include future events, perhaps months or years from now. But worrying about the future is not conducive to tackling the tasks we need to complete in the present moment. Next, Meg recommends to focus on whatever it is you’re scared of. “Catastrophizing is based on fear rather than on facts,” she explains. Recognizing the actual facts of a situation often helps us realize that we have little to fear at all.
Next, Meg recommends fearful individuals to play out their worst case scenario in their heads. Although it’s probably not the most likely outcome, imagine what would actually happen. Your life will probably still go on. After realizing the worst case, play out your best case scenario. Meg notes that the best and worst case scenarios are often “simply childlike fantasies” with reality falling “somewhere in between”. She explains that catastrophizing is a way of looking at issues as black and white, but what we need to do is see the grey. There is nuance to every situation, and it’s best to avoid fixating on the ends of the spectrum.
8 Year Old’s Rebellion
Lastly, Meg notes that, “The real cure for catastrophizing is confidence, and confidence comes from experience.” While it may feel like we hear bad news everywhere we go, there is plenty of news worth celebrating as well. We just need to know where to look. Our instincts are there to protect us, but what would happen if we started challenging them and viewed our lives through a more optimistic lens? What’s the worst thing that could happen? Okay, now imagine what the best outcome would be. Reality is probably somewhere in the middle...
After reading some of this list, I'm feeling more wholesome already. It has inspired me to bake some brownies and deliver them to my neighbors just for fun. We hope you're enjoying your daily dose of wholesome content as much as we are, and don't forget to upvote and comment on your favorite posts. Then let us know in the comments what wholesome situations you've recently found yourself in to keep the positive vibes flowing!