All of us need regular reminders of the beauty in this life, of the beauty in our lives. Because we naturally forget or overlook or disregard. We naturally close our eyes and stop using our senses. We naturally take everything for granted. We naturally hold sky-high expectations for ourselves and others. The good recedes into the background, replaced with errands, to-do lists, work, stuff. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for resources that help us remember the beauty, and do so in a creative, playful way. Because engaging our imagination is a powerful way to access positive emotions, to rediscover that which we’ve forgotten—but thankfully not for long.
In The Positivity Kit: Instant Happiness on Every Page artist and author Lisa Currie shares a slew of illustrated interactive prompts that remind us of the little (which are actually big) things that make us smile. Today, I’m sharing 10 of my favorite prompts from her wonderful book, which I hope serve as beautiful reminders for you, too.
- Keep a catalog of these good things: “My all-time favorite condiment. This sweet compliment someone once gave me. This invention, because it’s the best! This nice moment in my daily routine. Giggling with friends about…When the kitchen smells like…This photo I found on the internet.”
- Nine fun words to say out loud… (Currie gives the fitting examples of snickerdoodle and haberdashery.)
- “The most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in real life…”
- Draw a different mug for every day of the week—“something to make you smile as you sip your morning coffee/tea!”
- List several small but satisfying victories you’ve had recently.
- Draw a portrait of someone who’s helped you in some way. Then write that person a thank-you note, expressing how much their support really means to you.
- As Currie writes (and many a singer has sung), “the best things in life are free.” List 10 best things that don’t cost a thing.
- Focus on your favorite or most important sounds: “The sound I love falling asleep to…My favorite sound to wake up to…The sound I miss from my childhood…The sound that always makes me laugh…The sound that makes me feel safe…The sound that makes me feel excited…What ‘home’ sounds like to me…The sound that reminds me of being on holiday…The sound that reminds me of someone I love…”
- Draw a map of places that make you happy.
- List your favorite things for every letter of the alphabet, starting with A and ending with Z.
These are great prompts to do by yourself or to enjoy with a loved one. They’re also great to do with kids. Because using our senses fully, savoring the moment, being grateful and connecting to our imagination are all vital lessons to learn and practice—whatever our age.
What are your favorite prompts from above? What puts a smile on your face? What’s your favorite sound or smell? What reminds you of the beauty in your life?