In the past, I’ve sometimes written a gratitude journal, although I tend to get bored with that quite quickly. But over the last few weeks, I’ve discovered an even better way to feel gratitude.

Instead of waking up and writing down what I’m grateful for, I’ve decided to be more mindful as I go about my day. This has led me to find many things that bring joy into my life. Even the smallest of things can make me smile and feel happier.

These things are all around us, but we often completely miss them because we’re too busy focusing on other things.

These are the 5 things I found today that made me happy.

#1 — Feeding a stray cat

Feeding stray cats is something my wife and I do on most days. Today, we saw a cat that we used to feed but hadn’t seen for a few weeks. We called her, and she came running to us. She obviously remembered us and rubbed against our legs. We had a packet of cat food ready.

It brings me so much joy to see how stray cats react to getting fed. Last year, I regularly fed a stray cat a piece of my salmon. The waitress seemed a bit shocked that I’d give the cat salmon. I didn’t have any choice though. The cat only had to look at me to melt my heart.

#2 — Seeing great architecture

Trellick Tower — One of my favorite buildings — Photo by the author

When I stay in one place for a while, I tend not to notice the buildings so much. I’m too busy thinking about where I’m going. But when I set out to be more mindful, I’m more likely to notice some great architecture.

Sometimes it’s some amazing building but other times it might just be a unique house that I spot. Or even a building that I’ve seen many times before.

#3 — Finding a new café where I can take a break with a tea of coffee

Sweet Pony — Photo by the author.

I visit cafes every day. I like to relax with a cup of tea or coffee for an hour or so. It gives me time to think and/or read. I often use the time to plan for upcoming projects. Other times I may meet a friend and catch up with what’s going on with them.

#4 — Donating money to a homeless person

I often donate money to homeless people, especially when I’m in Thailand. Sometimes I like to surprise them with an extra-large donation. Just seeing their eyes light up is well worth the money.

So many people around the world have very difficult lives compared to those in the West. We should do all we can to help them.

#5 — Spotting weird things

Police lights for sale — Photo by the author

Yesterday, I spotted a shop selling a light that fits on the top of a police car. This made me laugh. I don’t know why the shop is selling stuff like this. Surely the police should be directly supplied with products like this. It’s even possible that you can buy one if you’re a member of the police force.

What brings you happiness? Let me know in the comments section.

One of the 5 Core Principles from the Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living is

Gratitude — Acknowledge blessings, small and large

I think my story fits that perfectly.