+
upworthy
Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

We could all use a roundup of joy.

10 things, piano, squirrel

Upworthy's roundup of delights from around the internet.

Have you ever pondered what joy actually is? Is it different than happiness, and if so, how?

Though the dictionary definitions of the words are quite similar, people like to debate how happiness and joy differ. Some people say happiness is an emotion while joy is a state of mind. Some describe happiness as coming from outside of us while joy comes from within us. Some describe happiness as surface and fleeting while joy is deeper and more lasting.

In the documentary "Mission: JOY," iconic spiritual leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama explore the concept of joy. Each of them has endured a great deal of tragedy and struggle in their lives, yet both exude and embody joy at the deepest level. In 2015, six years before Desmond Tutu passed away, the two holy men spent five days together sharing their thoughts on life, suffering, compassion, joy and more.


The two agree that joy comes from within and is largely born from helping people. As Tutu said in the film, "Joy is the reward of seeking to give joy to others." And science backs that up as well. Research on happiness shows that those who do kind things for others are happier and healthier. The more joy we spread, the more joy we receive.

One of the best things about joy—it doesn't require everything to be OK to feel it. Even in the face of difficulty and struggle, we can find joy. People who face physical or mental health challenges can still experience joy. Though tragedies may touch our lives, joy still finds ways in.

Whether these 10 things will bring you joy or happiness I can't say, but hopefully, they will bring a smile or 10 to your face. Enjoy.

1. Let's all live vicariously through this baby squirrel being brushed.

This might seriously be the most relaxing video I've ever seen. I'd grab that brush and bring it back too, lil' squirrel.

2. These seniors got tap lessons and the joy is palpable.

Just the best. So much fun.

3. Seriously, this documentary about the kinship between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu is what the world needs now.

Everyone needs to watch this film. It's joyful, hopeful, beautiful and hilarious. Desmond Tutu's daughter said these two together have the energy of two 8-year-old boys, and it's so easy to see. Their friendship is truly a wonderful example to us all. Read the story here.

4. Kiddo meets his baby brother for the first time—with a Mario Bros. twist.

"It's a me, Mario!" And he finally got his Luigi. So sweet.

5. Baby leads a dance class and gracious, the cuteness is too much.

Let's have wee ones lead all of our exercise classes from now on, please.

6. Pianist unexpectedly summoned a fellow piano player at a London train station.

How fun is that?!? (Also, more public live music like this, please.)

7. Take a scroll through these pics of sweet doggos smelling the flowers.

The only thing better than a sweet doggo is a sweet doggo taking a moment to smell the flowers. Click the arrow on the right to scroll through.

8. The European Union beat its greenhouse gas emissions targets by more than 70%.

EU, flags

In a bit of good climate news, the EU blew past its greenhouse gas emissions goals for 2020.

Photo by ALEXANDRE LALLEMAND on Unsplash

In a bit of good news on the climate crisis front, official EU data submitted to the United Nations this week shows that the EU not only succeeded in cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% but actually reduced them by 34%—a whopping 70% more than the goal. Undoubtedly, that accomplishment was helped by the COVID-19 shutdowns in 2020, but hey, we'll take it.

9. Gorilla family takes a keen interest in documentary filmmaker.

Can you even imagine? So thrilling and terrifying and adorable, all at the same time. Their curiosity is so innocent and sincere. And the silverback pulling that baby away, like, "Okay, that's enough. Leave the nice man alone." Just incredible.

10. Security camera captures this couple's sweet goodnight moments.

@isabellafons1

é meu vídeo favorito 🥹

The first shot of this video reads, "Me telling my boyfriend that I wanted to record more of our moments." And what follows is a series of candid clips from a home security camera showing them saying goodnight to each other. Awww. Young love. Gotta love it.

Have a joyful week, everyone, and come back next Friday for another roundup of delights!

@racheleehiggins/TikTok

Want out of a relationship rut? The Three hour night might be the perfect solution.

Almost every long term relationship suffers from a rut eventually. That goes especially for married partners who become parents and have the added responsibility of raising kids. Maintaining a connection is hard enough in this busy, fast paced world. Top it off with making sure kids are awake, dressed, entertained, well fed, oh yeah, and alive…and you best believe all you have energy for at the end of the day is sitting on the couch barely making it through one episode on Netflix.

And yet, we know how important it is to maintain a connection with our spouses. Many of us just don’t know how to make that happen while juggling a million other things.

According to one mom, a “three-hour night” could be just the thing to tick off multiple boxes on the to-do list while rekindling romance at the same time. Talk about the ultimate marriage hack.

Keep ReadingShow less

It's time to rethink the term 'geriatric pregnancy' as more women wait to have children

Women are having children well past 40 but are considered "geriatric" after 35.

Rethinking the term 'geriatric pregnancy' as more women wait for kids

In more recent decades, women have started to delay having children or decide to not have them at all. Society has been taught that women must have children when they're in their 20s because that's when fertility is highest. Unfortunately it's true that fertility declines as women age, but pregnancy is still possible up until menopause.

Even if someone previously didn't want children, with technology they have the option to change their minds much later in life. Many women have taken to the idea of having more life and career experience before brining about children. But the language around pregnancy in women over 35 is still pretty offensive.

This now more common phenomenon of waiting until later in life to have children is medically called a geriatric pregnancy, though some doctors sugar coat it by calling it "advanced maternal age." Neither of these terms feels indicative of a warm feeling you're expected to experience while growing a child. BBC's The Global Story podcast blows through some pretty unfortunate misconceptions and truths about pregnancy after 35 in an interview with the Head of Reproductive Science and Sociology Group, UCL.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Family posts a very chill note to neighbors explaining why their dog is on the roof

“We appreciate your concern but please do not knock on our door.."

via Reddit

Meet Huckleberry the dog.

If you were taking a stroll through a quiet neighborhood and happened to catch a glance of this majestic sight, you might bat an eye. You might do a double take. If you were (somewhat understandably) concerned about this surprising roof-dog's welfare, you might even approach the homeowners to tell them, "Uh, I'm not sure if you know...but there's a...dog...on your ROOF."

Well, the family inside is aware that there's often a dog on their roof. It's their pet Golden, Huckleberry, and he just sorta likes it up there.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

Watching kids do lightning fast mental math is both mesmerizing and mind-blowing

Their finger twitching looks random, but WOW is it impressive.

Digamarthi Sri Ramakanth/Wikimedia Commons

2003 UCMAS National Abacus & Mental Arithmetic Competition

In the age of calculators and smartphones, it's become less necessary to do math in your head than it used to be, but that doesn't mean mental math is useless. Knowing how to calculate in your head can be handy, and if you're lucky enough to learn mental abacus skills from a young age, it can be wicked fast as well.

Video of students demonstrating how quickly they can calculate numbers in their head are blowing people's minds, as the method is completely foreign for many of us. The use of a physical abacus isn't generally taught in the United States, other than perhaps a basic introduction to how it works. But precious few of us ever get to see how the ancient counter gets used for mental math.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Kristen Wiig plays a cult leader pilates coach in an epic 'SNL' return

Kristen Wiig made an epic return to “Saturday Night Live” this week

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

A creepy slowed down version of Megan Thee Stallion's "Body" was a fabulous touch.

Kristen Wiig made an epic return to “Saturday Night Live” this week, and along with bringing back her iconic “Aunt Linda” character, she might have created a whole new fan favorite.

In a horror trailer reminiscent of an A24 film, Chloe Fineman and Molly Kearney work up the courage to take their first pilates class. They enter an eerily dark purple room where Wiig, playing a cult-leader Pilates instructor with a fondness for weird pet names, gives them the scariest workout of their life.

Keep ReadingShow less

A man in a red shirt has an epiphany and Mel Robbins delivers a TED Talk.

It’s a wonder that humans can get anything done because we are hard-wired to procrastinate. Whenever we consider performing a task that may be boring, unpleasant, or stressful, the brain automatically sends a signal that says why not do it “later” or “tomorrow”?

Humans are natural-born procrastinators because our old brain wants to protect us from potential danger or discomfort. So, when faced with an uncomfortable situation, our brain springs into action and suggests we do it later.

While some people are able to override this reaction, many cannot and researchers believe that around 20% are chronic procrastinators.

As we all know, this knee-jerk reaction can cause all sorts of troubles. It can make it a lot harder to be a good employee, take care of domestic responsibilities, or ensure our school work is done on time. According to Psychological Science, chronic procrastinators have higher levels of anxiety and often have inadequate retirement savings.

Keep ReadingShow less