The title may have a tinge of hippiness about it, but there really are some very easy ways to spread happiness. Life is hard – even if you live a good one, there’s effort involved to keep on top of everything: making the best of your studies, fighting student debt, standing out at work to gain that promotion, bring up your kids right and being able to treat them to a good education and vacations, even to keeping a roof over your head and making a comfortable home. Everyone around you is fighting the same battles so how about brightening up the world with these easy ways to spread happiness.
1. Share a Smile
A smile is one of life’s little gifts. Sharing a smile is one of the easy ways to spread happiness and with those muscles you use it’s a workout for the face as well as for the soul. And, they do say, “smile and the whole world smiles with you.” Everyone should have things that make them smile. Recall happy memories or just find joy in the things around you and get those near you to enjoy them too.
You know that classmate or work colleague that rambles on about their problems, like, forever? For once, instead of sitting there nodding along and making encouraging but completely non-committal noises of agreement, listen to what she is saying. Hearing her and offering some constructive help could make a real difference. Giving your full attention to the person you’re talking with is one of the simplest ways to make people feel better – about you and themselves.
Who doesn’t love surprises? That unexpected gift of flowers to mum, a small but carefully chosen treat for a BFF, and even hugs, genuine compliments and well chosen, well targeted kind words are all ways to make a difference to someone’s day.
4. Pass It on
Teachers make a career of passing on knowledge and skills, but you don’t have to have a teaching certificate to share what you know. Everyone benefits from a little learning and it may just surprise you what skills you have that you can pass on. Help out a work colleague by showing them how to do something on the computer that saves them time, teach your building janitor how to speak a few sentences in Spanish so he can communicate with all the tenants, host an impromptu cooking class in your dorm – all really easy things to share.
5. Be a Hero
That sounds a bit dramatic right? But, I’m not talking about saving a cat from a burning building or preventing a toddler from drowning in a pond. There are plenty of things to do and ways to be a hero not a zero. Sure, you can learn first aid so you can help someone who has collapsed in the street, but you can also work late to help a colleague meet a deadline. You can hold doors open or carry boxes for someone moving into your building, you can buy a coffee for a homeless person or give them a doggy bag from your meal at a restaurant, and you can volunteer for the day at the local residential care facility. They may seem so insignificant to you but they can make you a hero to someone else.
Have you noticed how so many people around you are angry with life? Many people have forgotten the simple niceties and etiquette of treating others decently. From the way we drive, to the way we push in queues, our expectations of wanting something for nothing, or that life owes us, and even forgetting our manners, everyone’s life would be so much better if put some emphasis back on being polite. Really, it doesn’t take much effort to hold a door open for someone, say please and thank you and just show a little appreciation and consideration.
7. The Power of Words
Saying something nice about or to someone is far more rewarding than gossip. Gossip has the capacity to be hurtful – and if it’s secondhand, might also be untrue. One of the more pleasant ways to spread happiness is to share positive words and thoughts with the people around you. Make sure your thoughts (because remember our thoughts turn into actions and words) become little seeds of happiness, not thorny bushes of sadness.
8. Be Happy
Just as laughter and smiles are infectious, so can be happiness. If you have a sunny disposition you’ll stand a better chance of making people around you happy. Be kind to yourself, do the things you love, enjoy what you have and spread happiness all around you.
Doesn’t take much effort does it? Just think what a difference we could make if we all adopted even just one of these ways to spread happiness. Are you a little ray of sunshine or a Miss Grumpy-Butt?