It seems at times like the entire world is bed ridden with sadness, but there is a cure for this ailment. Through small, daily acts of kindness, the collective human spirit will find happiness once again. Sadness is a global problem, so it will take a global effort to combat it. Here are ten easy ways you can spread happiness in your own life.
- Compliment a stranger
You pass strangers every day without saying a word, but if you could read their minds you would be disturbed to hear just how many of them are internally grappling with feelings of stress, self-doubt, depression, and loneliness. Did you know that there is a way you can help? If you see something you admire about a person, tell them. Never let the opportunity to compliment someone go by. You never know how many of those compliments could be life-saving. One day a pair of girls approached me at random in a parking lot. They handed me a note that said, “Take time to do what makes your soul happy.” They wished me a good day and walked off. That simple act made my day a happy one.
- Write a positive comment on YouTube
It is no secret that the anonymity of the internet allows users to criticize and belittle others without any personal risk to themselves. It is easy for anyone to dole out judgment then slink back behind the safety of their own screens, obscuring their identity and taking no blame or accountability for the way they make others feel. Scrolling through the comments section of any social networking site is almost painful. At times it seems that no kind people exist anymore. YouTube is notorious for its aggravating comments section. Take the time to counter that constant stream of negativity by writing something positive. Your kind words will stand out and be that much more poignant.
- Write a fan letter to a friend
Friends do more for you than anyone else. So much so that they can be on par with family. It’s easy to overlook or undervalue friends, but they are people who should never be taken for granted. Try writing a fan letter as you would to a celebrity you really admire to one of your friends. That kind of thoughtful appreciation will really go a long way in helping them feel good, and your relationship will benefit from the openness.
- Do some guerilla gardening
What better way to bring joy to your neighborhood than with flowers? Adding color and beauty to dull and forgotten places in town will lighten up that area. Guerilla gardening is the perfect way to plant without permission. Create seed bombs and toss them at random where you think some life is needed.
- Leave poetry in random places
If flowers aren’t your thing why not try words? There can never be enough poetry in the world, but sometimes people need a hand in seeking it out. Try leaving poetry in public places where people are sure to find it. This will be a healthy surprise for the person who comes across it.
- Paint a mural
Art is one way to take a community and build some pride in it. Murals are signs of culture and creativity. Seek permission with your local town council and create an art instillation. Break up the grey brick monotony of carbon copy buildings with a bit of color and life. Your surroundings have a direct correlation on your happiness.
- Post an inspirational image online
Social media is the most popular modem for communication. The fastest way to reach people is online. Try creating an image with an inspirational message and post it online. You never know who will come across it.
- Bake something
Remember in school when one kid would bring in a plate of cookies from home? Everyone rushed in asking for a share. Food makes everyone happy. It brings people together. Why not continue the school yard tradition? Bake your favorite treat and bring it to class, work, or just around to your neighbors. Sharing what brings you comfort and happiness will make others feel the same way.
- Perform in a public place
If you have a skill in performance try doing it out in a public space. There are no rules when it comes to this. No one says you have to be a professional, or that you have to accept money for the performance. You can simply leave out a sign that says pay with a smile. You will liven up a space and create a fun atmosphere for passerby.
- Thank people
The easiest way you can spread happiness is by saying thank you. People work daily to make your life go as smoothly as possible. The only reason you can start your morning with Starbucks coffee, make it to work, come home, watch television, and so on, is all due to the collective contributions of a society full of people. Not one person is this world is insignificant, although it is easy to feel that way when no one thanks you for the contributions you make. Saying thank you is the simplest way to let people know you care. That is all it takes. Thank the construction worker you pass on the sidewalk, thank the ticket salesman at the cinema, and ask to thank the chef who cooks your meal when you eat out. Just say thank you.
Spreading happiness is easy. It takes little to no effort on your part, but the influence it will have on you and the world is great.