Here’s an interesting exercise for you. Head out to do your errands, drive to work, or get to school and make it a point to make someone else’s day today. It could be something as simple as giving someone a big smile, have a meaningful conversation with a person who’s feeling a little lost or lonely, or it could be buying lunch for the homeless person on the corner. It doesn’t matter what you do, but do something today to make someone else’s day.
How does that make sure feel? It’s a pretty good feeling isn’t it? It seems that a big key to our own happiness lies in making people around us happy, and helping out. When you start to think about it, it makes sense, doesn’t it? We are social creatures who have to work together to truly thrive. It is only logical then that helping those around us has an internal rewards system built in. In other words, our happiness goes up as we improve the lives of those around us.
A great strategy then to increase our own happiness is to cheer up those around us. Not only will it help make you feel better and happier, you also have to increase your own happiness and put that big smile on your face to be able to make someone else’s day. It’s hard to do this kind of stuff when you’re feeling sad and depressed. But those are the times you need to force yourself to do it the most. By simply doing that, you make your own mind increase the happiness you feel and that gets mingled with a feeling of pride for helping someone else.
As with many of the other strategies we’ve been discussing about increasing your happiness, the key to making this work is to make it a habit. If it becomes well ingrained in your daily routine to make someone’s day as you go about living your life, you’ll automatically start to do it, even when (and especially when) you don’t feel like it. As you well know those are the times when you particularly need to do something to increase your own happiness and give yourself that little extra boost.
Start by thinking about a few different little things you can do to make someone’s day. It doesn’t have to be anything big or complicated. Instead focus on small acts of kindness that you can do every single day. Bless your loved ones with this kindness, or complete strangers who look like they could use a little cheering up. Help someone unload groceries, fix a meal for a neighbor who just had a new baby, or bring your spouse coffee in bed when he or she is having a hard time. All these small acts of kindness will start to make a huge difference not just in you, but also the world around you.