On 20th March, the world will be celebrating The International Day of Happiness: an event which has been running since 2013. This global campaign seeks to improve wellbeing and happiness by ending poverty, reducing inequality and protecting the planet.
Okay, so you may not be able to single-handedly save the planet come 20th March, but you could improve somebody else’s happiness by doing just a few simple things. Here’s a handful of ways you can give somebody something to smile about.
If you think someone could do with a boost in positivity, encourage them to put their best foot forward.
A good way to start is by telling someone they CAN do something. This doesn’t have to be anything grand: little things like encouraging them to approach someone new, or reassuring them about a new project they are working on, can go a long way.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Spreading joy and sharing warmth takes very little effort and, what’s more, it can have a dramatic effect. You can share warmth by holding a door open for another, offering unprovoked compliments, giving a well-meaning hug or just smiling.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions” – Dalai Lama
Has someone done a good job? Maybe you think they need to be told that their efforts have been noted? Make sure you are there to praise them publicly if no-one else does. Take this with you to public places such as restaurants and shops, and you could make a stranger’s day extra special!
“To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.” – Mary Stuart
In such a fast-paced world, sometimes it’s hard to lend a sympathetic ear to everyone we know. However, that doesn’t mean people don’t want to.
You can make a start by interrupting less, showing genuine interest and giving your loved ones undivided attention. This comes from your actions too: pop the phone away, give them eye contact and acknowledge that you value their openness in speaking to you.
“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Remind them of what’s good
Anxiety levels are increasing in the UK, with nearly 20 per cent of people admitting to have suffered from anxiety or depression before. If a friend or loved one could do with a helping hand, remind them of the amazing people they have in their life, the good health they have… basically all the beautiful things in life that most people forget to acknowledge. Whether you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, these mental health helplines can offer expert advice.
“Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.” – Maxim Gorky
Plan an event
People aren’t robots: they have feelings, they love to laugh, share secrets and connect with others. If you feel like someone close to you could do with a pick-me-up, plan an event with them.
This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant: even going out to a café for a catch-up can be impactful. If you do want to go big, why not plan a secret trip away? Whatever you choose to do, the special people in your life are sure to feel appreciated.
“Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results.” – Dennis Waitley
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