hink of the last time someone did something nice for you.
Not something big; just a small act of kindness — bought you a coffee or a treat, did a household chore for you before you’ve asked, asked how your weekend was (and genuinely listened to the answer).
Recall for a minute how that made you feel. Good, right? It’s not so much the act that creates the warmth; it’s that they were thinking of you, that they found the time and means to appreciate you, to ease your load or make you smile.
The world can be a dog-eat-dog place; often, we find ourselves competing to get what we want and need. But trampling over others for our own agendas doesn’t make us feel good. Quite the opposite, actually.
One of the best ways to boost happiness is to do something for someone else. Their appreciation fills us up and — here’s the even better news — those warm feelings spread. They prompt us to be kinder, and less self-absorbed, in our lives, even in the tiniest of ways.
So keep an eye out for opportunities to leave a trail of kindness. There is no downside. Here are some tips to help.
14 Simple Ways To Make Someone’s Day (And Your Own)
1.Give someone a piece of yourself.
Not (necessarily) your flesh or blood — but something you’ve made: a poem, a painting or piece of art, a playlist, video clip, a bracelet, fresh baking.
2. Cook extra to make a meal for someone.
It’s not hard or expensive to occasionally make a bigger meal and deliver it fresh from the oven. Home cooking is hugely appreciated by someone who is struggling — not having to cook is always a bonus, well as getting to try something new.
3. Sit and chat with a lonely person.
Loneliness is a big, growing (and often silent) problem in our society. It’s difficult, and often embarrassing, for people to admit they are lonely, so reach out in advance. A few minutes goes a long way.
4. Let the person in the checkout queue with only two items go first.
If you’re so busy you can’t do this, do a stock take of your life.
5. Let others board the bus or train first.
See no. 4.
6. Compliment a co-worker.
On their work, their effort, their attitude, their outfit, their shoes, whatever. But make sure you mean it. False compliments are lit up in neon; beware of being outed as a fake.
7. Compliment a stranger (not just if you want to sell them something).
It’s nice if you admire someone’s outfit when you are selling clothes, but you might be seen as having an agenda. Because you probably have. So try to go for something surprising, or at least not related to your work.
8. Aim to leave each person you’ve engaged with feeling good as they walk away.
Remember, people don’t walk away with your words ringing in their ears, it’s how you’ve made them feel. It’s not always possible to leave people in a good space, particularly if you’ve had a tough work conversation, but do your best. If you leave people feeling bad more often than good, take a look at your MO. It might need a revamp.
9. Talk to people in the lift.
Even a comment about the weather will do. But you get an A if you go beyond the weather. And an A+ if you make them laugh.
10. Hug someone (when appropriate).
Hugging is fantastic for spreading goodwill but, well, think (or ask) before you hug. Enough said.
11. Celebrate others’ success or good news with them.
You don’t have to throw a party. But bring the festive attitude. Only big-hearted, generous people are able to do this genuinely. Try to be one of them.
12. Take that warm coat you no longer wear to the night shelter.
You’ll make someone else’s winter.
13. Chat to your neighbour instead of always being in a rush.
Perpetually busy people get boring after a while. So jump in the a shower a few minutes earlier so you can actually slow down and engage with people.
14. Say thank you. And mean it.
You can’t overdo thank you. Unless you’re just doing it because you should.