Want to Feel Happier? Try Kindness…

When we are suffering, going through hard times, when we’re cranky, tired,  have work stress, family stress, not feeling well…the last thing we want to do is be bothered with other people or be nice.   

 

The reason we feel that way is because we have given our problem all the power.   We’re focused on it, we’ve made it HUGE. We’ve decided we are going to let it affect our day and not realizing it, we are spreading that yuckiness to everyone else who has to be in contact with us.

 

I moved to Oregon from Northern California almost 7 years ago.    The first thing I noticed when I moved here was that all my neighbors were “neighborly”.   They came over to meet me, they said hi and asked how I was doing all the time.

 

Every time I went to a store people were friendly, they were interested in me and we’d have great conversations even though we were strangers.   I started to love to go out and shop because I loved interacting with all the nice people. I felt connected.

 

In the work environment things weren’t so rushed.  In the morning people I didn’t know would stop at my desk and say good morning, but that wasn’t all.  They’d stand there and ask how my weekend was or how I was doing. It wasn’t just a fly by…these people really cared about my answer and engaged with me.   It really threw me off at first!

 

This was life changing for me because I realized what a difference it made in my life when I felt engaged with all the strangers around me.  I felt like people sincerely cared about me. I felt happy and it made me want to make others feel that way as well.

 

I’ve always loved engaging with people and talking at deeper levels.   I don’t like phony surface conversations and I’m not a small talk kind of girl.   I love real authentic connection. But I buried that down inside of me because it seems people just don’t like to engage with other people anymore.  

 

Today there are so many people fighting depression.  Suicide is at an all time high. There are school shootings, families killing each other.   Where is this all coming from? I truly believe in my heart that it’s the lack of connection in the world today.   I mean REAL connection. We’re overwhelmed and feel completely alone, like there is no way out.

 

Love is what we all desire the most!   And the lack of it is the root of most of our problems.  

 

Giving people your time and supporting them is one of the kindest things you can do and one that will come back to you when you need it most.  

 

It’s up to each one of us to make this world a better place.   And that starts with the very simple act of just being KIND. The cool thing about it is it spreads like wildfire.   You smile at someone, it makes them in a better mood, then they smile at someone, and it keeps going!

 

And those things that other people do that irritate you the most…take note, and don’t do those things to other people.   Use them as lessons and guidance.

 

So today I challenge you, in the midst of all the madness…before you head out to run errands make a choice about what you want to put out in this world.   Do you want to be a force for good or for evil? Do you want to help people have a better day or do you want to ruin their day?

 

Here are some simple ways to spread kindness and love into the world…

 

Be Aware!

When we are feeling yucky or stressed we are in our own heads.   It’s easy to not be aware of those around us or how we are affecting them when we have all these “problems” that we are trying to focus on.   Who do you want to be today? Do you want to spread kindness and love or do you want to ruin others people’s day?

 

Make the Choice!

Especially when I’m having a bad day or in a bad mood, I make sure to make a conscious choice before I go out into the world.   I refuse to let my problems affect other people and when everything else is falling apart, the one thing I can do is BE KIND.

 

It’s as Simple as a Smile!

Before I leave the house I make a choice to smile and say hi to every person I see.  Yes, every person. I know that I feel good when people smile and be kind to me and I want to make others feel that way too.   We’re all in this together, we all have problems, and we’re all hurting. We all need a kind smile!

 

Here is a quote I love:

Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. -Mother Teresa

 

Engage!

If someone starts up a friendly conversation I engage and make sure I am present in what they are saying.   A simple conversation can change your day. You never know what someone else is going through and that one little act of kindness can literally change their entire day.  Remember that EVERYONE is going through something.

 

Laugh!

Always take advantage of an opportunity to laugh!   It’s been proven that laughter is one of our best medicines.   If something weird happens that is a laughable (in a nice way) then laugh with strangers!

 

Help Out

If you see an opportunity to help out, do it.    Let people enter a door in front of you instead of pushing your way through, open doors for people who might have their hands full, or catch a runaway cart for someone.   It’s these little things that make people feel like someone cares.

 

Social Media

I might make you mad on this one!   Social media is where people are the meanest.  If you see something you don’t like on social media, instead of making a rude or anger provoking comment, keep scrolling.   Stick to the rule of “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.    

 

Be Respectful

All I’m going to say on this one is “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”.   Yes, the golden rule.   Before you act, think of how you would feel and how you would like to be treated in that moment.

 

Put Down Your Phone!

Nothing makes me feel more uncared for than being with someone who is constantly on their phone.   If you’re at lunch with someone, put your phone away or turn it off. You scheduled time with this person, make the most of this time to connect, be present, and truly give them your time.   When you are constantly looking at your phone you are saying that is more important than the person you are with. I have made it a point for years to put my phone away when I’m with my friends or family.   Even my dogs don’t like when they want time with me and I’m on my phone…that says a lot!

 

I challenge you to try out any of these steps.   They are pretty simple right? For me, I find that making the conscious choice before leaving for the day makes all the difference.  I find myself looking for opportunities to make people’s days better and in return I come home with a smile on my face and I actually feel more loved and connected as well at the end of the day.  Your problems tend to fade away and you feel happier in your life.

 

What can you do today to make a positive difference in the world?    Together we can spread kindness to make sure every person we come in contact with feels cared for and loved.

 

Leave me some comments with ways you make the world a positive place!

 

Much love to you all,

Denise

 

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  1. I love all of these suggestions. Nearly 20 years ago when my father died suddenly, my mother received hundreds of sympathy cards in the mail, many from people she didn’t know. My parents had lived in their community for forty years and my Dad knew lots of people. My favorite of the cards was from who simply wrote, “he was nice to me.” I’ve never forgotten that card in my dealings with people.

    1. I love this story! It’s amazing how deep it affects us when complete strangers show compassion. This proves my point that you don’t have to know someone to make their day better. I can only imagine how supported you and your mom felt in such a horrible time. Thank you for sharing your personal story. <3

  2. This is all great advice. We live in a world where people keep to themselves and have a phone hooked to them 24/7. These are easy things we can do to help other people feel good and at the same time make yourself feel good. We definitely need this in the world we live in today. Like you said, you never know what someone is going through and a simple kind gesture can make all the difference.

    1. You are absolutely correct Maureen! We all have to make the effort to be mindful. I think most people don’t realize what a big impact they can make with a simple gesture. 🙂 Thank you for the great input!

  3. Your message is excellent! Truly connecting with others often costs nothing yet that connection can be priceless for the recepient.

    Thank you for this nice reminder to start the week!

    1. Thank you Ken! You are so right…we can do simple things that are priceless to someone else. I love that. Thanks for you comment! 🙂

  4. We all are connected to some sort of technology whether is be a phone, tv, computer, etc!

    This reminded me of my husband who said I am always reading my phone and to please put it down and spend what little time I have with him and not it!

    There is nothing nicer a person can give than their smile and/or time!

    I choose to start my day happy and try to end it the same.

    1. Heather thank you for your vulnerable comment! I love that you heard your husband’s words and will take that positive action, a lot of people don’t. Amen my friend! Let’s send out smiles and love <3

  5. So many excellent points that we can all relate to. It’s easy to forget to take that extra second and be kind to others. Thanks for reminding us.

  6. Oh love love love this!! I made a conscious decision after the last election to never post negative stuff on my Facebook and haven’t since then. It’s been life changing! Be kind!!!! It’s an awesome experience!!!

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