If your New Year’s Resolution feels like a distant memory, or you feel burned out from a long work or school year, summer is the perfect time for change. While we are constantly worried about our own problems, assignments, or what other people think of us, making someone else smile or improving their day with an act of kindness can actually improve your mood, too. It doesn’t take much out of your day to make someone else’s!
Smiling not only boosts your mood — releasing feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin — but it can also lower your heart rate and blood pressure. So try one (or more) of these six simple ways to get someone to smile today.
Send a letter or handwritten note
It’s easy to underestimate the potential of a handwritten message. Between social media, texting, and email, we’ve lost much of the intimacy of letter writing. You can use this as an opportunity to reconnect with a friend or loved one, or to show someone your appreciation. The fact that you sat down for 10 to 20 minutes to craft a personal message shows you care, and it will almost certainly bring a smile to your pen pal’s face.
Tell a good (or terrible) joke
You can also make a pun, tell a story about something amusing that happened to you,
or share something funny you found online.
Hold the door open for a stranger
It only takes a moment, but the impact is twofold. It demonstrates your ability to slow
down and be present, and it makes someone feel cared for.
Pay it forward
Treat the person behind you in line at the coffee shop to whatever they were planning to
order, and encourage them to do the same for someone else when they get the chance. Who knows? If they are inspired by an act of kindness and find ways to pay it forward, you could start a chain of positivity! And either way, you’ve made someone’s day better.
Spending just an hour or so a month can bring a smile to dozens of faces. In Chicago,
There’s a reason for the expression, “Smile and the world smiles with you.” A study in Italy found that when people see someone else smile, or even think about a smile, they can’t help but grin. The best way to get someone else to smile is to smile at them! Chances are, they’ll smile back — but even if they don’t, at least you’ll be smiling, and you’ll have brought positivity to them too.