Spread Happiness with a Smile
Do you want to put a smile on someone's face today? Maybe make their day a little better? It won't cost a single penny or much time to do just that. And because smiling is contagious, you'll find that making one person smile causes happiness to spread like a sweet smell on a warm breeze.
20 Ways to Make Someone Smile
Challenge yourself. See how many of these smile-spreading techniques you can complete this week!
1. Smile at someone.
2. Compliment a friend or work colleague.
3. Donate something to charity.
4. Take a friend out to lunch.
5. Let someone know you miss them.
6. Make a surprise call to your partner or a friend at work, just to say hi.
7. Hold a door open for someone walking behind you.
8. Hug your partner for no reason.
9. Share a joke with someone.
10. Send a card or note to a friend or coworker letting them know you appreciate something they've done.
11. Give up your seat on the train or bus to someone.
12. Share your umbrella on a rainy day.
13. Ask a friend if they need anything while you're out shopping.
14. Plan a picnic! Raining outside? How about an indoor picnic!
15. Leave a love letter somewhere where your partner will find it.
16. Send someone an unexpected gift like a tasty snack or a book they'll enjoy.
17. Tell your child you're proud of them or tell a coworker they're doing a great job.
18. Tell someone you thought about them.
19. Cook a surprise meal for your partner or friends one night, especially if they normally do the cooking.
20. Send some flowers to your partner or a friend at work.
Did you know it takes only 17 muscles to smile, but 43 to frown. Why waste all that energy frowning when you could just smile.
Here are 5 more facts about smiling.
1. Women smile more than men.
2. Smiling releases endorphins that make us feel better.
3. We are all born with the ability to smile, it's not something we learn from others.
4. A smile is a universal expression of happiness.
5. A smiling person is thought to be a more pleasant, attractive, sociable, sincere and competent than a non-smiling person.
Just remember, smiling is the easiest and cheapest way of improving your looks.
For more tips and ideas on spreading happiness through acts of kindness, check out Day 9 Kindness: Pay It Forward in my book, 21 Days to Happiness.
Is Happiness Like a Butterfly?
Sometimes we treat happiness like it's an elusive butterfly in the garden of life. Imagine a young child in the garden on a summer day. He sees a beautiful butterfly flitting from flower to flower. He wants to see it close up, touch it, and hold it in his hands. But as he moves towards the flower that the butterfly is resting on, just as he gets within reach, the butterfly moves to another flower. And so the child follows the butterfly to the next flower, and then the next. But the butterfly always stays just out of reach.
Even to adults, happiness can seem just like that butterfly: always just out of reach. It can become almost an obsession and the words “if only…” become an increasingly large part of our thoughts and vocabulary. "If only I had more money I would be happy, if only I was in a great relationship I would be happy, if only I could have a different job..." and the list goes on. This kind of thought life doesn't lead to greater happiness.
If we achieve one of our “if only “desires, the happiness we seek somehow manages to stay just out of our reach. Do you remember the expression about the grass being greener on the other side? It's the same idea.
Where does happiness come from?
The truth is, we won't be completely satisfied by external events or circumstances. To find happiness in life we must first be at peace internally. External events and circumstances can bring us happiness in the moment, but they do not have a lasting effect on our inner self. Life brings a mixture of good and bad circumstances to everyone. To rely on life’s experiences for our source of happiness would mean living life in a constant emotional roller coaster ride. Wouldn't it be better to learn to have a steady feeling of contentment rather than be at the mercy of circumstances and be tossed from the high and low feelings like a ship in a storm?
Happiness comes from within. The inner contentment that survives the roller coaster ride of life has its roots deep within our being. The source of happiness comes from finding and embracing who we are as a person, and living a life of purpose. We need to find peace in every aspect of our life- the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Acceptance, purpose and peace in all of these areas will give a sense of completion in life.
Is happiness an elusive butterfly for you? Spend some time in quiet reflection. Are you neglecting one of the four important parts of who you are and experiencing a sense of emptiness within? The more you discover, embrace and accept your uniqueness and purpose, the more you will be able to stop chasing the elusive butterfly of happiness and instead experience the butterfly of happiness coming to you and alighting on your shoulder.
You can read more about finding a sense of happiness within yourself in the first chapter of my book, 21 Days to Happiness, Day 1 on gratitude.
Ms. Ingrid Kelada is an experienced psychologist and happiness expert in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She is a speaker and has facilitated over 1000 workshops all over the world.
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