Secret to a happier you      

It’s a phrase we’ve all heard for years now. “Random Acts of Kindness”.

For a long time, I didn’t know exactly what that meant (apart from the hundreds of posts about people paying for coffee for the car behind them in the drive-thru). I thought it referred to planned deeds such as helping out in a food bank or collecting and donating clothes to a shelter. Possibly shoveling your neighbour’s driveway when it snowed. And it does mean all those things. But it can be so much more, on a daily basis.

Simple spontaneous small things that brighten someone else’s day.

The other day as I left the supermarket I realized that I had just discovered my own definition of random acts of kindness. What I discovered was this; it doesn’t have to be expensive, or big, or time-consuming, or planned. It only has to be sincere.

As I was waiting in line to checkout with my groceries, I had noticed the earrings the cashier was wearing – they were really pretty and suited her so well. As I was paying, I said to her “Wow, I love your earrings”. No big deal, just a throwaway comment. But her whole face lit up with a smile and she replied “Thanks! My boyfriend gave them to me for Christmas!”. She greeted the next customer with the smile still on her face and the person smiled back. I smiled all the way home and felt good for the rest of the day. It was like a ripple of smiles passing forward.

I realized then that for me, this is what random acts of kindness are. Simple spontaneous small things that brighten someone else’s day.

It was like a ripple of smiles passing forward.

So from now on, I will make a conscious effort to find something positive to say or do for people I meet in the course of my day. There won’t always be the opportunity, and I know I won’t find something about everyone I interact with, but I will try to be more observant and do what I can to brighten their day.

Try to make someone a little happier each day – hold a door for someone, give them a compliment, thank them for something. Make your own list, and try to keep it in mind. You’ll find it becomes easier every day.

And you’ll discover that it’s amazing how much happier you will be.