We all have those days. You know the ones: You spill your coffee, you lose a work file, you just barely miss your train. And just when you think, “Can this get anyworse?”, it usually does.
It’s during these tense times when tiny acts of kindness mean the most — and the littlest gesture can instantly turn someone’s day around. Take a look at the suggestions below on how to spread a little positivity (and why it’s good for you). As the saying goes, “What goes around, comes back around.”
1. Flash a smile.
It may sound asinine and simplistic, but there are serious benefits behind smiling. Not only does a grin instantly boost your happiness levels, research has shown that smiling at strangers can help them feel more connected.
2. Write a note.
A small note just telling someone how you appreciate them can make even the gloomiest day a little bit brighter. Little reminders — even if it’s just on a Post-It — can reinforce positive thoughts (not to mention it just makes us happier overall). Plus, it always feels good to know that someone is thinking of you.
3. Give some flowers.
Thoughtful gestures, like giving someone flowers, can be a powerful way to banish a bad mood. Bonus points if they’re for someone’s desk: Studies have shown that the beautiful aesthetic makes workers happier and more productive.
4. Offer a compliment.
It’s quite possibly the easiest and most effective way to make someone feel good (as long as it’s genuine) — and it has just as many benefits for you as it does for the receiver. Research has found that helping others can make you happier and one study showed compliments can have the same positive effect as receiving a cash reward.
5. Hug someone.
If someone you know is having a rough day, an embrace may be all they need to turn it around. Hugs release oxytocin (also known as “the cuddle hormone”) in our bodies,making us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
6. Hold the door.
You never know what kind of day someone is having — and just the simple act of holding the elevator or the office door could be just the little victory they need to put a smile on their face (and to prove that chivalry, in any form, isn’t dead).
7. Pay it forward.
Studies have shown that altruism has an extraordinary number of happiness and health benefits. From volunteering for a charitable organization to just paying for someone else’s coffee, you’re opening yourself and others up to joy. And doesn’t that just feel good?