Feeling a little bit gloomy today?
Maybe finding yourself a little sluggish after the holiday parties and endless supply of grub.
Looking like a traveler in your home town as you stare at the red street light, not even sure where you are going?
Some days, we find ourselves in a little funk.
You know when on the outside you look okay, but inside you know you aren’t.
How did you get here?
You need to stop thinking about yourself.
If you really want to tap into some great emotions, do a few of these things every day…
It seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? Even if you don’t really feel like smiling. Just do it. One of the best things about a smile is that you (generally speaking) get one back. You connect with someone on a pretty easy level and even if you never see that person ever again, you had a moment. In that moment, you gave a little piece of yourself away.
Acts of kindness.
The other day, a man bought 6 donuts for the couple standing between him and me and the couple purchased a dozen donuts for someone who would yet walk through the door. Maybe it’s not a dozen donuts. Maybe it’s just a cup of coffee. Maybe it’s a grocery cart with over $300 worth of items in it. Maybe it’s a overly generous tip for someone who brought you dinner.
“How are you?”
It may sound silly, but asking someone, “How are you?” immediately makes the conversation a little more personal. Whenever I am making a call to schedule an appointment or in line at the grocery store, I start with “How’s your day going?” Too often, people are so focused on what they need from someone else that just the thought of someone thinking about them for a change is HUGE. Total game changer.
Sounds easy. I’m not talking about the one-armed or grab the shoulders kind either. I’m talking about the ones where you literally wrap yourself around someone and leave your love with them. Hug the friend you haven’t seen in 4 years or the one that you see every week. Hug the person who walked in your door to sell you windows and walked out as a friend. Hug the family members you cherish most. Just when they start to let go, hold on a little tighter.
Make dinner for your family.
Not chicken tenders or macaroni cheese. I mean, cook for them. Take the time to plan a nice meal where you can all be together and share in each other’s company. Connect with one another without a text. Share your dreams and your great moments. Laughing at the table is very much allowed. Maybe even a requirement.
Write a letter.
These days we just don’t take the time to write a letter or send a note to someone. Writing out words makes that all the more personal and something the person you sent it to just might cherish. Your letter doesn’t have to be 9 pages. If you don’t have a stamp, place your note under their windshield wiper on their car, where they are sure to find it.
Send a text, video or picture.
If you just can’t find a pen or a piece of paper, send something to someone. There are lots of ways you can communicate electronically with people — text, video, or picture. Even an emoji shows people you were thinking about them and wanted something to make their day better. With everyone taking a selfie everywhere you go, why just post in Instagram or Snapchat, hoping the one person you were thinking about might see it.
Volunteer your time.
Unconditional giving is the single best way to change our mood. Giving of oneself to others without expectation is never a waste of time. Although we may never know how our time benefited someone else personally, sometimes, our best moments are the just that…a moment. Donate items to the local food pantry, serve dinner, help build a house. There are lots of opportunities in your area to help someone else. You just have to look for them.
Give a compliment.
It’s not that difficult to say something nice to someone. Sharing kind words with someone about the way you genuinely feel about their hair, outfit, car, etc is a great way to give someone a little boost on any given day. A guy at the mall recently asked me how much I liked my car and I politely replied, “I love it!” In some silly wayward way, he just validated a purchase I made over 9 years ago. Even telling someone, “You are beautiful” or “You are a good man” tells those people what we see and value in them.
Make someone laugh.
The last thing most of us want is people laughing at us. But there is something to be said about people laughing with us. In the sharing of our antics and silly mistakes, our stories become something people can relate to as they process quietly, “I’ve done that!” Sharing with another person gives a part of ourselves with someone else and it creates a memory they may need later. Being silly on Snapshat, dancing in public to “Can’t Stop The Feeling”, or photobombing a really cool picture just makes us giggle.
It’s fun doing the unexpected. Maybe you leave a note in your husband’s work backpack or place flowers outside your friend’s place of work, watching someone’s reaction to something you did for someone else can be very heartwarming. Showing up to surprise a loved one after you return from serving overseas, announce a twin pregnancy, or just come home from college without warning can make us all feel that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Doing something spontaneous is always fun too.
Say “I love you”
We think about it. We want to say it, but we chicken out. I never say, “I love you too” to someone I love. I say. “I love you” even if they said it first. I don’t want to “reply” to their comment; I want to confirm my feelings for that person. I want them to know what it means to be be loved by me. It sounds risky and you are unsure of how those words will be received, afraid someone might not feel the same way. Living inspired only comes from taking chances, knowing there is no net beneath you.
Feeling better already?
See? I told you this works.
Before you lose that feeling of warm fuzzies and forget what you just learned, go out into the world and make it a little better. It doesn’t take much to give of ourselves to someone else. Whether that giving is received by a stranger or someone we cherish, taking the focus off of ourselves and putting it onto someone else gives us a “high” we just don’t find anywhere else.
Don’t go through the motions of life.
Take the moments you have been given and do something amazing with them.
Every day, we have choices to make the life of someone else a little more wonderful, a little more fantastic.
By doing simple unselfish acts, we show the world a little bit more about who we are, creating moments that soon turn into memories.
Michelle A. Homme 2016 ©