As a worker in an open office, we have lots of random discussions around all sorts of topics. One that comes up frequently in offices and roles across a vast majority of industries is always “what annoys or displeases you most?”. This is an interesting question and often gets a varied range of answers, everything from the unexpected, such as “other people” to normal daily occurrences such as “traffic jams”. More interestingly, however, is the question is rarely asked in the opposite fashion – “what makes you happy?”. While I’m sure there are plenty of obvious answers for happiness such as being with friends, cooking for family, relaxing with beloved pets and enjoying keen hobbies, we don’t stop to think of the little things that can give us a joyful boost and leave us on an emotional high for the rest of the day.
Rather than telling you to keep watch for these daily highlights, instead we are asking you to consider being someone who endeavours to make others smile, improving their day just one small gesture at a time. How to achieve this? Let us inspire you;
Giving to Others
Got time and/or resource available? Consider giving to charity or volunteering your time for a local cause. There are plenty of causes available, from women’s aid to water donation, both abroad and in your immediate area. Where a group of you would like to give back, organise a fundraising event, whether it’s a sponsored activity such as skydiving, walking or silence or a sales event including jumble sales, bring and buy sales or homemade cake stalls.
Simply looking out for your fellow human can turn someone’s entire day around and will bring happiness in the moment. Hold the door open for the person behind you, offer to help someone with their bags as they get on or off public transport, allow someone you looks like they are having a bad day to go ahead of you in the queue or simply ask those around you how they are. Too often are servers such as retail staff, waitresses and baristas considered ‘scenery’ there to serve a purpose rather than being seen as an individual, ask them how their day is going, start a friendly chat and see how their entire demeanour changes.
Smile for Happiness
While it has never been acceptable to accost a stranger on the street for not smiling (yes, this is still inappropriate, even if you think you are doing good) there is no harm in ensuring you keep a smile on your face. Not only do you feel the benefits of your brain releasing the ‘feel-good’ chemicals, but you will feel more relaxed and happier, even if you didn’t before you started smiling. In addition, happiness is contagious and by walking around with a smile on your face, you’ll soon see those around you perking up as well.
Hide Something Fun
An activity that is growing in popularity although is likely to have been around since the dawn of time – hiding something unusual or fun in your local area for people to accidentally discover or stumble on by chance. The idea isn’t to destroy or cause damage to anybody’s property or natural surroundings but leave something that will remain or can be relocated without too much trouble. Painted rocks, hidden geocaches and app-based scavenger hunts make good use of this quaint activity and it’s sure to bring a smile to many faces, whether young or old.
Life is short, too short to hold on to things that make us unhappy, fight for your right to smile and feel joy and take every day as another opportunity to learn something new, make someone happy and embrace something that brings you delight and happiness.