Happiness isn’t something you should keep to yourself. Happiness should be shared. In fact, most of the time happiness comes from shared experiences. Happiness doesn’t have to come from big extravagant experiences like concerts or vacations, it can come from very small and simple experiences. The great thing about spreading happiness, even randomly or anonymously is that you share in that happiness. It comes back to you as well. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite ways to spread and receive happiness.
Most people have their phone numbers posted on their Facebook profiles. I’ve found that a lot of people don’t know my number, I’m just not a big phone guy. So once in a while I’ll look through my phone book, which pulls numbers from Facebook, and text someone and tell them how awesome they are. I usually get a response like “who is this?” or they’ll politely say “I’m sorry, I don’t have your number saved.” I’ll respond and say like “just a random admirer spreading joy!” Often times, as a result, people will post something on Facebook about the kind person who randomly texted them and told them how awesome they are. In turn, others will reply stating that they took think they’re awesome or how cool it is that someone took the time to do that. The happiness keeps spreading. Even if you’re not anonymous, a quick text telling your friends how much you appreciate them is a great way to spread joy.
Some of my favorite texts are “You are an amazing person!” or “You really inspired me today.” A text to a friend could say “I was just thinking about you, I hope you’re having a great day.” Keep it simple.
Leaving a random note in public where it’ll be found is a great way to spread happiness. I remember years ago helping a friend distribute 20 Christmas cards with $20 bills in each one. One of the cards had $50 and I delivered it to his favorite waitress at a local restaurant for him. That was an amazing experience that made me feel happy and blessed from for weeks.
You don’t have to go to those extremes. Most people don’t have that much money to just hand out. You don’t even have to hand out money. Writing a little note that says “You really are special” or “This stranger thinks you’re awesome” is a great way to spread joy. Just leave the note somewhere in public where it will be found. I like to leave notes for people at work. We have an area where there are mailboxes for every employee in the company. Some of the staff that supports my department could easily feel unappreciated, overworked and most likely under paid. A quick note thanking them for everything they do for us is a great way to put a smile on someone’s face. I work with a girl who is one of the kindest, sweetest people you will ever meet. Once in a while, a guy I work with will leave a note or a trinket on her desk just to make her day that much better. He likes to be her secret admirer because, after all, she bakes us cookies and is always so kind.
Give Away Freebies
I have a Starbucks gold card. Every 12th beverage I buy I earn a free beverage. The thing is, all of my drinks are free anyway. I use Bing search to earn points to buy Starbucks coffee. I order small black coffee so it’s inexpensive and I try to only buy when I can earn bonus stars. Every drink is free to me so that free drink I get is one I can pass along. Going inside and telling the Batista that you’d like to use your free drink on the next person who comes through the drive through is a great way to share that happiness with someone. Not only are you making their day but you can stand inside and watch them without being noticed.
Passing along coupons for free items while standing in line for something is another great way to spread happiness. People are always happy to not have to spend money on something they thought they would have to spend money on.
Giving To The Homeless
I like to keep money on me just for giving. I used to give a dollar or some change to homeless people and they would thank me. When I started giving $5 to homeless people it was amazing to see their eyes light up. Most homeless people expect a dollar. They appreciate it, I’m sure, but it’s normal and nothing shocking to see another dollar handed to them. I like to hit people in their heart and make them feel something. The opportunity to give doesn’t present itself very often so I try to just keep some money on hand for such an occasion. It just makes people feel like someone cares about them. I usually say something like “I’m really sorry, this is all I have.” Trust me, I wish I could give them enough to get their lives back on track. A lot of homeless people will try to strike up a small conversation with you when you hand them enough to buy a meal. They look like they feel human again. To me, this is the real gift.
Happiness can be spread in so many unique and creative ways. My wife spreads happiness like it’s an art. I’m always so impressed to see how she always makes people feel good about themselves. She does things that most people don’t even notice and I consider myself lucky to be able to witness it all.
This year has been a struggle to find sanity. Probably the biggest factor for my happiness right now is the fact that I helped others find happiness. Happiness spreads and that joy that you give other people comes back to you in ways you may not realize. I just got a Halloween card in the mail from someone. I’ve never received a Halloween card in my life. But I have a friend who I value and I’ve told her many times this year how much I value her. Let those in your life know how much you care about them.
Be well. Be positive.