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​I was in line at the grocery store the other day observing the woman checking out the person in front me. She was clearly frustrated with her brows furrowed, lips pursed, and impatient with how slow the register was.She started ringing up my items acknowledging me with a curt, “Hello.”

I looked in her eyes, even though she wasn’t looking at mine and said, “Hello!” in a cheery voice and big smile. I asked how she was doing while letting her know how annoyingly slow computers can be. By the time she was done ringing up my items, her shoulders had softened and the look on her face was a bit more relaxed. As she told me thank you and to have a nice day, I noticed a lightness in her voice too.

As I walked to my car, I reflected on the conscious choice of what energy I wanted to bring to this quick interaction in the checkout line. Having noticed her frustration, I chose not to add to it but to bring a bit more happiness to her day.

While I didn’t do much except for say hello, it was in the way that I said it and how I chose to interact with her. I chose to see her in her humanness while offering a smile and connection.

It’s the little things we can do to spread happiness that can shift the people, world, environment, and ourselves.While it’s not our responsibility to “make people happy” it is in our power the be aware of the energy we want to bring forth in various situations.

Here are 7 ways you can spread more happiness and joy in the world:

  1. Give a gift just because. I was helping my niece do some purging of things and she has these cute little stuffed animals we were donating that some still had tags on it. I took two of them home to bring to a friend who has a a 7-year old and 1-year old because and she was really grateful that I thought of her and her kids.

  2. Throw a surprise party! Now I’m not talking about a whole big event (although you can if you want to!) but rather how can you surprise others in small yet significant ways. For example, bringing a cup of coffee to a coworker or a bouquet of flowers to your mom the next time you see her.

  3. Appreciation matters. Tell someone you know what you appreciate about them. Be specific about what it is and what you love about that person that notice and admire.

  4. Spread the word about a recent service, restaurant, or experience you had that you want others to experience too. Word of mouth referrals and recommendations go a long way when it comes to spreading happiness. Not only do they help the business owner but you can help transform or bring a new experience into someone else’s life in a big way.

  5. Reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. It’s far too easy to get sucked into our busy lives so reaching out to say hello, set up a lunch date, or even just have a video chat with each other can be a great way to reconnect.

  6. Offer a listening and compassionate ear. The simple act of offering a safe space for someone to share what’s on their mind and heart can be life changing. You don’t have to fix or have a solution but just your presence in hearing what they’re going through can be more than enough. It’s as easy as saying, “Would you like to talk more about that? I’m totally here to just listen to whatever is on your mind.”

  7. Take a practical approach. We all need help with something in our lives. My sister is in the process of moving and having moved so much in the past several years, I basically have the packing and moving process down to a science. So I printed out the same system I used and created an entire binder for her that she can use for the move. Whether it’s helping to set up a birthday party or researching something for a friend, we can always find ways to help each other out.

What other ways do you like to spread happiness? Share your ideas and comments below! Now let’s get out there and spread happiness one smile at a time!