Today is the final day of my 31st year, and I want to begin my 32nd year with a new motto. After much consideration I have decided that I want that motto to be, to spread joy to those around me as much as possible. To everyone: friends, family, colleagues and even strangers. This past week I have begun implementing these 7 techniques to spread joy, I hope you find them as beneficial as I have. Maybe I am doing this for selfish reasons, as there is no better feeling than being the person who brought the sunshine to someones day. If there isn’t any sunshine, we need to become the sunshine.
“Remember there is no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” – Scott Adams
1. Express Gratitude
I do not mean this lightly, we should all say thankyou at appropriate times in our life, however by expressing gratitude, I mean going out of your way to specifically tell someone ‘Thank you’ for everything they have done for you, and for how they have assisted you in your life by what they have done. To truly show them appreciation and recognition for their kindness and actions. A simple measure of going above and beyond will express this, a note, a small gift, or taking the time to tell them in person.
2. Truly Listen
We often listen to respond to what people are saying rather than listening to understand. This type of listening is called empathetic listening and can change your entire relationship with a person. If a person feels understood by you, trust is increased and you are better able to help that person if that is what they are seeking. If someone is talking to you, they want to be heard, we all do. So put away any distractions and focus on them with your full atention, you never know the level of importance of what is being said and how much that person needs you in that moment. Be present for them.
3. Pay it Forward
If someone shows you kindness and you feel joy from this, then pay it forward to the best of your ability. A friend of mine once purchased a brand new version of the book, ‘The Secret’, and upon reading it came across a £5 note and a handwritten message wishing the reader well. They explained that this book had changed their life for the better and they wanted to share that reflection with a stranger. The joy my friend experienced upon reading that was incredible. If someone shows you even the smallest act of kindness that brings you joy then spread it! Smile at strangers, give someone flowers for no reason, begin a work email with a few grateful words, bake some cookies and give them to a neighbour, be creative, be the sunshine, spread joy.
4. Replace Criticism
It is very easy to fall into a judgemental and critical mindset, however, most people do not respond well when judged or criticised. Consider how you felt the last time someone was unneccessarily cruel to you, judged you without knowing all the facts or criticised your work. Personally, I work significantly better when told how great I am doing, it encourages me to strive harder and boosts my self esteem. I want to continue to receive that positive feedback and I respect my superiors for their kindness and management style. Avoid judging people, we have no idea what has happened previously in their day or life to cause them to act or be a certain way, a kind word can have a huge impact.
5. Positive Intention
Sometimes people say things and their words come out the wrong way. We are quick to jump to the conclusion that they mean the most negative version of what they have said. Consider your own words, how often do you say something with the intent of hurting a person? Not very often (I hope). Assume for a moment that most people are just like you and aren’t out to get you. If you are hurt by someones words or actions, then question them and understand their meaning. This will save time and any unnecessary manifestation of negative feelings towards another or yourself. Most people are so consumed by their own lives that they haven’t even realised their actions may have distressed you. It was unlikely their intention.
6. Share what brought you Joy
If you have read an inspirational quote, listened to a motivational podcast, read a life changing book, watched an educational documentary or witnessed an incredible act then share that with the world. This is so simple, where social media and a huge international audience is at your fingertips on your phone. If something brought you joy then tell people about it as it will likely bring joy to them as well. I want to share with you all my current love for the podcast, ‘Crappy to Happy’, it is two Australian Women who chat about everything from the importance of sleep to conquering perfectionism. Enjoy!
7. Kill them with Kindness
This ones my favourite, it isn’t that I am a ‘nice’ person ( I like to think that I am), it is just that I don’t see the point in being cruel for no reason. What does it achieve? If someone is rude to me, or unkind, what do I gain from being rude or mean in return? It just sours my day. It’s also possible that they are being that way because someone or something has put them in that mood. Hopefully my positive reaction can shift their mindset and maybe they will be a little kinder to the next person. It is difficult not to respond negatively in some situations. However, before responding just question yourself, what will my response accomplish?
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” – Mother Teresa
I hope these tips can help you spread joy and sunshine in your life, both on the exterior and also internally where you can be kinder to yourself. Creating these small habits of acts of kindness and joy- bringing will undoubtedly increase your personal joy.
I hope you all have an incredible weekend. I would love to hear from you in the comment section below about ways you spread joy in your life. If you would like to subscribe there is an email sign up below the comments.
Bring on my 32nd year 🙂
Love & Light