I'm sure you have heard the saying "if you smile at the world, the world will smile at you". Have you ever noticed how true that actually is? For example, if you are calm when driving and let people in front of you, everything just seems smoother right? Versus the days when you are angry or irritated and refuse to let anyone in front of you, and all of a sudden it seems like everyone is out to get you? Regardless of your mood, there are a few things you can do that will help the world smile at you. And by being nice you will create a ripple effect of positivity.
1. Let people in front of you when driving! Especially if you live in a congested city like Washington DC... By smiling and waving someone in front of you, you can literally make their whole day. And that by itself should make you feel better too! Its a win-win.
2. Smile! Smile to everyone! Not in a creepy, inauthentic way, but instead of looking at people with that resting bitch face just give them a smile instead. Again, you can literally make their whole day! And what does it cost you? Nothing. Another win-win.
3. Be kind. So often I see people who are just rude and nasty for no apparent reason. I feel bad for them because they clearly have something tough going on in their life. I remember this one time at the grocery store, the cashier had his arm in a sling but the woman insisted he pack all her groceries. Not only that, but she had the audacity to complain that he was too slow! I almost fell over. I had to bite my tongue not to lash out at her. Why would you behave like that? Where is your compassion? Clearly she must have been going through something in her own life, but being kind is such a simple thing and it makes a huge difference for everyone involved. Just be a nice human, ok?
4. Lend a helping hand. If you see someone who needs help, offer it! I once helped an old lady home with her groceries as they looked really heavy as she left the store. Not only did we have an amazing conversation about her life and where she was from, but she was SO thankful she almost cried, and I felt so good on the inside from having helped someone - and I still think about her and our conversations that day.
5. Give! Whether its time or money, giving either to a cause you're passionate about will spread joy both to you and them. I'm super passionate about animal welfare and while I cant offer my time at the moment, I donate money to various animal welfare organizations every month. It makes me feel good on the inside to know that I'm contributing to more animals being saved. One day (maybe when we move to our big house), I would love to foster shelter dogs, or adopt a couple. But for now, I do what I can and it feels great.
6. Hold the door for people. Simple, right? And say THANK YOU when someone does it for you.
7. Compliment a stranger. Dont hold back on this! If you see someone wearing a nice dress, tell them "I love your dress!". IF you like their hair, tell them! They wont think you're creepy (unless you're a man ha!), but they will remember that comment all day and maybe longer.
8. Double your normal tip amount. My husband and I recently gave a kid $100 tip on a $50 tab, and I honestly dont know who was happier. We left before he picked it up but hubby and I still talk about it, so I wonder if maybe we got more out it than him haha!
9. Let someone in a hurry get in front of you in line. This is also such an easy thing to do! Or if you have a whole cart full of groceries and the person behind you only has 1-2 things, let them go ahead of you.
10. Shovel your neighbors driveway. Our neighbor actually did this for us last week, and we appreciated it so much!