Juggling work and your personal life doesn't always leave a lot of time for you to think about others. That's not to say that you are selfish or ungrateful. It just means that the feelings of those around you can get lost in the shuffle of everyday life.
I've been focusing on being positive a lot in the past month. I've noticed that since I started doing a few very small things to help others feel good about themselves, my quality of life has significantly improved and I'm a happier person. They have even helped me significantly improve my relationship with a difficult coworker and can easily be applied to a difficult to work with boss. Keep in mind, it's you and your inner feelings that will shine and make the biggest difference to improve the relationships you have.
There are several small steps that you can take each and everyday to radiate happiness and positivity in a way to show others how appreciative you are - not just for your nearest and dearest - but for the entire world. Start passing these positive vibes on to others and you'll notice a large change in yourself and those around you.
Want to know one of the easiest ways to pass on those positive vibes? Just smile.
According to Adrienne Wood, a Ph.D. student in psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, "When you see a facial expression and you want to know what it means, you recreate that expression in your brain." She also explained in the Huffington Post, "In daily life, you rarely observe facial expressions in a vacuum, and we believe that you combine information from sensorimotor simulation with your understanding of the situation in order to fully comprehend other people's feelings."
In other words, smiling is contagious.
And, even if you're not feeling happy, just "grinning and bearing it" can actually make us feel better than we did before, according to research.
2. Say "Hi"
Amy Rees Anderson, founder and CEO MediConnect Global describes this perfectly in an article for Forbes.
"No one is ever going to be offended by having a stranger say hello to them. In fact, they will be grateful! Because nine times out of 10 everyone else in the room is feeling as awkward and uncomfortable as you are. Everyone wants to feel accepted and acknowledged, just like you do--so why not be the one to walk up to others and simply say hello. That is all it takes. Walk up to strangers in the room, make eye contact, smile, and just say hello. I promise you will change their world when you do that."
3. Be Polite
How great does it feel whenever someone smiles at you and is sincerely polite, such as saying 'thank you' or listening to what you have to say? It makes us feel good and important. And, it can even brighten our days. In fact, polite individuals aren't just likeable, they make a solid first, and lasting impression.
Remember, being polite and using your manners can go a long way in strengthening relationships and making others feel that they they're being considered.
4. Express Gratitude
Every day, whether it's in the morning or at night, think about or list at least one thing that you're grateful for. Then, express that gratitude to others. For example, if you're grateful that your spouse washed the dishes after dinner because you had to get back to work, thank your spouse or partner for taking the initiative and why it was meaningful to you.
Forgiveness can be extremely difficult to do especially when you've been wronged by someone or when you accept the mistakes that you've made. But, forgiving someone, and yourself, is a part of the healing process and will help you move forward.
When it's time to forgive, follow these four steps;
If you can say, "I forgive you to someone - including yourself - you'll be a happier, and healthier, individual and you can pass that happiness onto others.
6. Be Generous
There are countless ways you can be generous. These ways may include being generous with your time, expertise, or money. For example, you can volunteer at a soup kitchen. You could leave your waitress a large tip. You could pay for dinner when you go out with your group of friends.
As John Bunyan has said, "You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."
7. Show Random Acts of Kindness
Why don't we all help someone else be pleasantly surprised? For example, have you ever been at Starbucks and the person in front of you paid for your drink? How about that time when your significant other surprised you with a weekend getaway?
These random acts of kindness made you feel amazing, right?
Whether it's a cup of coffee or a vacation, random gifts and kind gestures are enough to make others happier and give their morale and mood a boost. I have gotten to the point where I schedule out time in my day for this.
8. Pay Everyone the Same Level of Respect
Don't look down on someone because you think that you're better than they are. You may be better at one thing and that other person will be better at another. But I've found that it actually turns out that you can learn a thing or two from every person you meet. What's more, that stranger will tell you what they know and have to share. Take the time to listen to their story and you will be amazed at what knowledge you pick up - don't ever write anyone off quickly. They'll appreciate that you're taking the interest in them, but you will be the one who is well rewarded for your interest and respect.
9. Pay Someone a Compliment
Doesn't it feel great whenever someone pays you a compliment? Whether it's your new wardrobe or haircut, having someone notice and say how it suits you, can lift your spirits - even on the worst of days.
You never know what kind of day someone is having, and one simple compliment could change their entire attitude around.