Smiles are contagious, and if you can make someone else happy, you will also reap the reward.
In fact, the quickest way to bring happiness into your own life is by focusing on others. By spreading joy to others, you will be filling your own cup at the same time. And who wouldn’t want to make the ones you care most about happy?
It doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to come from the heart.
Here are 3 things you can give people to make them happy today:
Have you ever seen a young child jump up and down, dance in a circle, or simply cry their eyes out in order to get attention from their parents? Adults aren’t much different, except that they have a little more maturity and might not jump, dance, or cry. But everyone yearns for attention, no matter how old they are. By giving this one simple gift, you can make a huge difference in the lives of those you love. You can deepen relationships. You can grow as a person.
Attention is highly desired, no matter the situation. This doesn’t just apply to those people you know well. For example, I do a lot of public speaking, and I’m still always surprised to see how many people are unable to give me their attention for half an hour even when they paid to hear me talk.
In today’s fast-paced world, there are a million things competing for our attention. From cell phones to social media, it can be difficult to pull your eyes away from the newest shiny object. In order to take a step back and focus on a person, it can sometimes take discipline. But the times that I have a focused audience, giving me their undivided attention, I walk away full of happiness and self-confidence. All it took was attention.
The same thing goes for our relationships. If you want to fill someone with joy, put away the distractions and give them your attention. Listen when they talk. Look at them in the eye. Interact with enthusiasm. You’ll find it more fulfilling than checking your text messages too.
We all crave affection. Love is what makes the world go around. Without it, I’m not sure humanity would still exist. In fact, a lack of affection is one of the primary reasons couples end up seeking professional therapy. Without affection, no relationship can withstand the test of time.
While showing affection comes more naturally to some people than others, it is a skill you can learn. All it takes is practice. Before long, showing your affection will seem natural. By showing affection, you are also more likely to get affection back from others. In other words, affection is often a mutual thing exchanged between people.
Affection isn’t difficult to give. In fact, affection is about the small things. It can be a touch on the hand or a kiss on the cheek. It can be a kind gesture or a genuine smile. Affection can come in the form of gifts. Affection can come in the form of physical contact. Affection can come from kind words. The methods are endless, but they all send the same message. Affection shows others that they are valued and appreciated. It makes them feel loved. It brings meaning to their lives.
There isn’t a single person in the world who doesn’t want to feel valued for who they are and recognized for their contributions and accomplishments. Appreciation boosts our passion and spirit while also giving us a larger sense of purpose in the world. When we know that we’ve made an impact in someone else’s life, we immediately feel better about ourselves. It gives us higher self-confidence and self-esteem. It empowers us to do more with our lives.
This is why it is immensely important that we show appreciation often. Appreciation can be a “thank you" or a warm smile. It can be a hand-written note or gesture of kindness. No matter how small, appreciation goes a long way. It costs little or nothing to show appreciation, and it will immediately make others happier.
Do you practice gratitude and show appreciation enough? Do you notice the beauty in others? Whether you are having an amazing day or a terrible day, there are millions of things that you have to be thankful for. You have things that others could only wish for. For example, right now you have an internet connection and a piece of technology allowing you to read this article. There are people in this world without enough food to eat. Even when you don’t see it, you always have things you should be grateful for. And the people in your life are very much something to be grateful for. By showing gratitude for the people around you and the things in your life, you will be able to lift your own spirits and shift your mood.
Make a gratitude list, and fill it with the names of people and things in your life that you are thankful for. How can you show appreciation to the people who have helped make you into the person you are today? Don’t those people on your list deserve your appreciation?
If you want to make others happy, there are simple things you can give them. I want to challenge you to give these 3 things every day of your life. By genuinely giving these things, you will bring joy and fulfillment into the lives of others, and into your own life.
So make a list of those people who you love and make a difference in your world. They can be friends, family, or coworkers. Take a look at your list each day and find a way to give back to at least one person. Make the people from your list feel valued and important. Make a difference in their lives. Over time, giving to others will become second nature.
Melissa Ricker is a nuclear engineer and a professional freelance writer specializing in career growth, technical writing and online entrepreneurship. She writes a blog, Engineered Motherhood, for working mothers who need help balancing career growth and time management.