Low wages and rising costs.
The rise of narcissism and social competition!
All of these things are weighing on people worldwide.
It’s a stressful time to be alive, and the worry shows no sign of slowing down.
So what’s a person to do?
One way to combat all the stress is to bring joy to others.
In this post, we’re breaking down the art of making someone happy today.
The Benefits of Bringing Joy to Others
Think about the last time you did something kind for someone else. How did it make you feel? If it was a genuine act done without reservation, it likely filled your cup, too.
Why is that? Why does spreading joy engender bliss? A few factors are at play:
- It Brightens Others’ Days: Small, thoughtful actions may not change the world — but they can positively impact someone’s day. And who doesn’t love knowing their loved ones and amiable acquaintances are on the right side of happiness?
- It’s An Anti-Aging Tool: Studies show that kind, thoughtful people tend to live longer than selfish, miserly ones. The Mayo Clinic explains that bringing joy to others will “increase your sense of connectivity,” which can “[decrease] loneliness, improve low mood, and enhance relationships in general.”
- It Can Improve Your Brain Chemistry: Being kind and spreading joy triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin, two of the body’s feel-good hormones that light up neurological reward sensors and serve as natural painkillers.
How To Make Someone Happy: 41 Bliss-Inducing Ideas
Looking for ways to make someone happy? Spread joy? Well, we’ve pulled together a list just for you. Let’s dive in.
1. Extend Grace
Extending grace is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to make people happy. Life is challenging, people mess up, and forgiveness can be a healing balm.
2. Hold the Door Open for Someone
It’s such a small thing, but the extra seconds and effort to hold a door open can be the difference between an awful day and a decent one for someone else.
3. Stop Your Car at a Crosswalk
You notice someone standing at a crosswalk; they can’t get to the other side because cars are whizzing by.
Why not be the person who stops and lets them go? It makes a massive difference for pedestrians.
4. Sit and Listen
In our digital and narcissistic age, simply listening to a loved one in need has almost become a quaint pastime.
If you want to brighten the day of someone going through a tough time, sit and listen. Give them the “conch” and let them vent.
5. Do Someone Else’s Errand or Chore
Is someone you know and love strapped for time or resources? Handling a mundane chore for them could make all the difference and brighten their day — or even month!
6. Offer To Go Grocery Shopping for Someone Ill or Elderly
Offering to pick up things from the grocery store for someone trapped at home for one reason or another is an incredibly kind offer, and it could save someone from going hungry.
7. Cook a Homemade Meal
There’s nothing quite like a homemade meal to awaken the “warm and fuzzies.” Even if it’s not elaborate, the thought and effort count.
8. Be Vulnerable
It costs nothing, but being vulnerable with others can be one of the greatest gifts you give.
People are constantly bombarded with perfect presentations on social media, and someone saying, “I, too, am struggling,” can mean the world to someone navigating a rough patch.
9. Host an Informal Get-Together with Neighbors
So many people are lonely these days. Hosting a casual get-together for folks in your neighborhood could not just brighten someone’s day but their entire year. Besides, who knows what friendships could be born?
10. Curate an At-Home Film Festival for Someone
Is one of your friends laid up in bed with an illness, injury, or general malaise? Consider curating an at-home film festival for them. Pick movies you know they’ll like and will cheer their mood.
So many wonderful charities, foundations, and programs could benefit from an extra set of helping hands. The work you do to support others can change and save lives.
12. Send a Random “Thank You” Note
When was the last time you got a heartfelt, hand-written note or letter from someone? In many ways, it’s a long-lost art.
But taking the time to send one can mean the world to the recipient. After all, we all love knowing someone is thinking of us!
13. Play With Your Pet
Has life gotten so busy that you’ve been neglecting your four-paw? They have feelings too, and one of the kindest things you can do is to take 15 minutes to play with them.
14. Bring Treats Into Work
For most folks, work is more stressful than fun, and the little things sometimes get you through the day. So why not add a little sunshine in the office by baking treats and bringing them to share?
If you go this route, try to be mindful of allergies and diets.
15. Be Unfailing Polite to People Who Are Usually Overlooked
Being polite and kind to service workers is much less common than you may assume. An extra smile or genuine “how are you doing today” can turn their day around.
Acknowledging people experiencing homelessness is another kind gesture that takes no effort.
16. Give Up Your Seat on Public Transportation
Giving up your seat to someone who could use it more is a classic random act of kindness. Moreover, it’s something that reaffirms people’s faith in humanity.
17. Give Someone Flowers
A bright bouquet has the power to make people cry tears of joy. It doesn’t need to be expensive. A hand-packed bunch of wildflowers is just as welcome as two dozen long-stemmed roses.
18. Let Someone Jump Ahead of You on Grocery Line
You’re standing in line at the grocery store with a cart full of items. But the person behind you only has one or two things. So let them jump ahead of you!
19. Plan a “Girl’s or Guy’s Day” for Your Crew
When was the last time you got together with your pals for a day of laughs? If you’re younger, it may be a regular occurrence.
But if you’ve entered the “adulting years,” it’s a lot less common.
Planning a fun afternoon or evening together could be just the thing that brings a bit of needed joy into everyone’s life.
20. Let Someone Merge Into Your Lane
Another small but sensational thing to do for your fellow man is to let them merge into your lane.
Traffic is a stressful daily experience. Lighten someone’s load just a little by letting them in.
21. Offer a Sincere Compliment
There’s a world of difference between a rote and a sincere compliment. The former means nothing, and the latter is everything. Sprinkle joy by spreading them far and wide.
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22. Return a Found Item
Have you ever lost your wallet, keys, or something important? How much joy would you have felt if you got it back?
So why not do that for someone else? You may never meet them, but the act spreads joy that could circle back to you tenfold.
23. Call Someone Special
Do you have a family member or friend who doesn’t get out much? Or maybe you know someone who is going through a hard time. Whatever the case, picking up the phone and saying hi is a special and kind thing to do.
24. Offer Your Assistance
As we’ve mentioned several times: Life is a beast! If you know someone who is up against it, offer your assistance. Tell them you’re there for whatever they need — and mean it.
25. Give Someone a Place To Sleep
Housing insecurity erodes mental health. So if you know someone who could use a couch to crash on for a while, consider lending yours.
It’s a huge gesture, so make sure you can handle it. But if so, your generosity can save someone’s life.
26. Share Food From Your Garden
Do you have a green thumb? Show your neighbors, colleagues, and friends you appreciate them by sharing your bounty. It’s a warm and caring gesture that spreads joy.
27. Keep an Opinion to Yourself
Holding your tongue can be challenging, especially when someone is acting erratically or irrationally.
But sometimes, not saying something negative can keep a person from going off the deep end.
28. Give New Parents a Gift for Themselves
Do you know someone who just had a baby? They’re probably inundated with presents for the babe, which is super!
But why not get them something for them as a sign that you see them as more than just parents?
29. Offer To “Babysit” or “Elder Sit”
Good care is hard to find — and when you do, it’s expensive! So if someone in your life is at their wit’s end with caretaking responsibilities, give them the gift of a day off by offering to “sit” for a day.
30. Share a Recipe
Has one of your buddies been begging for a recipe? Brighten their culinary world by revealing your secrets. It’s no skin off your back and lets them know how much they mean to you.
31. Tell Someone Why You Like Them
Think about how it feels when someone gives you a detailed explanation of what’s great about you. It’s wonderful, right?
Giving the gift of praise to other people is a thoughtful act. But do it without expectation because phishing for compliments lands on the opposite side of genuine.
32. Donate Books to You Local Library
Books are getting expensive these days, and even libraries are finding it difficult to pay the bills. So why not donate your old books to a local library? They’ll likely be thrilled!
33. Give a Gift for No Reason
It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. Heck, it can even be homemade. But giving someone a thoughtful gift signals you appreciate them for who they are.
34. Do Someone’s Laundry
Laundry is a thankless but necessary evil. Lighten someone else’s load by handling it for them. It’s a huge help if they’re super busy and a gigantic gesture of kindness if you do it “just because.”
35. Offer Someone a Ride
Do you know someone who’s currently without their own set of wheels? If you have the time, let them know you’re around to play chauffeur.
36. Boost an Ego
Everyone needs a little gassing up once in a while. Being the person who lets others know how beautiful, talented, unique, and capable they are is a quality that people appreciate.
And who knows, your encouragement could be the boost needed to get over a hump.
37. Practice Patience
Being around someone who lacks patience can be stressful and even painful, especially if you’re going through a difficult period.
So if you notice someone in your orbit is going through it, extending patience can be a lovely and thoughtful thing to do.
38. Don’t Judge or Gossip
Think about how it feels when you discover someone said something mean behind your back. It’s one of the most distressing things that can happen to a person.
So if you want to be a beacon of compassion and joy, refrain from doing so. Go one step further and let people know that’s not your style.
We all mess up and act unkindly. If you know you owe someone an apology, do it! Even if it’s years later. Doing so can improve how someone thinks about themselves and heal long-suffering wounds.
40. Plan a Vacation
If you have the means, planning a vacation for your spouse or a dear loved one is a magnanimous, generous act. Pick someplace they’ve always wanted to see — and tailor the trip to their tastes.
41. Tell Them You Love Them
A simple “I love you,” said with passion and sincerity, can fill a person’s heart and soul with happiness and joy.
Sometimes, we forget to let friends and family know how much they’re appreciated, and remembering to do so can be a wonderful treat.
Often, the world feels like it’s crumbling right before our very eyes. It’s terrifying and fills people with melancholy, anxiety, and stress.
Being considerate and generous with your words and actions can be an elixir for all that fear and turmoil. So head out there and be the joy you want to see in the world! It’ll brighten someone else’s day — and yours.