How to spread a little happiness – and what to do when you feel down
Sometimes we just feel down for no particular reason. Today it was me…tomorrow it could be you, a family member, a friend or a colleague who just need a little attention, some TLC and a good laugh.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to pretend that I’m some kind of expert in life coaching or neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) who will transform you into a happy-ever-after human being. BUT… I’m going to give you inspiration, tips and ideas for how to spread a little happiness to yourself and others.
it’s actually quite amazing how such small, simple things in life can bring so much joy!
Put on the Happy Socks
You might have heard about the Happy Socks? It’s a manufacturer and retailer of socks and underwear, founded by two Swedish friends back in 2008 with a vision to spread happiness through colourful, creative everyday essentials. Sounds exciting?
Research says that colour can affect your mood, behaviour and stress levels.
I believe that colourful clothing makes life brighter. Why is it that in the Western world the majority of people tend to wear black, white and grey? Why don’t we wear pink, yellow and orange more often? Look at the people in India, what colourful and beautiful clothes they wear on a daily basis.
Did you know that if you wear grey at work it might affect your productivity, as this particular colour is associated with being passive, uninvolved and having a lack of energy? Whereas green is associated with success.
…and what about underwear? Does it make you smile when you are trying to find a new pair of panties in a shop selling black, white and grey undergarments? Personally I don’t find joy in that process, however, imagine walking into a store that sells fun, creative, inspiring, crazy looking socks and undies in all the crackling colours that you can imagine!!
Our naked bodies deserve a little attention, don’t you think?
Happy Socks doesn’t only bring colour to one’s everyday essentials, but also joy and inspiration. It’s the perfect gift for any occasion, season, age group or gender.
Do something nice
At times when we feel down we tend to shut ourselves off from the world around us. Often we blame our circumstances on external events and we end up in the “poor me” way of thinking.
The best way to get out of our own misery is to help someone else. When you help someone in need, you stop thinking and worrying about yourself even for a moment. A simple thing like buying someone a coffee, or picking up an item that someone dropped on the floor, or donating a few dollars to the musician playing in the street is enough to take yourself out of your own head.
Volunteering is a great way to open our eyes to the world around us and to help people in need.
Looking at my own life, I believe that the amount of time I’ve spent volunteering my services, almost equals the amount of time that I’ve spent working for money.
In 2005, I went to Slovakia to volunteer for the first time in my life. I spent 12 months working with children and youth, which really was a period of transformation in my own life. Before I went, I had eating problems and skewed perceptions of my body, which impacted on both my health and the people close to me. However, those 12 months of volunteering helped me immensely and I arrived back home as a new person, a better version of myself.
Are you up for a challenge? Today, set yourself the goal to spread a little love, a little kindness, to help someone in need.
I still remember back in 2007-2008, after I was back from Slovakia and had relocated to Orsa, Sweden, where I was studying health and tourism at the time. I was out and about walking along the streets when a woman in her 40s-50s came towards me. I looked at her, her eyes communicated something and I slowed down the pace. She suddenly stopped and asked me a question that was so unexpected that I first didn’t know what to say.
“Hello. Sorry for bothering you… I hope you don’t think I’m weird..but do you mind giving me a hug?”
I gave her a hug, to which she thanked me a million times. Afterwards, her whole face lit up, her posture changed and she walked away with a grateful smile on her lips.
The moral of the story – a hug is sometimes all that is needed to make someone’s day.
Did you know that the brain doesn’t know the difference between a fake and a real smile? – Fake it till you make it I’d say!
I bet the last thing you want to do when you feel down, is to smile. But hey, why not try it! Research have shown that people who smile are perceived by others as more attractive, relaxed and reliable.
Smiling is infectious and you’ll catch it like the flu!
Have you ever played the staring game with a friend? The two of you stare into each other’s eyes and the first one who laughs loses. My partner does that to me all the time when I’m angry, frustrated or sad. The “poor me” is trying to hold on to the anger for as long as possible, but in the end I just have to give in to the rising smile on my lips!
Don’t underestimate the power of a smile – like a hug, it can really make someone’s day. So when you meet someone in the street, don’t forget to smile.
When I was little I used to spend hours upon hours making cards with no other tools than coloured paper and glue.
I still make cards today, but with a use of a few more tools to make the cards a little more even. It’s a great present to a friend or family member. Instead of buying a card from the shop – try make one. It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact, the imperfection of a homemade, personalised card makes it even more beautiful and unique.
I love receiving homemade presents. It means that the person has put down time and effort into making it, which is touching. To create something also takes your focus away from the worrying mind and all the “must-do” things in your life to the here and now, the present moment.
Giving is receiving. Not only is it therapeutic and relaxing to create something with your hands, but also to give it away.
Bring on the Happy Socks party
So, what to do when you feel down, or when you want to make someone smile, or when you just want to spread a little happiness around you? Put the socks on, share the fun and have a party!
The thing about happiness is that it’s a state of mind…it’s not like a price that you win or something that you will achieve one day and live happily ever after. Happiness is a state of mind, it’s a mentality, it’s a choice.
For me happiness is about the simple things in life, the little things that makes us smile.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude” – Denis Waitley