The last few weeks of school post-spring break are notoriously some of the most difficult weeks that students face. They’ve already seen a glimmer of the freedom and enjoyment that awaits them in the summer, but there are still two months of hard work, stress, exams and essays left to tackle. It’s difficult, in this period of boring work and commitments, to find reasons to go out of your way to be kind to others, or even yourself. It’s easy to forget how one simple act of kindness can turn a strangers day from terrible to fantastic. It’s also easy to forget how wonderful you will feel after performing this act of kindness.
These Acts of kindness can be tiny. Anything as simple as holding the door for someone with their hands full, smiling at a girl you met once as you walk down the street, or telling someone you like their snazzy socks can have a huge impact on someone’s state of mind.
We never know what’s going on in other people’s lives. That person you held the door for may have just received a poor grade on an exam they studied all night for. That person you smiled at may have just cracked her iPhone screen. That person with awesome socks may have missed the latest episode of the "Bachelor" and someone spoiled the show for them. These simple gestures could be the pick me up someone needs to feel just a little happier with their day.
The most important thing that these acts of kindness produce is infectious happiness. It’s like yawning. Have you ever been in a small room and yawned, and then looked around to see that everyone else in the room is yawning too? Happiness works the same way. When you see someone else smile or laugh, you automatically want to smile or laugh as well.
In this video made by Coca-Cola, a man walks into a subway and does one simple thing: he laughs. He laughs without a care for others judging him or calling him out, which is something that most people are scared to do. While the other people on the subway were likely laughing at him in the beginning, they soon begin to laugh with him and don’t even know why. Everyone on that train left happy. Everyone on that train probably went home and made their friends laugh by telling them about the train ride. Like a yawn, the laughter spread exponentially; all because one man laughed his hardest.
While I’m not saying that everyone should go out and make a fool of themselves in the subway just to make people happy, I am saying that it’s simple things like this that make a difference. There are so many things that you can do that will take up barely any time, but that can have a huge effect on someone else:
1. Write a thank you letter to someone for just being themselves.
Tell someone how much they mean to you. Tell that person a funny memory you have together that makes you happy every time you think of it. Tell them how much it meant when they comforted you. Tell them how that cup of tea they made you before your exam made you feel loved. Just tell them that they make you smile.
2. Give someone the last Oreo in the box
3. Send anonymous valentines
4. Send someone a text for no reason.
Wish them good luck on their big exam. Congratulate them for winning their game. Even just a simple phrase like "have a good day!" or "miss you!" can make someone feel loved, and all you had to do was send a five-second text.
5. Send someone a funny video
It could be of an animal doing something foolish, or maybe a video that reminds you of that person
6. Write an anonymous letter
Just leave it laying around somewhere. It doesn’t have to be an essay. Just reading something nice, even if it’s not directly about you, makes you happy. It reminds you that whatever it says is true. You are beautiful. You do rock. You do have a fantastic personality.
7. Make someone's first cup of coffee unforgettable
Feeling a little more creative? Go to your local coffee shop and ask if you can write on their coffee cups little happy messages. Little things such as “Have a Fantastic Day!” or even a joke can make someone’s first coffee of the day so much better.
8. Pay ahead for the next person in line’s coffee.
Who knows! Maybe the next person will do the same.
9. Post-it note a mirror
Leave sticky notes with positive messages on them on mirrors, reminding them how beautiful they are. Remind them that they’re gorgeous! That their smile is dazzling!
10. Maybe even leave a note somewhere that everyone can see it!
No matter what it is you choose to do, I promise that you’ll be making a difference in somebody's life. The most you can ask for after that is that they’ll feel inspired to do the same thing for others. At the end of the day, chances are you’ll have made yourself happier by seeing all the smiles and laughs that you brought to the world.