Summer is here! After a winter that seemed to last an eternity, you’re absolutely ready to come out of hibernation and enjoy long, warm days outdoors with friends and family. The seasons extended daylight always makes it a bit brighter too. Such as a cloudy, overcast day can be dulling, so can your moods. A little bit of sunshine has the power to bring a sense of glow and positivity to your day. Not just in how you feel, but in how you act and interact with others; even your posture gets a lift! A general air of improved wellbeing that can pave the way for change and renewal.
Summer is a great time to reflect on the positives from your year so far, and to explore how you might build on these to make life even better for you and those around you. Everything in nature is blooming and growing, vibrant colors and beauty spreading all around us; like Mother Nature’s way of doing her bit to share the love. Notice how that makes you feel. Sharing is caring, and those little touches can change the course of a day in an instant. Think of them as tiny acts of kindness.
Sophie, a teacher, tells of her recent experience of being on the receiving end of an act of kindness: “I was on the bus, and feeling a bit tired and sorry for myself when an old man got on. As he walked past me, he smiled and said, “good morning.” Something about it just seemed genuinely warm and friendly... I felt such a surge of goodwill coming my way, and it completely lifted my spirits, lasting throughout the day!” A simple act that spread so much joy, changing the course of Sophie’s day.
Spreading a little happiness doesn’t need to involve grand selfless gestures; it’s often the little things that make a big difference, creating a real ripple effect for those around you. As the saying goes, ‘one good turn deserves another.’ Here are three simple ideas for tapping into your spirit of goodwill and sharing the joy of kindness:
#1: Smile like you mean it
Sharing a smile really does have a ripple effect. No need for over-the-top gushy grins here, just a simple smile as you meet someone’s eye is enough. What’s more, the very act of smiling makes you feel instantly brighter too.
#2: Giving to a good cause
Many of us have far more stuff than we really - clothes we haven’t worn in years and books we’ll never read again. Rather than hanging on to these things, take them along to your local charity shop. There will always be someone out there willing to make use of the things you once loved. The charity gains some welcome funds, the new owner is thrilled, and you feel great for doing good. A three-way dose of positivity!
#3: Sharing happy memories
Share a special photo with someone you care about. Include a short message that tells the story of why you’re sending it. A personal touch that passes on the warm feeling felt when you look at the photo, like the comfort you feel at the sight of the beach sunset from last year’s vacation.
This all goes to show that you don’t have to change the world to have a big effect. Embrace the positive spirit of summer, enjoy the cheer it brings and share it with those around you. You never know what’s going on in someone else’s life, and your simple act of kindness could be just the thing to completely change the course of their day for the better. Build in healthy habits of simple acts to continue once the summer months have passed, helping you to ensure that come rain or shine, you have the power to make this year your brightest yet. Keep on shining.