Summer’s here, and after a winter that seemed to last an eternity, you’re absolutely ready for a spell of longer, warmer days, more time outdoors and time with friends and family after months of near-hibernation. The brighter days always seem to make everything else in life a little brighter too. In the same way that a dull, overcast day can have the same dulling effect on your mood, a little bit of sunshine has the power to bring a sense of radiance and positivity. Not just in how you feel, but to how you act, how you 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 blossoming and growing, vibrant colours 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 definitely 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 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 altruistic 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 in to your spirit of goodwill and sharing the joy of kindness:
#1: Smile like you mean it
Sharing a smile really does have a knock-on 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 need: clothes we haven’t worn in years, and books we’ll never read again being common culprits. 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 photo that means something 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 nice warm buzz you feel when you look at the photo of your baby brother blowing out his birthday candles all those years ago, or the grounding sense of comfort at the sight of the beach sunset from last year’s holiday.
This all goes to show that you don’t have to try to change the world to have a big effect. Harness the positive spirit of summer, enjoy the cheer this 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 a healthy habit 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.