As International Day of Happiness trends across social media, remember that you don’t have to wear a smile all the time. Wherever you are in your mental health journey, there are simple ways to make the world a kinder place. Here are seven tips to get you started:
1. Give someone a compliment.
A compliment is much more than just a comment on something physical. Let someone you love, or even a stranger, know why they make your day a little brighter. Share with them what you think makes them a special person on the inside.
2. Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.
Whether it be an old friend or a family member who is far away, make it a point to tell them you are thinking about them. Ask them what’s been new in their life and remind them that you care!
3. Share on social media what you are grateful today.
Post a story or a picture and let the world know why it’s such a beautiful place. Someone out there is struggling and may need a reminder of why life is so much more than their struggle. The strongest people come out of the hardest battles! Let them know that.
4. What does happiness mean to you?
Think back on all the times in your life that you were happiest. What did they consist of? They most likely didn’t consist of material things or have anything to do with the way that you look. Remembering what makes you happier makes it easier to brighten the mood of those around you.
5. Do something that makes you feel confident.
Whether it be public speaking or the simple act of stepping up and opening a door for a stranger, do something that makes you feel good on the inside. Confidence is an affirming feeling and when someone sees you step up and do something with confidence, it will make them feel more confident in doing so themselves.
6. Take your time to talk with others and more importantly, laugh with them.
The world can seem like such a rush sometimes and it feels good to stop and talk to someone and be able to actually have a genuine laugh once in a while. If you see someone who may look melancholic or like they’re having a day that could be happier, stop and talk to them. You never know what may be going on in someone’s head and letting them know that they are worthy of a good conversation can be a small beacon of hope.
7. Change the conversation.
Body talk is inevitable and is found everywhere, everyday. Use this day to change the conversation from something negative to something positive. If someone is spreading unrealistic standards or beating themselves up about their own bodies, gently challenge their thoughts or change the subject. Everywhere you look there is something that has to do with physical image and it’s time to break up the negativity and bring up what’s more important: what’s on the inside.
It’s easy to get distracted by our own insecurities, but think about how good it feels to spread positivity. Bring that feeling to the surface today and make it a little easier to do the same each and every day that follows.
Alex Kroudis is a junior Psychology major at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. She has a passion for learning about eating disorders, writing, running, and singing. She is involved in a sorority on her campus and writes articles for The Odyssey Online. Alex also loves traveling and is 100% Greek, hoping to move to Europe at some point in her life. Alex was born and raised in New Jersey with her younger brother and two parents, both born in Greece.