Spread a Little Happiness
Every act of thoughtfulness and generosity, whether it’s as seemingly trivial as a friendly smile or as demanding as volunteering at your local community centre, will increase your sense of wellbeing and help you create new social networks.
Making someone happy through a small act of kindness makes it more likely that they will then do the same for someone, so spreading those feelings of joy. This was confirmed by a Japanese study, led by Keiko Otaki, that found happy people were more likely to carry out small acts of kindness and that, by doing so, they also increased their own levels of happiness. They could also boost their happiness simply by counting how many acts of kindness they had performed in a week.
Studies have also provided convincing evidence that even hearing about another’s good deeds increases one’s own readiness to be altruistic. It leads to what some psychologists have termed ‘elevation,’ a positive emotion “experienced upon witnessing another person perform a virtuous act, principally one that improves the welfare of other people”. People experiencing ‘elevated’ emotions report being inspired, uplifted and motivated to perform similar acts of kindness themselves.
Being spontaneously kind is not only going to increase the happiness of those around you but significantly enhance your own sense of wellbeing.