The greatest joy in life can be found when your focus is on what you give to improve the happiness of another. When you’re feeling low and lets face it, even the best of us have down days, nothing can cheer you up faster than placing your energy on helping others.
If you’re anything like me you spend a fair amount of time and energy working on yourself and improving your current state. This is great for growing however becoming too self-involved prevents the growth that comes from community and there is so much to be gained within when you give back to someone else.
Free to low-cost ways to do something lovely for someone else:
Great Ways to Give Back
- Compliment – honest compliments can make someone’s day.
- Appreciate – message, email, call or sit down for coffee with someone you care about and tell them one thing you appreciate about them. It will strengthen the relationship and help build your gratitude which leads to feelings of happiness.
- Donate Food – Find your local food collection service and donate tinned goods or shelf-stable items (rice and beans are both nourishing and have long shelf-lives). If you’re in Australia most major grocery stores like Coles usually have collection bins right out front, for folks in other countries try the World Food Program or The Global Food Banking Network.
- Give blood – If you’re newly tattooed, or if you’ve traveled to a few of the higher risk destinations you’ll need to be prepared for a waiting period but as soon as you can it’s a wonderful gift that can save up to three lives per donation. Try the Australian Red Cross or the Global Blood Fund.
- Sign up to be an organ and tissue donor. The International Registry in Organ Donation has made this process simple, just select your country on the world map to be linked with the donation registry.
- Cook a meal for someone – not only will this strengthen your relationship but it will do a lot to help them know how appreciated and special they are and who couldn’t use that self-esteem boost.
- Hold doors open for people, and when its possible give up your seat on the bus.
- Smile at people walking by; this could be the first kind encounter they’ve had today.
- Be kind to those in service – these are the folk who brew your coffees, bag your groceries and deliver your packages. They’re often underpaid and overlooked because their role is ‘small’ in society. They are usually first in line to take the flack if the customer is unhappy; they take a lot. A friendly smile, ‘how are you?’, ‘pleases’ and ‘thank-yous’ will go far to making their day a bit nicer. Your barista will most likely make your coffee with more care if you do.
Share how you have helped another in the comments below.
We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. – Winston Churchill