Thursday, May 8, 2008

8 Great Ways to Spread Cheer

Owl’s smile by merec0

I admit it, I’m selfish. One of the biggest reasons I love to cheer someone else up is that it also makes me feel better. There’s just something so attractive about the idea of making someone smile. I love that the joy is two-fold, both receiver and giver reap the benefits. A wonderful win-win situation.

So here are a few ideas I rounded up to help make the day of someone you know. Or even someone you don’t. The important thing is to have fun and enjoy the experience. Life’s too short not to play in the puddles!

  1. Share a Sweet Treat. One of my all-time favorites is food. Whether it’s sweet succulent strawberries or the crunchy goodness of a chocolate chip cookie, everyone has a delicacy they love. Surprise your coworkers with a bag of bagels or a pizza lunch. Food feeds more than our bodies; it brings to mind emotional connections to happy memories. Spread some goodwill today.
  2. Go to the Park With a Friend. You’re never too old to have some fun. Take an hour at lunch or just before going home and visit your favorite playground. Whether you swing on the swing set, feed the baby ducks or take a walk by the water, the fresh air and serenity will invigorate you. Take your tennis shoes so you can skip along the path as you go.
  3. Play Some Music Together. Whether you buy a new CD or compile some tunes of your own, invite your sister or niece to sing-along. One of my own favorite activities is to play children’s music for my nieces and nephews that they haven’t heard before. It’s so fun when we all learn the words and sing together. Music helps you forget your troubles.
  4. Visit The Puppy Store. Take my advice; if you visit a pet shop with all those fuzzy, wiggling balls of love, you won’t leave in a bad mood. Ooohhh and Aaahhh over the shortest or tallest, the fuzziest and the one with the biggest ears. There’s nothing like playful pooches to tickle your laugh box back into shape.
  5. See a Movie Together. Stay at home and snuggle up with a comfy pillow, blanket and your favorite snack or head for the buttery popcorn action of the big-screen. Either way, you’re in for a few hours of excitement and laughter. Movies are more fun when shared, so take your mom out this Mother’s Day.
  6. Write a Gratitude Letter. Many of us already write gratitude journals for ourselves to remind us of the many joys we experience each week and then forget. Do the same for someone you love. Write them a letter and give them specific experiences you remember with them that made you happy. It’s guaranteed to delight.
  7. Buy Some Humorous Books. This is an easy, often overlooked idea. Even those who don’t read often will enjoy cartoon books like Peanuts, Garfield, Calvin & Hobbes or the Far Side. You can also buy books with redneck humor, blonde jokes, riddles, office jokes and more. Whatever the style theirs a book that fits it.
  8. Try a Novelty Gift. We all have favorite characters, themes and styles. Buy your mother an owl for her collection, your buddy a Dwight Schrute bobble head, or your Uncle a Darth Vader t-shirt. Surprise gifts like these can make people smile for days, and they’re really fun to give.

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