7 Easy Ways to Make Someone’s Day (Including Your Own!)
Some days get the best of us. The train is late. There’s a pop quiz in class. Your boss is disappointed. The list goes on and on. It can be hard to feel happy when it seems like there are so many factors working against us. But, there is good news!
There’s an easy way to boost your mood that’s completely within your control. And, plot twist, it involves boosting someone else’s first.
We all have an anecdote about how being nice to someone made us feel good. Now, science is beginning to help us understand why.
Using brain imaging, researchers found that receiving money increases activity in the brain’s reward system. The same area of the brain that releases feel-good chemicals when stimulated by food or sex. But that’s not all. Donating to a charity also had the same effect. In other words, both giving and receiving kindness can produce a natural high.
Luckily, you don’t have to spend money to reap the benefits of being nice.
Take this British study for example. These researchers found that when people aged 18 to 60 carried out random acts of kindness every day for 10 days, they reported higher life satisfaction than those who didn’t. Kindness: It’s a win-win.
Share the love
In the spirit of kindness, here are 7 simple ways to spread joy and, in turn, feel that joy yourself.
Tell someone they’re doing a great job
From leaving a thank you note for your mail carrier to writing a Yelp review about a great waiter, noticing the work someone is putting in and saying thank you can make a huge difference in their day.
Let someone else go first
Slowing down often opens up opportunities to be kind. Maybe it’s letting a car merge in front of you in traffic. Or, letting a person with fewer items at the grocery store check out before you. There are countless ways being a little patient can make all the difference to someone else.
Give something other than money
What do you own that you can give away? Consider carrying items like granola bars or new socks that you can give to unhoused folks. Or, pack up used amenities that are still in good condition, like towels and sheets. Many animal shelters accept old linens to keep their animals warm.
Pay someone a compliment
It’s human nature to think that when someone is looking at you, they’re judging you. Flip this perception on its head. The next time you’re loving a stranger’s style, let them know.
Do someone else’s chores
Whether it’s a roommate, family member, or colleague, everyone gets overwhelmed. Sometimes just doing something small, like the dishes, when it’s not your turn can help someone else catch their breath.
Offer up your time
Everyone needs a break sometimes. If you know someone with kids or pets, offering to babysit or pet sit for free can be a huge help. Or you can get creative with how you offer up your donated time. Help someone clean out their closet, weed their garden, or even move house.
Get in touch
Lots of people touch our lives without ever really knowing their impact. If there’s an old teacher, coach, or friend that changed your life, send them a message of gratitude. It could be exactly what they need that day.
Kindness breeds kindness
At the end of the day, you don’t need a lot of money or a lot of time to show kindness. Sometimes, it can be as simple as making eye contact, saying hi, or just offering a smile.
If someone doesn’t wave back or express gratitude, that’s ok. Move on to the next opportunity. Kindness has a ripple effect. If you keep expressing it, it will keep coming back to you.
Mental well-being support
For more help managing your mood and feeling your best, check out Quartz’s mental well-being programs with AbleTo. Whether you work 1-on-1 with a therapist or coach or use our self-care tools at your own pace, we’ll teach you skills designed to help you face challenges with confidence.
- Flexible support that fits into your schedule
- Research-backed tools and skill-building activities
- Curated content to cope with daily challenges
- 24/7 access to self-care resources
Who can use AbleTo:
- Self-care is available for members ages 13+*
- Self-care, coaching, and therapy are available for members ages 18+**
Eligibility and cost share vary by plan coverage.† Enroll at AbleTo.com/Quartz to see if you qualify.
Used with permission from AbleTo.
†Eligible Quartz health plans include most commercial fully insured, State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, Quartz Medicare Advantage (HMO), and Dual Eligible plans.
*AbleTo’s Self Care+ program is available to Quartz members and eligible dependents 13+ who are enrolled in an eligible health plan through Quartz.
**Additional coaching and therapy services: These services are offered to most commercial fully insured, State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program, Medicaid, Quartz Medicare Advantage (HMO), and Dual Eligible plans. Coaching sessions are offered at no additional cost to the member; however, therapy services are subject to cost-sharing depending on the service and the plan.
AbleTo’s therapy services assist members in coping with covered mental health conditions like depression or anxiety. For more acute conditions, more extensive service may be needed. If you need emergency emotional assistance, call or text the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or use Lifeline Chat for 24/7 free and confidential support.
Quartz health plans are offered by Quartz Health Benefit Plans Corporation, Quartz Health Plan Corporation, Quartz Health Plan MN Corporation, and Quartz Health Insurance Corporation (Quartz), which are separate legal entities.
©2023 Quartz Health Solutions, Inc.