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5 Meaningful Ways to Brighten Up Someone’s Day (With Examples)


What if I told you that you have the power to change someone’s mood and make them feel special? Wouldn’t you want to use that power as often as you could? The good news is that you do have that power and you can use it at any time!

When you go out of your way to brighten up someone’s day, you elevate the other person’s mood while simultaneously improving your own attitude. Giving to others helps us find meaning and can help us realize there is so much more to life than our troubles.

This article will teach you how to hone in on using your superpower to brighten up someone’s day starting today!

Don’t underestimate the power of kindness

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that we’re not capable of brightening up someone’s day without some grand gesture.

And while we all love a grand gesture from time to time, the simplest of acts are more than enough to make a profound impact on another person.

Research has shown that we far underestimate the positive impact of simple compliments on another person’s psyche and mood. This can cause us to feel like we shouldn’t give compliments or do little acts of kindness in the first place.

I tend to fall into the category of thinking I am not able to do enough to make a worthwhile impact on someone else’s well being. I also fall into the trap of believing that I’m too busy to do anything meaningful.

But it’s these false beliefs that stop us from tapping into our power to help someone else out.

And I know that every time I go out of my way to brighten someone else’s day, I end up feeling like a million bucks. So we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking the time to brighten someone else’s day.

What happens to you when you brighten someone else’s day

Brightening someone else’s day doesn’t just impact the other person. Science shows that giving to others has just as profound of an effect on you and your well-being.

A study in 2013 found that individuals who gave or helped others experienced less stress. As a result, this reduced their overall mortality. That’s right- you can literally fight off your own mortality by giving to others. How cool is that?!

And if you feel like there’s never enough time in the day, brightening up someone else’s day might just be the solution.

Research has found that individuals who spend time giving to others perceive that they have more time available and this positively influences their overall stress levels.

If making someone else feel better for their sake doesn’t motivate you, then certainly improving your lifespan and feeling like you have more time should be enough to do the trick.

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5 ways to brighten someone’s day

If you’re ready to spread a little sunshine to those around you, then let’s not waste any time.

These 5 tips are sure to help you brighten up someone else’s day starting right now.

1. Write a note

Sometimes when we say brighten someone else’s day your mind may automatically go to thinking about brightening a stranger’s day. I 100% approve of that, but sometimes the people who need a little pick-up are those closest to us.

About a year ago, I started randomly leaving love notes for my husband before I left the house or went to work. They were always on scrap paper and there was nothing fancy about them.

They were usually simple notes either expressing appreciation or communicating my love for him by noticing cute little quirks. I didn’t do it every day and tried to make it random, so that he couldn’t predict when he would find one.

I didn’t think much of these notes because they took little of my time and energy. But at our wedding anniversary, my husband told me that those notes were often what eased his anxiety before work and made him feel noticed.

Spend a few moments writing a thank you or telling those around you just how much they mean to you on paper. Leave it for them to find unexpectedly. It’s a foolproof formula to make someone else’s day.

2. Give a genuine compliment on something non-physical

We all love it when someone notices our cute outfit or compliments our smile. But when was the last time someone complimented you on your work ethic or on your positive attitude?

While giving compliments about physical aspects of a person is still great, when you give someone a compliment about a non-physical attribute it tends to really stick.

Just the other day I told one of our front desk workers that she has an incredible ability to make people feel at home and appreciated. She told me that simple statement really stuck with her and made her feel even more motivated to show others kindness.

Dig deep and point out the positive aspects of others’ personalities or actions. I guarantee that it will lift their mood up for much longer than what you say about their appearance.

3. Pay for someone else

Paying for someone else, whether the bill is big or small, can really go a long way when it comes to making someone’s day.

We’ve probably all seen the trend on social media where someone pays for the person behind them in line at a Starbucks drive-thru. And typically this results in a chain of people paying for the person behind them.

But have you ever been on the receiving end of something like this? It really makes you feel special and adds a pep to your step.

Give it a try. Next time you’re in the drive-thru or standing in line at a coffee shop or the grocery store, offer to pay for someone’s items.

The smile you’ll see on their face is worth so much more than the amount of cash you’re paying for the item.

4. Give your time

If you’re not in a place to give financially, that’s totally fine. Giving your time is just as meaningful when it comes to brightening up someone else’s day.

I remember when I was in college my finances were quite limited, but I still wanted to be able to give to others. I decided that I’d go for a few hours every week to the local nursing home and just hang out with some of the folks there.

This became a weekly date. During this time, I got to really know the residents and we both came to really look forward to our weekly dates.

I almost couldn’t believe how just coming to visit and have conversations with these folks seemed to help cheer them up. And being around them always left me with a smile. So at the end of the day, who was really serving who here? 

Giving your time is a valuable way of communicating just how much that person means to you. And it’s bound to leave the other person feeling a little brighter.

5. Use a person’s name

Do you know how nice it feels to be acknowledged by your name instead of just being seen as a stranger or a face in a crowd? If you do, you know the power of calling someone by their name.

I’m always surprised by how when I call someone in the grocery store or my barista by the name on their name tag they seem almost shocked.

I try to make it a point to call people by their names so they know that I am noticing them as a person.

I usually take it one step further and make genuine conversation about how their day is going instead of mine. And for added brownie points, when I say thank you I add their name afterward.

It may sound almost too simple or mundane, but those types of details can be all it takes to brighten someone else’s day.

💡 By the way: If you want to start feeling better and more productive, we've condensed the information of 100's of our articles into a 10-step mental health cheat sheet here. 👇

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Wrapping up

Don’t take the incredible power you have within you to brighten up someone else’s day for granted. Use the tips from this article to start harnessing that power to uplift the people around you each and every day. You may just find that by focusing on others you will discover the happiness you have been seeking all along.

When did you last brighten up someone's day? What's your favorite to share with others? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Ashley Kaiser

Writer

Physical therapist, writer, and outdoor enthusiast from Arizona. Self-proclaimed dark chocolate addict and full-time adrenaline junkie. Obsessed with my dog and depending on the day my husband, too.

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