With natural disasters and tragedies happening in the world, we need some positivity instead! We’ve come up with 10 ways to make someone smile today, in order to spread a bit of joy and laughter around. We also have another great reason to smile – a worldwide competition with our friends at Charles BowTie where you can win one of three gift sets of a stylish watch and bow tie, so stay tuned to enter.
1 – Make Someone Smile with Random Acts of Kindness
Have you ever seen the movie Pay It Forward? A school class is challenged by their teacher to come up with an idea to make the world a better place. A 12 year old student comes up with the idea of doing a favour for 3 people and to ask them to pay it forward by doing a favour for 3 other people, and so on. Of course, you don’t have to go to such lengths but even just one kind gesture such as offering to help an elderly person to carry shopping will go a long way. There’s actually a World Kindness Day on November 13 each year, as well as a Random Acts of Kindness movement, with a Kind blog and the possibility to become a RAKtivist…If you’re travelling abroad, consider supporting Pack for a Purpose by taking useful items that you no longer need that will be invaluable for the locals in your destination country.
2 – Start a Gratitude Journal
Not only will keeping a gratitude journal make you smile, but it can really help others to smile too…Let them know that they made it into your journal by something sweet that they’ve done for you. So if your partner cooks you a nice meal, tell them that you enjoyed it so much that they’ve made it into your gratitude journal! Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
3 – Laugh a Little (or a Lot!)
Tell a joke or watch a silly film but laugh as often as you can – it’s contagious and there are serious health benefits, including lower blood pressure, the release of endorphins boosting your immune system and even helping you tone your abs! We had a laugh taking these photos of Big Ben, it’s good to see something so familiar in a new angle.
4 – Leave a Surprise for a Stranger
Do you love reading but don’t know what to do with all the books that you’ve finished and won’t read again? It’s always possible to donate them to the local library or charity shop… However, there’s another thing you can do with them, that’s guaranteed to put a smile on a random person’s face. BookCrossing is the act of releasing a book into the wild for a stranger to find, or via a controlled system where other members can hunt for it. You can then track the progress of your book around the world via journal entries – it’s fascinating to see where some of them end up! Geocaching is another way to leave a surprise for a stranger. It’s an outdoor treasure-hunting game with millions of geocaches dotted around the world and great fun for children.
5 – Wear Something Zany
Whether its flamingo sunglasses or a brightly coloured top, this is a sure-fire way to make people smile. On a rainy day, I like to pick the brightest raincoat I have, and pair it with a colour clashing umbrella for good measure ;-). A bow tie is one of the quirkiest clothing items yet its also extremely elegant. Although they are associated with gentlemen, bow ties can look just as good on a girl and the element of surprise is an added bonus. Would you ever have guessed the origin of the bow tie? It was actually mercenaries in Croatia in the 17th century who used a scarf tied around their neck to hold their shirt together! It became popular as a cravat in France and then evolved into the bow tie.
6 – Compliment Someone
Whether it’s on their appearance, skills or something else, people love a compliment. I used to be quite shy and would hesitate to tell people that I loved their outfit or baking talent, for example. Yet then I realized how much I enjoyed being complimented myself and I started to get free and easy with giving them out. If you live in a big city like we do, it’s also a way of feeling slightly more connected to your fellow citizens!
7 – Get in touch with Loved Ones
Make a phone call to a friend or family member. It lets them know that you have been thinking about them and is guaranteed to put a smile on their face. Or go really old-school and write them a letter – this will be particularly appreciated by those who are old enough to remember the days before Internet and emails!
8 – Smile at Others
As Mother Theresa once said, Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing. Wouldn’t it be nice to be that person who makes everyone feel like they’re the only person in a room, just by smiling at them?
9 – Share Your Time and Expertise
Volunteering will not only help others smile but it will make you feel wonderful too. There are lots of different ways to get involved and you can tailor it to your interests such as being a volunteer tutor for school children or a tour guide at a local historic house. If you’re worried about the time investment, consider a short-term event such as handing out water at a local charity run.
10 – Give a Gift
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, so whether it’s a home-baked cookie or tickets to a new play they’ve been wanting to see, you’ll get serious brownie points. If you’re being really kind, you could even give them your prize, should you win this fantastic competition for one of three Charles BowTie watch and bow tie sets. This creative UK based company has recently launched their international web shop. They have 14 gorgeous watches in their collection, all representing British cities such as Bath, Cambridge and Edinburgh. The designs are inspired by modern art and pop culture with a bit of vintage chic thrown in. The watch and bow tie are beautifully packaged with a colourful flip open case and double tiered box. I’ve been wearing my Newcastle watch so much, it’s got an interchangeable striped strap and looks great with or without the funky bow tie. My husband has found his Dover watch particularly handy for travelling as it’s so lightweight. It’s also a great conversation starter in business meetings! The gift set is a very reasonable £145 or €169 and international shipping is available. Moreover, get a 15% discount until 31 October when you use the code SMILEWSUZE. To enter the competition which is open worldwide, simply follow the steps below. Good luck!
How would you make someone smile?