A Coffee Date: How to spread joy today

Good morning! Grab a cup of coffee and have a seat. Let’s talk kindness and spreading joy today, shall we?

Honestly, I’m no expert at spreading joy, but I plan to become one. The longer I live, the more I want to be a light for myself, my family and all I come into contact with. I’m imperfect and make plenty of mistakes, but living a pure, kind, compassionate life is my goal. And  I have a friend who I consider to be an expert in positivity and spreading joy. I’ll refer to her as “Leah” throughout this post because…

A Coffee Date: How to spread joy today

her name is Leah. ;)

I had brunch with my longest friends, the ladies I grew up with in a small town in rural Minnesota recently. Leah is the person who adds joy, warmth, happiness the moment she steps into a room. Her hugs are solid and sincere. Her friendliness is too. There is nothing fake about her. It’s genuine.

I came across a New York Times blog post recently titled “The Moral Bucket List” and the first paragraph perfectly described Leah to me. The entire post was incredibly inspiring-a great read. It got me thinking a lot about how our energy, our interactions, our comments, our Facebook posts and comments and everything else we do, affect others.

Without sharing a personal conversation I had with Leah recently, I am going to share a few of her strategies for spreading positivity and joy plus a few I’ve learned myself and found by researching this topic.

7 ways to spread joy today

7 ways to spread joy today

  1. Go 24 hours without complaining. Not even once. Leah actually saw this on Pinterest but shared it with me and it nails it. I’m doing it right now.  I think it may impact your own thinking and I guarantee it will be good for those closest to you.
  2. Focus on yourself, your behaviors, your goals and your own positivity. And when I say that, I am not saying to be selfish or self-centered. The opposite really. If you have someone you feel brings you down, find a way to turn it into a personal challenge. We can only change ourselves. Leah suggests sharing your goal of “I’m making a conscious effort to focus on the positive in my life and try to avoid being negative” with those around you. Then try to hold yourself and others to it in a kind and gentle way.
  3. Smile. Just do it. Smile at other people. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Smile at your husband, your children, your friends, your baby. Smile.
  4. Share sincere compliments. I’m not saying to force compliments, but if you have a thought cross your mind like “Wow, this person is just so sweet” or “She looks fabulous today,”  consider letting the person know how he/she is making you feel. Why not? I don’t know about you, but those things cross my mind all the time and I only say them if it’s a person I’m close to.
  5. Say something nice about someone (instead of gossip). My husband and I have a rule that we only speak well of each other in public. We’ve actually broken the rule a few times lately and I need to go back to making sure I stick to it because he is my one and only. My rock. Anyway, why can’t we all do that for everyone? I know it’s hard, but when we are about to gossip or say something about someone else that isn’t nice, what if we instead thought of something we love about that person and said it out loud. Try it. It works incredibly well. And let’s all be honest with ourselves. Sometimes we all justify gossip or say that it’s not gossip because “it’s true” or any number of other excuses. And I’m going to call all of us out right now. If you are saying something about another person and they aren’t near you, it’s probably considered gossip even though that word can be hard to admit. None of us are perfect and there probably is a time and place for venting, but for me, this approach works really well.
  6. Think positive. Easier said than done, but when something appears to be not good and it upsets you, try to consciously flip it to a positive. This can be very hard to do, but if you are able, it’s amazing how much quicker the negativity leaves.
  7. Give love right now. At this moment. Take 5 minutes (or even 2) and write a text message, an email or make a phone call to two or three people who you love and who you haven’t shared that with lately. Recently, two of my closest friends came over for a play date and some bubbly. We had a great time and I thought of both of them for several days and just felt grateful beyond words for our easy, forgiving, loving friendships. After two days of loving on them in my mind, I finally just sent a very scattered (and not edited) email to them letting them know. Let a few people you love know that you are thinking of them.

It’s Friday. Let’s all spread a little joy today! If you liked this post and want to spread joy too, pin an image from above.

Tulips image from SC Stock Shop.  Top photos by Melissa Oholendt Photography.