You may feel uncomfortable doing these things, if so I recommend this advice is all the more reason to for you to try them.
Day in day out, many of us wake to an unforgiving but highly vital alarm and surface from the familiar shelter we call bed. We carry or drag ourselves through whatever it is that is on the day’s agenda whether that be work, chores, gym, coffee, errands or simply anything else! So what makes each day different? The weather? The lunch you’ve packed? Or what your outfit you’re going to search online for all day?
While yes..one day you may be in jeans another in a dress but apart from the mundane ritual changes, what else is out there that physically engages us with the world around us? What can we do to be present and more involved with tangible things?
After living for 23 years, I have slowly but surely rediscovered that there is life beyond our iPhone (who knew?) Now I am not here to tell you to exercise more, read a book and drink green smoothies filled with kale; although good advice… we seem to know all that stuff already! However, I have learnt and am continually discovering that our bodies and minds have the capacity to take tiny steps to step out of our personal comfort zone daily. Yes... DAILY!
So here it is, my 5 small things we can do to just smile or make life easier a little more each day.
1. Make your bed
I have stolen this one from my partner who shared this simple wisdom with me a bit over two years ago. He had taken this advice on himself after hearing it from a Navy Seal; William McRaven.
“ If you make your bed in the morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day”
Now, apart from making your room appear 10 times cleaner, if you at some point before leaving the house make your bed, you have laid down the precedence for a productive day. Essentially your telling yourself, ‘yep I’ve done that. What’s next?’ in other words.. ‘I’ve got this s***’.
It really doesn’t take long, and quite frankly can be done while the kettle is on preparing your morning brew.
For me it has become about starting the day how I would like to finish it. Let me tell you, if your day has been long and terrible at least when you return home, your bed is made and waiting for you to crawl back in.
2. Pat Dogs
But seriously do it. Unless you are apart of the small minority that don't enjoy animals, allergic or was bitten by a dog when you were young and scarred or whatever, then I suggest you join in!
Dogs are unique animals that we get privilege to indulge in daily and the benefit of patting a dog for both you and them can be profound. Pets have been scientifically proven to be therapeutic and like hugging someone, there is a mutual sense of physical comfort that is exchanged.
Most dogs give you an instant gratification after petting them appropriately.. I mean.. c’mon seriously how could you not smile back!
If you have your own furry friend then thumbs up! If not then learn to experiment. I’ll admit, there are those dogs who slobber, who are wet that you may be reluctant to touch. However it’s about stepping outside your comfort zone and taking that step, there will most likely be a tap near by. You don’t have to go and pat a dog everywhere you go, but maybe that one at the coffee shop you see everyday would love some of your attention every now and then.
3. Take a photo for a random
We live in a highly saturated social media world and this means photos, photos, and photos. With technology being as awesome as it is, we have the ability to capture high quality photos anytime and anywhere. Let’s be honest, everyone loves an awesome photo of themselves but very few have the luxury of a dedicated ‘boyfriend of Instagram’.
Seeing someone taking a selfie and asking if you can take it for them is a great way to start, however I challenge you to exercise your creative eye on your own accord. If you are strolling by and see a ‘kodkak moment’ why not just capture it for them?
9 times out of 10, the person will have a phone with a camera on hand and you will be able to feel their sense of gratitude for such a random and kind gesture.
4. Poke your tongue out at babies
Yes, these small humans that are often slung over their parents shoulders when out and about. These little things have minds and eyes for everything around them as they absorb every inch of life.
They are often found staring right at you, so why not give them something to look at?
Babies are used to seeing how adults move, act and carry themselves; not having their tongues out. Through my own field work & practical tests, most of my findings with poking my tongue at infants have been quite positive.
Strange I know, just give it a go! Their little smile right from a moment you have both secretly shared will surely brighten your day.
5. Ask someone for his or her favourite quote
Everyone has their own truth, stories and often something they like to think they live by. Whether it is your work colleague or a random sitting on the bus next to you, give it a go and ask them for their favourite quote! On a side note, make sure you have somewhere to write it down!
As I embark on asking more people for a quote, I have learned that from one just one phrase you are able to gain an inside look and snippet about a person and what they deem as valuable. Some quotes might resonate with you and some won’t, some will have a story and some won’t and that’s fine! Just never be too afraid to ask why?
The benefits of communicating with someone about a universal yet personal topic can get the mind ticking and you never know, your very own favourite quote just might change!
5b. Just smile at people when you walk by, we are all human and smiles are contagious. Flash your pearly whites at someone, it may just turn their day around. Spread it around!