5 Feel Good Things to Do Today

Though it’s nice to be on the receiving end of a kind gesture, the real reward comes from doing something nice and unexpected for someone else, even if that someone else is a stranger! Here are some fun, simple ideas on ways to brighten someone else’s day and yours as well.

Smile at everyone you make eye contact with today.

In our current hurry up and go society, common pleasures such as receiving a warm smile from a stranger seem to be few and far between. You can help change this rut of a cycle American’s are stuck in by setting an example. I challenge you to smile at each person you make eye contact with today. As simple as the challenge sounds you may be surprised at just how difficult it is to do this with each and every person that you make eye contact with in one entire day. I’m not just talking about the friendly neighbor that you wave hello to every morning on your way to work, but also that person you glance over at in the car next to you at the stoplight or the person you pass as you enter the supermarket. You may be pleasantly surprised at the reaction you get back.

Donate items to a local animal shelter.

Blankets, towels and pet food are a welcome addition to any donation box at animal shelters. Swing by on your lunch hour and drop off a box of items and be confident that all those frightened animals will appreciate your thoughtfulness. Or, better yet, donate money to a shelter so that necessary supplies can be purchased. Don’t have one in your area? Not a problem. Many animal shelters now have websites and except donations online. So, even if you don’t have an animal shelter near you, you can always find one online that accepts electronic monetary donations via PayPal. After all, homeless animals are everywhere. Your donation, big or small, near or far will go to good use, not to mention that donating is tax deductible as well.

Pay their fee.

Going through a toll booth or a pay parking garage? Pay for the person in the car behind you. Speaking from experience here and being the recipient years ago, this is one act of kindness I don’t think I’ll soon forget. I have since returned the kind gesture on many random occasions myself. Of course, this same token of kindness can also be applied to the fast food drive-thru line. When you pay for your order, ask for the total of the person in the car behind you. Chances are this kind gesture will take the recipient by surprise and perhaps someday you’ll be on the receiving end as well.

Shower them with flowers.

Pick up an inexpensive bouquet of flowers at your local grocery store or farmer’s market and give them to a crossing guard. Out there working in varied weather conditions during the school year, these unsung heroes brave busy intersections five days a week to make sure today’s youth make it across the street safely to and from school. Even if you don’t have children, what a nice unexpected, yet appreciated gesture this would be!

Put pen to paper.

Write a letter to a loved one and tell him or her how special you think they are. Resist the urge to send off an e-mail and take the route less traveled these days. Send your thoughts by way of snail mail. No matter what the personality type, everyone likes to be validated and feel acknowledged and important. Pen a note or letter to a loved one either far away or across town. No matter the distance it travels, the recipient is sure to appreciate your efforts. An added touch is to add a photo of the two of you in with the note with a heartfelt message written on the back.

Whether you put one of these ideas into play or come up with some of your own, adding a bit of sunshine to someone else’s life will add sunshine to yours as well. The benefits are endless! Kindness is contagious!

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