Feeling a bit low? Bit bored? Dull? Stuck in a rut? Here are some straightforward ways to brighten up your day (and perhaps someone elses).
- When acknowledging a fellow motorist, eschew the simple 'one hand raised, palm outfacing' gesture. Instead, adopt the 'shooting showbiz fingers' motion. Thumbs aloft, point both forefingers in the direction of the other driver, and wheel them round. They'll know that you really appreciate their courtesy, and you get to feel like Paul McCartney. Win-win.2. Ask a small child to draw a portrait of you. They will be thrilled to do so, and you will be amused by the results. Especially if they are not a natural artist. This is me, as drawn by the 5 year old.Right hair colour, right eye colour, disturbing smile... Yep, that's me.3. Visit this website.And when you've done that, share it with as many people as possible. It shouldn't work, but it does.4.Compliment friends. But honestly. Don't be nice for the sake of it, but do tell them when they look especially nice/happy/glowing/whatever. This is doubly effective if it's first thing in the morning, as it puts a spring in their step for the rest of the day, and then other people will remark on it too. A rare example of a virtuous circle.5. Compliment strangers. Seriously. A passing cyclist once shouted to me 'I love your skirt!' and it meant more to me than if five close friends had said the same thing. Last week I stopped a woman in the street to ask where she bought her hair dye, and she couldn't stop saying 'Wow, thank you!' It makes them feel happy, and you get the satisfyingly
smugwarm glow of having cheered someone else up.6. Give presents to people who matter to you. Not in the expectation of receiving something back, but to show you appreciate them. The 8 year old asked me to crochet something for his teacher last term, because he wanted to let her know what a great teacher she was. I made a scarf, he took it in, and after school, his teacher took me aside to say thanks. The next day she sent us a card to say she really valued it, and I, um, got a bit tearful. Let's move on!7. If you knit or crochet, get into yarn bombing.Yarn bombing is a kind of wooly graffiti, the intention behind which is to brighten up a public space and hopefully make people smile. You've probably heard about the Olympic yarnbomb last summerMost yarn bombs aren't as detailed as that (man alive, I cannot imagine how much time and effort went into it) - sometimes it's as simple as a string of hearts in a tree, or sticking two eyes on a post box to make it look like a face - but it all amounts to the same thing. A silly little thing that cheers people up.8.A very simple one this, requiring practically no effort. Imagine a Liverpudlian saying 'economically'. Not quite doing it for you? How about a Geordie saying 'university'?9. When your husband/wife/partner/children/flatmates come home, hide. And when they walk past your hiding place, burst out at them shouting 'RARRRGGHHH!'. They will get a fantastic rush of adrenaline which they will eventually thank you for.10. If you are a blogger, reader, or writer try to visit at least one different blog each day cough and (this is the important bit) leave a comment. cough It's a brilliant feeling to know that your words reach people other than the voices in your head cough, but an even better one when someone takes the time and effort to leave a comment cough to tell you what they think of your post cough Sorry, I've got a very tickly throat at the moment, I'll just get myself a glass of water.Did that not quite hit the spot? Not feeling inspired to try any of those? Then I only have one more thing to add. This video. If the first two minutes of this don't make you smile, even a little, then frankly, you're beyond redemption. Hint: Must watch with volume turned up.