Once you’ve started your alcohol free journey, you may find that you have a lot more time on your hands. Why not use that time to spread a little joy and happiness?
It’s important to remember that the entire world does not revolve around you and that you should give and put into the world just as much as you expect to receive. Alcohol can make us more selfish and blind to others’ feelings. Without it, you may find you have more time to consciously try to be selfless and focus on the happiness of those around you.
Here are five simple ways to spread the love:
1/ Show some kindness
Give up your seat on the bus. Help someone who’s lost. Pick up some litter if you see it dropped in the street. Help someone cross the road. Donate to a charity shop. Write some words of encouragement to another one of the OYNB tribe who may appear to be struggling on social media. There are so many ways to carry out small acts of kindness and make our communities nicer places to be. Normally we reserve our “best” selves for our own family and friends, but treating everyone you come across with gentleness and kindness will help you see others more positively and help to spread a little joy. Maybe the next time you are in a coffee shop, you can use the remaining change from your note to buy a coffee for the person behind you. You never know, they may do this for someone else and so on, starting your own little chain reaction of kindness.
A smile is a great way to spread a little happiness around you. Countless scientific studies have confirmed that a genuine smile is considered attractive to others. Other studies have shed light on how the act of smiling can elevate your mood and the mood of those around you. Smiles and laughs are contagious, making you more attractive to be around. If you’re feeling down, or you’re craving alcohol, the simple act of smiling can make you feel happier and reduce your stress levels. This is because the muscle movements involved trigger the release of endorphins in your brain. This technique is even more powerful when backed up with positive thoughts, so feed your smile by picturing that upcoming holiday or an evening spent with your closest friends.
3/ Leave a note for someone
Leave a small note with a loving or encouraging sentence in your partner or child’s lunchbox, bag, or a book that he or she is currently reading. Love notes, happy notes, thank you notes – they can be notes about anything and everything but the focus should be on making someone feel special and happy. Sticking a thoughtfully worded note on a mirror is another great way to make someone’s day.
4/ Give a compliment
Giving someone a compliment is a great way to share the love. If given right, compliments can create so much positive energy they can make things happen almost as if by magic. How many times have you wanted to say something nice to someone but have held back? It could be as small as simply for voicing your admiration for what someone is wearing. Focusing on and noticing the good qualities in the world around us gives our moods a boost all by itself.
Volunteering is a great way to do something for others. Research shows that it benefits people of all ages by increasing feelings of self-esteem, respect, motivation and wellbeing. There are lots of different things you can get involved with, whether it’s becoming a member of your local neighbourhood watch, or getting involved in a local community project or fund raiser. Volunteering spreads joy. It’s a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions while at the same time making a positive contribution to the happiness of others.
While many of us feel too stressed and busy to worry about helping others, or say we’ll focus on doing good deeds when we have more spare time, evidence shows that helping others is actually beneficial for our own mental health and wellbeing. It can help reduce stress, improve our happiness levels and even benefit our physical health.
It can also help you on your alcohol free journey. Research has found helping others may have a unique impact in helping you stick to your 28, 90 or 365 days, because of the positive social connections involved. So, once you’ve finished reading this, go out there and spread some joy!