Can you remember the last time that someone performed a random act of kindness for you? It really brightens your day when someone does something unexpectedly nice for you, but sadly it doesn’t happen as often as it should! That is why this International Happiness Day, we want you to join us in trying to create more happiness in the world around us through a little thing called paying it forward.

If you are unfamiliar with the term, to pay it forward means to do a good deed for someone else without expecting anything in return. Rather than returning the favour and paying you back, they should be instructed to pay it forward to someone else.

We have compiled a list of ways to help you pay it forward and make someone’s day.

Smile at everyone you pass in the street

Give someone a friendly smile or even say hello when you pass them in the street. You never know who’s having a bad day and it doesn’t take much. You could really turn someone’s day around for the better.

Let someone with only a few items go in front of you at the grocery shop

We’ve all been there. You run into the shop to pick up a couple of items but when you get to the queue there is someone with a huge trolley full of things and you have to wait for ages. If this is you, be generous and let the person with a couple of items go in front!

Buy someone’s coffee

Next time you’re in the queue at your favourite coffee shop, pay it forward and offer to buy a coffee for the person behind you in the queue. Unexpected acts of generosity will cheer anyone up, and it only takes a little pocket change!

Donate blood

Although this is not possible for everyone, donating blood is a relatively quick and easy way to significantly help others. And by donating blood you could do more than just cheer someone up, you could save their life too!

Leave a review

If you have had a good experience at a restaurant, hotel, hairdresser etc. then leave them a good review. It will take you all of five minutes to do, and they could really benefit from it! Plus it will make them feel good to know that their work is appreciated!

Leave a bigger tip than expected

Paying it forward does not literally mean that you have to pay, but if you can it will be well received. If you think someone has done an excellent job and provided you with great service then don’t be afraid to tip them extra to let them know!

Offer up your seat on public transport

If you’re on a crowded bus or train, offer up your seat to someone who needs it more than you. Giving up your seat shows true concern for others and will make them happy!

Take pictures for tourists

How you ever visited a really exciting, new place and wanted to take a photo to remember it, but there’s no one to take it? If you see a group of tourists trying to get together for a photo then offer to take it for them!

You know you’d appreciate it if it was you.

Let people in front of you on the road

If a car is trying to merge in front of you while you’re waiting in traffic, then let them in! It’s a nice thing to do, it’s safe, and you can save them from a little road rage too.

Encourage someone to pay it forward!

Paying it forward does not mean you literally have to pay, although you can if you want to. You can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone, so this International Happiness Day we want to inspire you to do something kind for someone else, and then encourage them to pay it forward!

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Nina Sarjolahti

Nina Sarjolahti

Writer and expert