Making someone happy isn’t really hard to do, and the payoff is that you boost your own mood by spreading happiness all around. You cause a ripple effect that affects the happiness of people you don’t even know and you may even become healthier through your random acts of kindness. So, what is the key to true happiness?

It’s simple chemistry, according to an article in the Huffington Post,

"Giving back has an effect on your body. Studies show that when people donated to charity, the mesolimbic system, the portion of the brain responsible for feelings of reward, was triggered. The brain also releases feel-good chemicals and spurs you to perform more kind acts — something psychologists call “helper’s high.”

Dr. Oliver Scott Curry of Oxford University took data from 21 studies that examined the links between kindness and happiness to determine if there truly was an effect.

“Our review suggests that performing acts of kindness will not change your life, but might help nudge it in the right direction. Humans are social animals. We are happy to help family, friends, colleagues, community members and even strangers under some conditions. This research suggests that people do indeed derive satisfaction from helping others.”

Research has found that making someone happy can have a multiplier effect.

A study of 4,700 people who were followed for more than 20 years showed that happiness is contagious, and can spread rapidly among friends, neighbors, siblings and spouses. Additionally, the study shows that happiness can have a ripple effect through clusters of people who don’t even know each other.

“You would think that your emotional state would depend on your own choices and actions and experience,” said Nicholas A. Christakis, a medical sociologist at Harvard University who helped conduct the study published online today by BMJ, a British medical journal. “But it also depends on the choices and actions and experiences of other people, including people to whom you are not directly connected. Happiness is contagious.”

Science hasn’t proven statistically that happiness positively benefits your health, but the correlations between health and happiness are undeniable,

Happiness has been correlated with better health, both in individuals and communities. Some studies have even suggested that states of happiness may be associated with lower stress-related hormones and better immune function.

Now that we have established all the good reasons to spread happiness so you can live a happier life, let’s look at some ways to do it.

- Smile at a stranger.
- Tell someone a joke. Nothing like laughter to get the feel-good neurotransmitters flowing.
- Give someone a sincere compliment.
- Publicly praise someone.
- Take your hairdresser a cup of coffee.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Let a fellow motorist merge into your lane when you are driving.
- Are you a good cook? Share some of your tasty treats at work or with neighbors.
- On social media share funny or good news items.
- Take a co-worker out to lunch.
- Pay for the person behind you in the drive-through line.
- Pick flowers for someone.
- Do a chore for someone.
- Roll your neighbor’s trash can around to the street for collection.
- Going to the grocery? Offer to pick up something from the grocery store for a friend or neighbor.
- Offer to cook a meal for a sick friend or neighbor.
- Listen – really listen – to someone who needs to vent.
- Send someone a handwritten thank you note.
- When you see someone wearing something you like, compliment them.
- Share your umbrella with someone on a rainy day.
- Offer to babysit so your friends can have a night out.
- Feed a friend’s dog when she has to go out of town.
- Secretly send a pizza to a friend.
- If your parents are still alive, call them.
- Call an old friend you haven’t talked with lately.
- Bring a box of doughnuts to share with the office. Krispy Kreme please!
- Visit with an elderly relative.
- Got a good boss? Tell him or her.
- Tip your server a little extra.
- Donate items to charity.
- Help someone reach their personal goal.
- Throw a party for a small group of friends.

Making someone happy, as you can see, is really not that hard. So, get out there and start spreading the joy, sunshine!

Author's Bio: 

Harry Hoover is an author, writer-for-hire, speaker, and publisher of You, Improved. He has written three books: Get Glad - Your Practical Guide To A Happier Life, Born Creative: Free Your Mind, Free Yourself, and Moving to Charlotte: The Un-Tourist Guide.