The day marks the celebration of love on the 14th of February, and while it is mostly seen as a day where couples express and enjoy their passion, it is also one of the best times to bring some love and peace into the lives of those around you, regardless of the nature of your relationship. Here are some ways you can spread love and peace to those around you, including your special someone.
The importance of love and peace
Change always starts on the inside. There is absolutely no way to spread love and positivity around you and into the world if you don’t plant these same feelings inside yourself first. Only when you are happy will you be able to radiate happiness around you, and transfer your feelings of peace to others. You may have experiences the contagious effects of happiness yourself, but a Harvard University study backs up what everybody has felt at one point or another.
The research that followed 4739 people for 20 years (from1983 to 2003), showed that an individual’s happiness depends on the happiness of those he is connected to, and that happiness extends to three degrees of separation. This means that making yourself happy is the best way to infuse happiness into our surroundings. So go out and buy yourself a box of chocolate this Valentine’s Day.
1. Be kind to yourself
We are our own worst critics. The negative inner-voice giving harsh commentary throughout the day plagues most people, but it is time to realize that this voice is cruel and unwelcome. Experts advise people to be mindful and recognize these negative thoughts when they start, then put a stop them. An easy way to do that is to ask yourself: would I say this to a good friend who is in the same situation? If the answer is no, then you should immediately put a stop to the negative inner comments, and start treating yourself like you treat your best friend. You deserve that courtesy. You can practice giving yourself positive affirmations to replace the negativity, and focus on your accomplishments at the end of every day.
2. Be kind to others
Kindness is underrated. There is no telling how a simple kind word can totally turn around someone’s day. You don’t need a grand gesture; a simple compliment, cutting a service industry employee some slack or smiling at a fleeting stranger can make someone’s day. There is even more reason to be kind. This study found that kindness makes kind people happier, and happiness makes people kinder, and so goes the cycle of a more loving and peaceful world. You can start this Valentine’s Day and be more kind and forgiving of other people.
One of the simplest and most effective ways of spreading peace is a mere smile. Smile at yourself and at others. Smile with your face and with your heart, and watch the happiness infect those around you.
4. Be somebody’s hero
If you want to spread love and peace into the world, what better way to do that than taking direct action? You can be somebody’s hero and save the day for a complete stranger. Whether you buy somebody a cup of coffee, help an elderly lady with her groceries, or help a stranger whose car broke down, your actions will make somebody happier, and this happiness will radiate to those around him creating waves of peace in the world. This Valentine’s Day is perfect for doing one of those random acts of kindness.
5. Plant a tree
In your quest to spread love and peace in the world, it is important to remember that we humans don’t live on this earth alone; we share it with plants and animals. Take the time to volunteer at an animal shelter, help a stray animal or plant a tree this Valentine’s Day. Not only will you be giving back to other creatures, and to the earth on which we live, you will also feel good as a result of these kind actions.
6. Stop and listen
How often have you tuned out conversation with acquaintances or colleagues because you were engrossed in your own thoughts about your own problems? Try to give those around you your full attention when they talk to you. Truly listen to what they have to say, and connect with them. You may not be able to do anything to help, and you may even not know the right things to say, but there is something very comforting about being given 100 percent attention and being listened to.
7. Spread positive vibes
As important as it is to listen to and appreciate people’s concerns, it is still important to not place undeservedly high focus on the negative aspects of their lives. If somebody has a tendency to over-stress the negatives in their lives and feelings, be the person to gently point out the good things they are overlooking. Even when somebody is going through a hard time, listen, acknowledge, then point out some of the good things that can uplift their spirits. Bringing a positive note to people’s attention will help neutralize their negative feelings, and you will be the reason some peace finds its way into their souls and minds.
8. Be there
Showing real interest in the heart and wellbeing of those around you can make a big difference in their lives. Be there to encourage people around you to take care of their health, mental, physical and sexual. How many suicides could have been prevented had somebody been attentive to the mental state of the victim? How many cases of testicular cancer and breast cancer would have been detected earlier with the right person urging the patient to get a checkup? Try to be that person who is always there to support and give good advice.
Taking even a little bit of time to meditate every day can benefit you and those around you. The peaceful practice helps you find inner peace, but a study has shown that in addition to helping with your focus and reducing your stress, it also helps you relate to others. This feeling of understanding and connection with those around you will inevitably radiate peace into your sphere.
10. Show love to your partner
When working on spreading love and peace around you, it is important not to forget the most important person in your life, especially now that it is Valentine’s Day. Use the day to infuse your partner’s life with happiness and keep a smile on their face. Take your loved one on a date to remember, but remember that it is you that puts the smile on their face, not the gift or the venue. So, be present and attentive, and show that special someone the magnitude of your love and passion. With the help of natural ways to increase stamina, you can make your lover’s day more special, and enjoy everything Valentine’s Day has to offer.
You can make this Valentine’s Day a celebration of love and peace for yourself, your partner, and also for those around you, and even a random stranger. Use the above suggestions to be the reason somebody is happy and let the waves of good vibes ripple through your surroundings this Valentine’s Day. Remember that you reap what you sow, and your good karma will not go unrewarded, but more importantly, enjoy the immediate gratification of being the hero somebody has to thank for a good day.