By Phil Drolet

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo Buscaglia

Two years ago, I hit a rough patch. I was unemployed, sleeping on my mom’s couch, and really frustrated about the state of my life.

I was going through the days with a dark cloud above my head, feeling sorry for myself. My enthusiasm and positivity were disappearing, and the quality of my relationships was going downhill.

I kept wondering what was wrong with the world and why things just couldn’t work out for me. I was really in a rut. 

After basking in my misery for a few months, I decided to make a radical move. I packed up all of my stuff, hopped on a plane, and flew to the other side of the world.

Forty hours later, I arrived in beautiful Perth, Australia. I was exhausted from the journey but excited by the endless possibilities this fresh start offered.

I immediately fell in love with the beaches and nice weather, but one thing really blew my mind: the Aussies’ incredible friendliness and insatiable love for life. It was a stark contrast to how I’d been living recently.

Every time I interacted with the locals, I felt a surge of positivity within me and walked away uplifted. Their positivity was contagious and the dark cloud above my head quickly dissipated.

Over the next few months, I became more aware of the impact we have on each other through our interactions. I realized that every time we talk to someone, whether it is a family member, a friend, or the cashier at the store, we have a wonderful opportunity to raise their spirits and brighten up their day.

Soon, I started paying close attention to my “Positivity Footprint.”

What’s that you ask?

Just like our carbon footprint measures our emissions of greenhouse gas and our impact on the environment, our “positivity footprint” measures our emission of good vibes and our impact on society.

Since I’ve started becoming more conscious of my positivity footprint, my life has been turned upside down. My interactions with others are much more fulfilling, unexpected opportunities appear in my life on a regular basis, and I now have a career I absolutely love.

Today, I want to share five simple strategies to help you raise your own positivity footprint.

Implement them in your daily routine and soon magic will be happening in your life.

1. Smile Often

“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.”
Mother Teresa

Smiling is the easiest way to have a positive impact on someone’s life. It can uplift anyone, anytime, and it’s been scientifically shown to increase serotonin (one of the master feel-good hormones in our brain) in both the giver and the receiver.

Try to end each conversation with your most heartfelt smile. The other person is likely to return the favor, and you’ll both be walking away with a smile on your face.

2. Compliment People Every Chance You Get

Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise”
Napoleon Hill

It’s amazing how a few simple words have the power to make a person’s day.

Whenever someone gives you good service, says something smart, wears something you like, or cooks you a good meal, give him/her a genuine compliment. Watch what happens next. Seeing their face light up in appreciation is guaranteed to uplift you too.

3. Be Funny, Silly, and Playful

Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.”
Mark Twain

Have you ever met someone who doesn’t like laughing? Yeah, me neither.

Whenever you get a chance, try to lighten up the conversation with something funny or silly. Even if you don’t think you’re a humorous person, I know you can do it. Humor is just like anything—the more we use it, the better we get at it.

4. Give Hugs

“Hugging is the ideal gift. Great for any occasion, fun to give and receive, shows you care, comes with its own wrapping, and, of course, is fully returnable”

When I moved to California earlier this year, it seemed like every new person I met greeted me with a hug, even the guys! At first, I found it a little bit strange. But it’s hard to refuse a hug, so I played along. I soon became hooked as I realized how good hugs feel.

They’ve been proven to increase our levels of oxytocin, the “love hormone,” and to create deeper connections between humans. I now greet all of my friends with a hug too. Even the guys! If this sounds strange to you, give it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

5. Ask Questions and Listen Intently

Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand.”
Sue Patton Thoele

Do you know someone who asks you really good questions and listens to your answers with the utmost attention? It feels great being with them, doesn’t it?

Here’s the good news: you have the power to make people feel like that too!

Always try to ask people about themselves, their ideas, their dreams, and listen as though they’re the only person in the world in that instant. It’ll make them feel like a million bucks, and you’re bound to learn some amazing things about them.

Going forward, I invite you to become more conscious of how you affect others in your daily interactions.

How can you raise your positivity footprint a little more each day?

Every day, seek to uplift those around you, and watch in wonder as your own life becomes better than ever.

Phil Drolet is a writer, triathlete, lover of wisdom, and a Peak Performance Coach, helping people take bold action towards their dreams, optimize their lifestyle, and overcome their fears. For more on Phil please visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

*Photo by nathangibbs.