SmileSome days the skies are grey, the world seems like it’s on your shoulders, and no matter what you do you just can’t seem to catch a break. These are the days that you could use some cheering up. Times that you daydream about taking a vacation to Tahiti, think about quitting your job or feel like disappearing under the covers to watch hours of bad reality TV.

We all have these kinds of days.

As human beings, it is impossible to be happy all the time. It’s normal to have emotions that make you feel mad and sad. While you don’t want to stay stuck in the dumps, feeling emotions like anger and sadness is healthy. The trick is to touch those feelings, have the emotion, and then turn your frown upside down!

Most of us, however, weren’t given the tools to elevate our emotions in healthy ways. Thankfully we live in a time where you’ve been told that things like yoga, meditating, and going for a walk can clear your mind and boost your happiness levels. And maybe you have even tried these and found how beneficial they can be.

But there is another way to transform negative feelings into happiness that is usually overlooked and under utilized, but has the ability to turn your mood around in mere minutes.

Turn your frown around by turning your focus away from yourself and putting your attention fully onto another person.

Want to feel more loved and appreciated?

Love and appreciate someone else. Walk up to a person and sincerely tell them how much you appreciate them. Let the love ooze out of your mouth and before you know it, you will feel loved.

Need some compassion and kindness?

Pick up the phone and call a friend you know is having a hard time and offer your love and support. The kindness will become infectious and touch you too, and your happiness levels will elevate.

Could use inspiration or hope that things will get better?

Check in with another person about their life. Be honestly curious. Let your mind fill with their story so it can stop obsessing about what’s wrong with your life.

This approach to your happiness is a form of ‘paying it forward.’ Instead of wallowing in your sadness, you pick yourself up, and get interested in someone other than yourself and the story your mind is running. You choose to give happiness and love out to someone else, even though you are having a hard time. And based on the laws of reciprocity, you are way more likely to elevate your own feelings in return.

The reason this approach works is because it interrupts the stories and thoughts running through your mind that keep you stuck in lower vibration emotions. When you feel down, your mind becomes obsessed with creating stories to collaborate just how bad your situation is. It looks for evidence to back up the emotions you are feeling. So the loop continues until you take control of your mind and start playing a different tune. Turning your focus from obsessing about your problems to helping, caring for, and listening to someone else is like injecting love and kindness into your brain and body – plus you can really have a positive impact on someone else.

I shared above three ways to turn your frown around, and I have a bonus one that I myself love to use. Instead of ‘Pay It Forward’ it’s called “Petal it Forward.” It’s a bit daring, but boy does it work.

And here’s how.

Get yourself a bunch of stems of flowers and give two flowers to as many people as you like, giving them a wish and a request. Your wish for them is something like, “May your day be full of love and happiness” and your request is for them to take the other flower and pass the wish and the flower on to another person – “petaling” it forward. The daring part? That the people to whom you pay the happiness forward are not your close relatives or friends, but rather strangers, people at work, or people who serve you every day anonymously (like the barista or your dry cleaner).

The reason this works so well, even with people you don’t know, is that the power comes from the flower itself. Common sense tells us that flowers make people feel better. Scientific studies done at Rutgers University have proven that receiving flowers elevates moods, creates connection and, in essence, makes us happier.

Are you a little scared that a person may think you weird for handing them a flower? Well maybe for a second because, sadly, we human beings are not used to people doing kind things for us for no reason. But having petaled it forward many times myself, what I can tell you is that once a person gets over the initial shock of being wished a happy day, they will receive the gift, you will see that you have made their day better, and so your day too will be full of smiles instead of frowns.