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Take the #Positive30 Challenge!

Take the #Positive30 Challenge!
“I try to text one friend in my contacts daily to tell them that I am thinking of them and hoping they are having a great day. My friends love it, and I love doing it. Pass on the love.”
Mariah E.

Positivity can and should (in our humble opinions) be part of daily life. But to make positivity a habit, you need to do it – deliberately and repeatedly – until it becomes second nature. Doing something positive for 30 days is a great way to change your outlook and positively impact your community, so we encourage you to embrace our 30 Days of Positivity Challenge this month -- or any month, really! 

This month, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram, as we'll share a tip every day for 30 days. If it takes 21 days to make something a habit, doing something positive for 30 will make you a shining star of powerful positivity! But if you're looking for a preview of things to come, read the following, and consider all the ways you'll make the world a better place through simple acts of positivity.

Will doing something consciously positive every day for a month take a little effort? Yes. Will it improve your mood, change your short- and long-term outlook and make you more optimistic? Yes!! In fact, we believe positivity can impact our lives in such powerful ways, that we developed the platform to celebrate and promote it.

We’re not the only ones who believe in the power of positivity; science does, too. In a landmark study, positive psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson found that positive emotions broaden our sense of possibility and open our minds to more options, providing an enhanced ability to build skills and develop resources for use later in life. A positive outlook is linked to decreased feelings of loneliness and increased pain tolerance. And positive people live longer. In a study of nuns, those who regularly expressed positive emotions lived, on average, 10 years longer.

To help you take on the 30 Days of Positivity Challenge, we asked the Just the Positive (JTP) Facebook community for their ideas about easy ways to create positivity every day. Their responses put us in a truly positive state of mind, and we hope they do the same for you. Whether you do the same positive thing daily or choose a different positive action each day, you’ll be making our community a better place.

1. Make eye contact and smile at others.

Smiling at strangers and others was the most popular suggestion on the JTP Facebook page, so clearly, it’s a simple and powerful way to share positivity.

“Smile at people as you walk pass them. Makes them feel good and makes you feel good! Win/win!!”
–Rachelle P.

“When I am out and about, if I hear a child crying nearby, I try to make a point to give the mom/dad an ‘it’s ok you got this’ smile… I know when I had young children, a smile meant the world to me because there are always those who scowl and glare condescendingly.”
–Tami B.

2. Share kindness and compliments.

“I try to text one friend in my contacts daily to tell them that I am thinking of them and hoping they are having a great day. It’s something I’ve done for a long time...but I made it a goal for 2019 to be as consistent as possible. My friends love it, and I love doing it. Pass on the love.”
–Mariah E.

“Thank people by name over the phone. Whenever I have to call a customer service line, I try to thank them by name for their help at the end.”
–Elizabeth H.

“Especially when a customer service person (restaurant, library, etc.) seems like they're having a bad day, I'll find SOMETHING upon which to genuinely compliment them. Cool bracelet, pretty nail color, nice blouse or whatever. I frequently see a mood change. But you've got to mean it when you pay the compliment.”
–April D.

“Tell people you work with that you appreciate what they do.”
–Kurt A.

3. Give to those in need without judgement or expectation.

“Since the economy took a dive a few years ago, I think there are people on the corner who never thought they would be there. A while ago I decided to just give $1 (if I had one in my wallet) every time I saw someone on the corner and give it without judgment.”
–Colleen P.

“Give restaurant or fast food gift certificates to those in need instead of cash.”
–Sue J.

4. Support teachers.

“Pack a "lunch bag" full of school supplies and drop off for a teacher. This way, the next time a child shows up without a pencil or box of crayons, or whatever, they can just go to the bag and grab what they need.”
–Barbie M.

“Donate your leftover craft or office supplies to teachers – they spend a lot of their own money on our kids, so everyone wins!”
–Stephanie T.

5. Drive with kindness

While it’s not hard to do, slowing down and allowing someone to easily merge or move into a lane can prevent driving from being stressful and people from becoming unnecessarily angry. And that’s positive!

6. Ask people about themselves and listen to their answers.

Simply asking someone “How are you?” —  whether to an elderly neighbor or a checker at the grocery store — gives them an opportunity to be heard and perhaps share something they want to share.

“Always ask, ‘How's your day going?’ and really listen to their answer. So many servers and cashiers have told me that no one ever asks about them.”
–Lynnae H.

7. Hand-write a note.

A thank you note, greeting or a good old-fashioned “snail mail” letter written by hand is a truly unique occurrence these days. Take the time to make an impact by writing to someone else. 

“Hand write notes to remind people what's special about them.”
–Debbi E.

8. Share your time

Take someone to lunch.
Visit a friend or relative you haven’t seen in a while.
Knock on a neighbor’s door just to visit.

These are all easy ideas, and they communicate how much you care to friends or acquaintances. 

9. Hold the door for someone, even if it’s a little inconvenient.

Just a minute or two extra out of your day could be the gracious gesture that makes someone feel extra good, supported and noticed. What a great payout for a minute of your time!

10. Give sincere thanks.

Whether to a food server, a teacher or co-worker, giving thanks makes an impact on others and make them feel appreciated. 

“I almost always write, ‘Excellent service! Thank you!’ on the bill at the restaurant when I sign.”
–Mike C.

“Thank people by name over the phone. Whenever I have to call a customer service line, I try to thank them by name for their help at the end.”
–Elizabeth H.

11. Give flowers.

They’re bright and cheery and often smell wonderful. You don’t have to go to a florist either: Spring brings many blooms to our yards and neighborhoods and, conveniently, May 6-12 is National Wildflower Week.

12. Call someone unexpectedly

In today’s age of texts and emails, it is less common to have an actual chat on the phone. Call a friend or relative who isn’t expecting a call just to check in.

13. Donate to a food pantry.

Here are a few, but obviously there are more!
Food Bank of Northern Nevada
St Vincent's Food Pantry
Hands of Hope
St. Francis of Assisi
The Community Food Pantry

14. Return your shopping cart.

Save the grocery store employee extra work and the customers hassle by taking your cart back to the cart caddy. Or, do one better as Liz M. suggests, and grab a shopping cart from someone in the parking lot who is finished packing their trunk so that they don’t have to put it back.

15. Tip well.

Consider tipping 50% to a food server if you can swing it; you will make their day.
Tip the kid at the lemonade stand and give something to the street performer.

16. Gift unexpectedly.

Leave extra money in the parking meter for the next person.
Buy coffee for the next person in line.

17. Beautify your community.

Cleaning up after yourself at a park or on a trail is a given, but consider cleaning up after others, too, at places like the ballpark or movie theater where people are accustomed to leaving their garbage for staff to pick up. And make sure  to teach your children to do the same.

“Pick up trash that is not yours instead of walking by it. Also, when walking your dog, pick up another dog’s poop as part of poop karma for that day you are caught without a bag.”
–Anne P.

18. Share homemade food.

Drop off a meal for a busy friend or bake treats to say thanks to a local police/fire station.

“I try to pass out cookies to the seniors and disabled and homeless in my neighborhood and lend a kind ear and bring a smile to them.”
–Thomas H.

19. Give old blankets to an animal shelter.

Donate your old blankets, towels and pillows to a local animal shelter where they use them to create comfort for animals in their pens and cages.

20. Volunteer.

The opportunities for volunteering are endless: food pantry, animal shelter, classroom or retirement home. If you’re looking for options, Volunteer Connect has a great database.

21. Make a modern mix tape.

Make a Spotify playlist for a friend based on their taste or shared memories.

22. Lend a helping hand.

From picking up grocery items to raking a yard, help out a neighbor or acquaintance who could use some support.

“If you're running an errand, check in with a neighbor or friend who is ill or temporarily laid up and see if they need anything.”
–Christel H.

23. Let someone cut in line.

Grocery store or post office, coffee shop or gas station, let someone go ahead of you just because you can.

24. Treat someone to a virtual coffee date.

When you can’t get together but you’re thinking of a friend, Venmo them $5 with a note that says, “Coffee’s on me today!”

25. Use Amazon Smile.

Your online purchases can benefit the non-profit of your choice just by making them through Amazon Smile. Pick a charity to benefit today, so that you passively donate every time you make a (planned or unplanned) Amazon purchase!

26. Leave a book or two at a neighborhood free library.

They’re popping up all around town and are just positive on so many levels.

27. Use reusable grocery bags.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Support sustainability in all the ways, including investing in a few sturdy reusable bags and keeping them in the car for when you shop. And don’t just limit to the grocery store, bring them into hardware and dry goods stores, too.

28. Leave a positive review.  

If you have a good experience at a restaurant, dentist, nail salon etc., leave a review on an online platform like Yelp. It not only helps the place of business, but it also helps future customers.

29. Give good karma, literally.

Reno is now home to Karma Boxes, a community initiative that allows people to give non-perishable food, first aid and toiletries to those in need via mini pantries located around town. Find one here and fill it with goodness.

30. Share a beautiful, positive or inspiring post on social media.

If you have a positive impact on others, others will likely carry forward the same effect on still others. That is, in a nutshell, the concept behind Use the 30 Days of Positivity Challenge to help celebrate and amplify the positive that is all around us.

“I enjoy putting my pictures of sunrises up on Facebook when I can get a good one. I don't know if it makes anybody else feel better, but it sure brightens my day (no pun intended).”
–Frank S.


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