Who can believe it’s Monday again?! Time for another bit of motivation to create a bit of happiness and start your week on the right foot. Even though I’m still enjoying (hopefully) my internet/iphone detox, I decided to prepare this post in advance because it was something that’s been really important to me this week.
You know that feeling you get when you have the chance to do something nice for someone else? Like helping a sibling with homework, talking to a friend who needs support, or even just ringing up your nanny to see how she is.. And you can tell how much they appreciate you sparing them a thought. Believe it or not, research shows that we actually get more intrinsic value from doing something good for someone else as opposed to doing something for ourselves – I couldn’t believe this until I saw a social experiment by Maureen Gaffney (Clinical Psychologist) where she gave a few women €20 and assigned a variety of tasks; some had to treat themselves to something nice and some had to buy something nice to give to someone else. Although they all enjoyed going around the shops looking for their purchases, the end results showed that the people who bought things for other people rated themselves higher on the happiness scale and also stayed happier for longer than those who bought themselves something.
This is where the idea of “Random Acts of Kindness” came about; where normal people decided to do one thing to help someone else. I saw videos on facebook where people brought food to homeless people around Dublin or bought some flowers for an elderly woman walking around town – and if you seen their reactions, it looked as if their day was made! I tried this out myself a few months ago, as you know I took part in the SpunOut.ie Women’s Academy and as part of one of our activities, a group of us decided to hand out balloons filled with positive affirmations to cheer up people’s day! Some may have thought it was a pointless exercise but seriously, don’t doubt the power of balloons! The amount of people who stopped and then told us it had ‘cheered up their day’ was phenomenal – one girl nearly started crying with happiness when she read the positive message inside.. no joke! It really makes you stop and think though how a simple gesture can have such a profound effect on people. Also more recently I’ve seen people on facebook sharing status’ about doing 5 good things as a surprise for random people who comment on their post, what a sweet idea!
I think this week in particular, in light of the tragic death of Robin Williams it just shows how important it is to take five minutes out of your day and show someone you care and support them, you never know what a difference it could make.
So, this week I’m setting another challenge – try and carry out as many ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ as possible and this is something I’d urge everyone to do too, not only could it make someone else’s day but it could also fill yours with happiness too. It doesn’t have to be anything big and you don’t even have to document it, but just making the effort will be enough to make a big enough difference. Can you imagine what a beautiful and content world we could live in, if everyone shared a bit more kindness with one another?
On a side-note, why don’t you share a bit of kindness with yourself too – often the person who you are harshest with. Remember that you’re only human, mistakes are natural and your imperfections are what make you beautifully you. Accept it, Love it & Embrace it.
Fill me in on any Random Acts of Kindness you try out in the meantime, until then,
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