Do you perform five acts of kindness in any given day? That's the number of good deeds that boosts your sense of well-being and happiness, according to research by Lyubomirsky. Your karmic acts can be minor and unplanned - giving up your seat on the bus; buying an extra latte to give to a coworker. You'll find that the payback greatly exceeds the effort. "You see how much you're appreciated and liked by others," she says. Be sure to keep up the good work: When Lyubomirsky asked her study subjects to space their five good deeds over the course of a week, the actions started to seem routine and lost some of their therapeutic effects. But don't fret if you can't make the quota daily. "Being spontaneously kind also delivers rewards," she says.
So now you're asking....How can I help others—and help myself?
Incorporating kindness into your daily life isn’t difficult. Here are five easy things you can do to help others—and yourself:
*Volunteer. Research shows that people who volunteer just two hours per week
(about 100 hours per year) have better physical health and are less depressed.
To find volunteer opportunities in your area, visit Volunteer Match or contact your local church or school.
*Informally offer help to family, friends, and neighbors. Lend a needed tool, bring dinner to someone who’s sick, feed pets for neighbors on vacation, or offer a ride to someone who lacks a car (like me!!).
*Donate. It doesn’t have to be a lot of money. Hell... it doesn't have to be money at all! Check out my last blog post! Look for opportunities to give within your means. You’ll help make the world a better place and make yourself feel better too.
*Listen. Sometimes all that's needed is someone to lend a sympathetic ear to make them feel heard, cared for & loved. Make other people (& yourself) smile. The easiest way to make other people happy is to act happy yourself, even if it’s not how you feel.....So like the old song says, 'Put on a happy face.'
Talk as if you have self-esteem and are outgoing and optimistic.
"Going through the motions can awaken the emotions.”