Happiness and Paying It Forward

Remember the movie “Pay it Forward”? The idea was that you do a kind thing for someone and they then pay it forward by doing a kind thing for someone else. Did you know that just by the act of giving or doing something kind for someone else, you become happier – you don’t even have to wait for the Karma of someone then doing something nice for you, the act itself is its own reward. Research suggests that there is a kindness feedback loop; because doing something kind for someone in the past has made you happy, you are likely to do something kind again to have that remembered experience. (https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/kindness_makes_you_happy_and_happiness_makes_you_kind)

What does this mean for us in day-to-day life? I think so often we get so caught up in our own busy-ness and our sense of obligation that we can lose sight of the need to be kind or generous to others. And, giving does not have to be something financial.  Often the best gifts are when you give your time, attention, hugs, and compassion.  Of course, my niece would prefer that I give her a car (and that would make me happy), but I know that giving her love is effective, too!

It’s easy in December to think about those in need and to give. It is less on everyone’s mind as spring lazily moves forward and we begin to enjoy the longer days and warmer weather. So, hit the pause button and think about what you can do today to be kind to someone. Notice how just thinking those thoughts make you feel. Then, act. Then, tomorrow, do it again. Try it for 7 days, and then respond with a comment below about how you are feeling. Are you happier? More content? Maybe a little less edgy or tired? If it feels good, keep doing it!

By guest blogger: Wendy Kuhn, Holistic Health Coach
Break Through Consulting, LLC
www.breakthroughconsultingllc.com