Every now and then I feel compelled to include some content in the etc Playbook that is less work, more life (you can argue the two are one and the same but you get what I mean) and this staggeringly strong and simple idea from the clever and lovely people at The New Happy was one of those times.
The premise is how helping other people can boost your mood*.
Giving is at the heart of The New Happy philosophy because it is the ultimate win-win: the single most powerful thing we can do to help ourselves and to help others.
Research has found that elderly people who volunteered were 44% less likely to die*, that giving lowers your levels of inflammation, and that being kind changes the expression of your genes. A happy life and a happy world is predicated on giving and receiving support. Nice, no?
This week, take a few minutes to help out someone in your life. Here are a few ways you can do just that:
- Make a quick list of the most important people in your life. Spend 10 seconds on each name, asking, “What would help them out right now?” Then, surprise them by either doing it proactively or offering it up.
- Reach out to someone who is going through a hard time and offer to take something off of their to-do list for the week.
- Throughout the week, set an intention to keep your eyes peeled for people who might need support. When you see it, jump in to offer what you can (or help find someone who can help!)
Now, more than ever, this idea seems especially important.
I hope it resonated as much with you as it did with me.