It’s now well-established that doing a good deed, something to help others, helps others AND the doer. Doing good makes us feel good, raises our spirits, builds a sense of community, creates a bond that benefits us now and in the future and is psychologically a very positive and useful thing to do. The Random Acts of Kindness idea is based on this knowledge.
I live in a small village and I think that highlights the importance of doing things for each other because we all know that we might well need each other and we don’t have shops and businesses and organisations set up around us to call on. You can be just as isolated and dependent in a city, but it’s not always so obvious, because everything is technically available almost on your doorstep. But villages don’t survive if people don’t contribute to each other’s wellbeing and so we all do. My local friends all brought rose petals for me to make confetti for my daughter’s wedding, for example. None of them have ever met my daughter but they still did it, and I hope it made them feel good. It raised my spirits and I hope it raised theirs.
What could you do for someone else? It needn’t be a big thing. There are lots of ideas here. It can be something that benefits a person, or a group, or our planet. It might be something people don’t know about: it doesn’t have to be at all public, though it can be. It just has to be something you know was A good Thing To Do.
A simple suggestion
Do you feel happy when someone says “well done” to you? Or thanks you for something? The knowledge that someone has noticed, appreciated and valued something we did is powerfully heartwarming. It raises our spirits for a while. It can sometimes keep us buoyed up for hours or days, or even longer, depending on the circumstances. When we’re feeling like that, we are likely to work better, feel better, function better. We are likely to be nicer to other people, too, because feeling good makes it easier for us to behave warmly, generously and positively.
We can’t make someone say well done or thank you – and, if we did, it would spoil the pleasure anyway – but we can say well done or thank you to a person and that will have the same effect on us as doing a good deed would do. Being generous and empathetic to someone is a good deed.
Saying well done or thank you is completely free, very easy and very effective. Sometimes it might be a little bit difficult if you are jealous of the person or angry with them about something but if we can manage to say well done or thank you anyway it always diminishes those negative emotions, and that’s a good thing.
Of course, it’s not free if it’s accompanied by gorgeous flowers, which both my publishers sent me with lovely messages to say well done for my recent award! Flowers are wonderful things but of course not every well done or thank you can or needs to be accompanied by them. You can just say the words. (Though flowers are massively appreciated! 🙂 ) And when you say those words, you know they are raising the spirits of at least two people, making the world just that little bit a better place and improving your own sense of self-worth, value and wellbeing.
Well done and THANK YOU!
For all the other 52 WAYS to WELLBEING, put “52 ways” in the search box at the top of this page.
Look after yourself and then you can better look after other people. And so, bit by bit, the world can become a better place.