There is a growing body of evidence that connection and generosity are proven to be as healthy for us as physical exercise. Helping others creates endorphins that give us a high. It even has a name - the helpers high.
Helping others helps you. In more ways than one. One small kind act could change their day or world. And change the course of your day too. At a time of our lives when the world feels too big, the best antidote is to go small. Turn off the news and be mindful of you, your family and the people around you. Here are some tiny ways you can make the biggest difference to someone's world. And your own too.
#1 Share your smiles. Giving someone a smile in the park or the supermarket, could change their whole day. I always think about a little girl in a playground who came up to me once. I'd had a stressful morning getting the kids ready for school.and she stood in front of me and smiled. Her biggest smile. She was giving it to me to make me smile. Once the little girl was happy that I was happy, she went off to play. What a gift!
#2 Like a post on Instagram or Facebook when someone seems vulnerable instead of just scrolling by. You never know if that person felt scared to post their vulnerabilities.
#3 Listen. Sometimes people just need someone to listen. They are not looking for answers or for you to solve their problems. Even if you can. They might just want you to listen. Maybe they just want to hear 'me too'.
#4 Share kind words. Text a friend and tell them that they are good mum or email your brother reminding him of a funny family memory. Simple stuff but can make such a difference.
#5 Use your voice. Sometimes it is the hardest thing. Even just adding your name to a petition that is raising awareness of an issue that is important to you. Or write a letter to your MP about something that you think will make a difference.
#6 Write a letter or a postcard to someone you haven't been in touch with for a while. You can't beat that feeling of receiving a hand written letter in the post.
#7 Leave a book you loved with a note in a park.
#8 Walk a mile in someone's shoes. We've all been there at the other end of an underserved tongue bashing by a stranger or a colleague. Just pausing and asking them if they are ok could be just what they need.
#9 Pay it forward. Someone in our hangout told us that she pays for the car behind on a toll bridge. We do that now too on our local toll bridge.
#10 Be patient. Don't get stressed if you have chosen the slow queue at the supermarket or you are walking behind someone who is walking slower than you. Give them a smile instead, you might just change their day. And yours too.
You may have noticed that these are all things that don't cost a thing.
Which are usually the best things in life.
We'd love to know if you have any more we can add to this list. Please do comment below.