Life can be challenging and feel overwhelming, so who’s got the time or the energy to do or give more? What if I told you- despite what you might believe- how you will become happier and healthier when you choose “Being +1″. Just what the heck do I mean by that?
When you choose to live “Being +1”, you choose to offer being the inspiration, a joy, the smile we all need in our day. “Being +1” means committing to being a bit more positive and kind to the people you cross paths with in your day. Choosing to offer kindness to people you know as well as don’t know isn’t only what the Dalai Lama would want for you but your doctor as well. For recent studies at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (and other studies) found that improved mental health was more closely linked to giving help than to receiving it.
Scientific studies abound on how offering kindness delivers the benefit of not only more happiness but better health as well to both the giver and the receiver of kindness. Helping others releases endorphins and hormones which reduce inflammation, ease pain and chronic headaches and stomach aches, increase energy levels, and reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And experiencing kindness helps with depression through giving people a sense of social connection in a world often too virtual.
Here are some simple ways to inspire and uplift your day:
- Smile at someone – anyone – for no reason as you walk down the street or open a door for someone.
- Put away your phone when you are with your loved ones and focus your attention on them instead.
- Leave your waiter or waitress not only a big tip but a note of appreciation as well. (If you’ve ever been a waitress or waiter, you know how much that can mean!)
- Give hugs generously-we all need as many as we can get!
- Donate your old eyeglasses so someone can see again. And while you’re at it, donate the bikes, the books, the clothes you aren’t using.
- Volunteer to read to people blind or at a senior center or home.
- Instead of gossiping about other people’s foibles, commit to saying a positive word about people who challenge your faith in human nature.
- Dust off the gratitude journal and recommit to gratitude vs complaining.
- Don’t forget yourself as someone to offer a bit more kindness, a bit more patience, a bit more love to.
Choosing to live “Being +1″ is a mutually beneficial way you have in your power for changing your life-and the world-for the better. Simple choices resulting in powerful results for both yourself and the others you share your life-and Mother Earth- with. And if you find it hard to choose being the inspiration, to choose joy and gratitude in your days, it may be time for a spiritual tune-up with me!