Studies have found that helping others can have as much benefit for you as it does them. Find out how simple acts of kindness can improve your mood—and your health
It’s well known that most New Year’s resolutions fail around the same time the snow is fading. According to a recent report from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina, that’s often because we set our sights too high when we’re planning changes.
Want to be able to keep your resolution, feel better and make a difference? Think giving – but think small. If you’ve determined you’ll run a charity marathon each month or build an orphanage, you’re a lot more likely to scrap your plans by spring. But what if you add just a few modest good deeds to your regular lifestyle?
The tiniest acts of kindness still have the potential to make a positive change for others. Consider the impact when you admire someone’s new hairstyle, when you lift a senior’s spirits with a phone call, or when you ensure a malnourished child has lunch this week with a mini-sized donation.
Humans evolved as compassionate creatures. Otherwise, how could we raise our young and keep our friends? Today, the tendency to be kind to others is wired into us. “We’re all programmed to have the ability to be empathetic,” says Dr. Barry Wiser, a clinical psychologist practising in southwestern Nova Scotia. “So we feel good when we do something for someone else, and our experiences will continue to shape that.” Every time you get a grateful smile for holding a door open, you’re more likely to repeat the deed.
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