#003: Power Play – Reciprocal happiness

Do you remember the episode of Friends where Joey challenged Phoebe to find a selfless good deed and she couldn’t do it?  She discovered that anything she did for someone else made her feel good in the process.  It doesn’t mean that everything we do comes from a selfish place, but doing something to make someone else happy can make you feel just as good too!

Helping someone out or making them smile is a great way to boost your own mood.  If you shift your thoughts from what’s not going right with you and put your energy into doing something for someone else, it will probably help you to feel better, give you some perspective, and also make you feel connected with another person.  In his book Flourish, psychologist Martin Seligman says that “doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.”  So although it’s important not to extend yourself too far and also take time for yourself, try to think about how you could make someone else’s day a little better or give them a smile.

Game Plan:  Do something small today to make someone else happy or show that you care.  Let someone with only a few items go in front of you at the checkout.  Volunteer to make supper.  Pack a lunch and give the money you’ve saved to someone who could really use it.  Give a smile to people you pass on the street.  Even something small can give you (and someone else) a boost of happiness.  Do something for someone else today, but also don’t forget to do something for yourself.




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