I love it when I can have an anti-whinge. There are so many things in life that make us want to ‘roll the rock in front of the cave’ and never come out…tax bills, road ragers, bullies, and bad TV.
And yet, this week I was enticed out from the stony hole because I was struck by the kindness of strangers, the bonhomie of friends. And what has really impressed me is the small nature of the deeds in comparison to the big impact they have on this tough old heart of mine.
Sometimes it feels like nothing short of a lotto win and endless cocktails in paradise will remedy the harshness of this world. Nevertheless, here are some of the things that have made me really feel glad to be a part of the human race this week. And they have made me feel happy too:
- Having a good laugh at my own foibles until I bent double in the company of like-minded friends who can ‘supportively’ take the mickey out of me.
- Being waved down by a fellow surfer to have his parking space at an impossibly crowded Noosa National Park.
- The extra 15 minutes I got to surf in my lunch break instead of looking for a carpark!
- A free marshmallow for my kid at the coffee shop. Made her literally jump for joy!
- Sharing some unexpected cake made with TLC by a member of the cardiac rehab gang
When it comes to improving our levels of happiness, the research shows that there are only really a handful of things that you can do. One of them is to help others. So, all of those who have helped me this week, I thank you.
But as the saying goes, ‘some of the perfume of the bouquet always clings to the hand that gives it’. In other words, giving reaps its own benefits. And I guess that one of them is that giving goes around-I certainly felt more like helping others after my brushes with generosity this week.
The research also shows that gratitude has a significant impact on happiness levels. So just by noticing and being happy about the good deeds that have been perpetrated in my life this week, I am activating some turbo-charging on my own happiness levels. Yay!
In our society, we are really good at listing our daily evils. Sometimes it seems we almost compete to see who is the worst off! But these lists tend to poison our souls unless they contribute to real change.
On the other hand, keeping a mini-gratitude list each day (five dot points as above) and perpetrating your own random act of kindness will likely reap untold benefits for you and yours. Go and perpetrate yours today! And please…share your gratitude here; I would love to hear what puts a spring in your step.