A little bit of generosity goes a long way: if you give without expecting anything in return, you might end up getting more. Not things, but happy faces, new insights and pleasant encounters.
Have a chat
For most people, taking public transportation is definitely not the highlight of the day. But it’s more fun and rewarding when we strike up a conversation with a new person. It takes some effort, but it livens up your trip, according to research conducted at the University of Chicago, in Illinois, US. We all get off the bus feeling better.
You really don’t have to buy yourself something expensive all the time. It’s just as much fun to give a little of your attention to someone; to smile to an old lady or a child, to have a chat in the elevator, to give your lunch to a homeless person. Giving doesn’t just make other people happy; it makes us happier, too. The effect is so strong, that just thinking about it makes us feel better (but don’t let that stop you from actually giving too). Our brain releases some of the same positive hormones that are released when we meditate.
Accentuate the positive
The happier we are, the happier we make the people around us. “Everyone should keep in mind that our happiness is the most beautiful and generous gift we have to give,” says philosopher Alain de Botton. Try to see the humor in things this week; to discover the positives around us in the world and in our daily lives. Look at the beauty around you. Happiness is contagious. It spreads like wildfire. When you feel good, your joy can make others feel good, too.
- These insights come from the Flow Weekly in Issue 9 (not available in the Flow Shop anymore)
- Also read our blog about Why giving is good.
Text Otje van der Lelij Photography Unsplash.com/Hello I’m Nik