Kindness Counts – International Happiness Day Part 3

20150318_103724_HDRFirst things first  – today’s blog pictures come from our event to help some of our Nation’s fine Veteransfrom great people at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs!  We want to thank each and everyone of these fantastic and (and quite fun!) Vets for their service and for spending the day with us at Georgia Career Institute Murfreesboro!

Realizing and cultivating true happiness is a skill that many of us haven’t taken the time to truly master.  Sometimes, we pretend that happiness is a destination in space or time: if we can just get this one raise, meet that one person, buy that one car or own that one house we will somehow find ourselves arriving at happiness.  In recent years, however, research has almost universally told us something different: happiness must come from and reside within the person experiencing the emotion!

In the spirit of the upcoming International Happiness Day on Friday, March 20th, 2015, we have been posting a series of blogs on some of the methods that have been tested and shown to increase well-being in the average person.  On Monday we talked about the importance of taking the time for happiness and Tuesday saw us review some of the newest information on a mental state referred to as flow (or in the zone).  Today (Wednesday) we’re going to talk about a really simple and nearly fool-proof way to increase your level of happiness and well-being: by increasing your kindness to others!

Kindness counts!

To paraphrase Jesus in the New Testament, it is better to give than to receive.  While growing up, we can sometimes let this statement get buried in the background: of course we know it’s supposed to be better to be selfless instead of selfish – but the bene20150318_110113_HDRfits don’t just stop at making you look like a nice person; kindnesses increase the happiness, connectedness and flow (while also decreasing depression) in the receivers, the givers and even the of those observing the kind act (Lyubomirsky).

It has long been suspected in the field of evolutionary biology that our ability for caring (along with play, reverence and modesty) are built into our brains and social practices.  Research over the past 100+ years has shown that, indeed, committing to helping others instead of being selfish brings about lasting well being (Keltner).

Children that performed kind acts for others were more aware of the pleasant places and people around them and even become more liked and accepted by their friends (Price-Mitchell).  Furthermore, studies also suggest that those that do acts of kindness attract more friends faster than children that just visited nice places (Layous, Nelson et.al.).

Nice guy/gals finish last?  I don’t think so.  -Me

The point of all of this?  Kindness to others doesn’t just help make you and those around you happier, it makes you more well liked and arguably makes you a better person overall.  Showing kindness is a simple habit that can (and will) change your world, if you let it.  In addition, all of the research suggest that kind and compassionate people are often the most successful as well. Nice guys/gals finish last? I don’t think so.

A Challenge of Kindness

In order to mix things up a bit, today I’m issuing a challenge to anyone that reads this: post a picture of blurb about a time that you chose kindness and what that did for you and those around you!  Tweet/Comment using the hashtags #HappyDay #GCIBoro and #KindnessCounts and tell us YOUR story!  Show us your pictures!  Show us how you make kindness manifest in your life everyday!

Want to learn more?  Interested in how GCI Murfreesboro strives everyday to provide a happy and productive learning environment? Ready to start a new career, or heck, stop in for a tour of our beautiful new campus?

Drop us a line and let us know! 🙂

Sources:
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0051380
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-happiness-project/201301/almost-any-types-acts-kindness-boost-happiness
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-moment-youth/201301/acts-kindness-key-happiness-children-teens
http://www.scientificamerican.com/artice/kindness-emotions-psychology

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