Being Kind Works.

Looking for something nice to do for yourself? Try giving to someone else.

wrapping-gift

It’s a busy time of year. We all carry some extra stress. Whether it’s closing the books on the year, planning family travel, coordinating holiday events, or everything else piling up on our plates, it can simultaneously be the happiest and hardest time of the year. We all deserve to do something nice for ourselves to take some of the weight off. And while treating yourself might be a wonderful solution, it may surprise you that, treating someone else might actually take more of your own stress away.

A 2010 study* shows that doing Kindness for others, particular new types of Kindness, significantly improves the giver’s happiness and life satisfaction. Do you have a boss that you appreciate but haven’t told them recently? Write a note of appreciation to give to them. Do you have a former colleague that you miss? Give them a call. Try a small step outside of your usual habits and the impact on both the receiver of the Kindness and on yourself will be larger than you may expect.

The gesture does not have to be huge. Take an extra moment to think about someone you care about. What would they want to receive to make them smile? We often are bound by price ranges and are led to believe that higher ticket items mean more. In reality, the amount of thought that goes into the gift means infinitely more than the price. The more time that you invest, the more that it will mean to the recipient, and, in turn, the more that it will mean to your own satisfaction. The gift might not even cost anything but be a simple act of Kindness by sharing your time, your appreciation, or your support.

Then, when you give the gift, whether it be a wrapped present, a compliment, or simply time together, cherish the moment. When we are stressed and have a lot on our minds, it is easy to be in a rush to complete each task. Don’t think of the gift as a task. Take a moment to recognize the reaction of the recipient. Enjoy the interaction and the time together. Reflect on how you yourself feel in the moment. Be present. (Whether in person or virtually!)

By taking just an extra moment of time during this gift-giving season, you’ll realize that when you give to someone else, you’re really giving both to your recipient AND to yourself.

*Buchanan & Bardi 2010, Acts of Kindness and Acts of Novelty Affect Life Satisfaction

Nicole Yelsey

Author

Nicole Yelsey, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing & Strategy Office at KindWorks.AI

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