“Life is an echo. What you send out comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What good you see in others, also exists in you.” Zig Ziglar.
Fifteen years ago The New Economic Foundation started their quest to develop evidence based guidelines on how we can enhance our own emotional wellbeing. The 5 Ways to wellbeing was developed in 2008 and has been the foundation of many publications and self-help tools ever since. The five elements were Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. The last of these “Give” is most pertinent today as we focus on “Random Acts of Kindness” Day 2022.
The website https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/ explains the heritage of this celebratory day, which falls in the midst of a whole week of suggested activities, developed for a tribe of kindness actors and agents that has coined the phrase “RAKtivists”.
A number of research studies have shown that giving has an in-built effect on our moods. Evidence from neuroscience suggests that giving activates the ‘reward’ area of our brains. We intrinsically experience good feelings when this part of our brain is active because we produce lots of good neurochemicals when we have given. What’s more, giving jas indirect benefits for others. When we give to others, this has a knock-on effect – the people who are given to are more likely to act kindly and give to others as a result, promoting happiness and improving a wider circle of people’s wellbeing
Giving can take lots of different forms, from small everyday acts to larger commitments.
Today, you could try to:
- Say thank you to someone, for something they’ve done for you.
- Phone a relative or friend who needs support or company.
- Ask a colleague how they are and really listen to the answer.
- Offer to lend a hand if you see a stranger struggling with bags or a pushchair.
In the next few weeks or months, you could:
- Arrange a day out for you and a friend or relative.
- Offer to help a relative with DIY or a colleague with a work project.
- Sign up to a mentoring project, in which you give time and support to someone who will benefit from it.
- Volunteer in your local community, such as helping out at a local school, hospital or care home.
We hope you enjoy this blog encourages you to become a RAKtivist for the day.
Dr Becky Lunson Southall – Chief Therapist @ InsideOut
- NEF 5 Ways to Wellbeing 2008 http://issuu.com/neweconomicsfoundation/docs/five_ways_to_well-being?mode=embed&viewMode=presentation
- Greater Good. (2016). 5 Ways Giving Is Good for You [online]
- Fredrickson, B. (2011). Positivity.