To dismiss the link between looking, feeling and being beautiful would be a mistake. We're going to offer a prescription for doing the right thing, embracing spirituality and finding a happier you.
Give, Then Pass
There are few feelings in the world that surpass that of knowing you’ve helped someone—whether it’s through a financial donation or a mentoring program or simply by giving up your seat on a crowded bus. It feels good—and is good.
So good, in fact, that some researchers have found that the effect of altruism, big and small, is similar to a so-called runner’s high (the rush of endorphins).
But unlike exercise-induced euphoria, this rush can last a long time. The evidence: Ninety percent of people who experience this high give their health condition a better grade than those who don’t.
Your thoughts about helping others help strengthen your immune system, boost positive emotions, decrease pain and provide stress relief.
Studies show that charitable heart attack patients recover faster than those who aren’t, and those who do volunteer work have death rates 60 percent lower then those who don’t.
But here’s the catch: When you give something to somebody, find a way to allow them the dignity to pass it on to someone else. Though people very often need help, they don’t want to feel like charity cases. They want to feel like they can pass something along to others.
So be explicit in your giving and ask how the recipient will pass it forward. Pick situations where this expectation is clear.
One of the reasons why church, music and prayer can be uplifting is that weekly rituals reinforce a sense of community. You can experience spiritual highs through other things as well, such as nature walks with people from your neighborhood. Maybe it’s an annual trip with your family. Or you could try to make a nightly dinnertime routine where each person shares a wonderful thing that happened that day. Rituals reinforce behaviors.
As adults, we don't need reminders to say thank you. But many of us do need reminders to do so beyond typical gift receiving. Part of our purpose is to get a little deeper, right?
Think of someone who has had an effect on your life, and write that person a note of real gratitude. Fifteen minutes of daily gratitude can decrease your stress hormone levels. You could also try something different and get a gratitude bell for your house. When one member of the family does something nice for another, ring the bell. It's a fun way to teach kids about helping others.
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