Friday, May 27, 2011

Reaffirm that You are Good

Several delightful websites intersected for me. Gretchen Rubins' The Happiness Project is an outgrowth of her book. Every week she has a resolution which she elucidates on a brief video. This last week is 'Keep the one minute rule' which involves completing those 'little' tasks well. Ms. Rubin concludes with a quote:

If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or beautiful. ~ William Morris

When I read this, I immediately thought of a blog which has the above as a central theme, Useful or Beautiful.

Finally Lisa Kadane for Postmedia News writes about a York University study which tracked more that 700 people that "charted the effects of being nice to others, in small doses, over the course of a week. Participants were asked to act compassionately toward someone for five to 15 minutes a day, by helping them or interacting with them in a positive way. Six months later, participants reported increased happiness and self-esteem."

Why does acting selflessly give our own self esteem a boost?

"The simplest answer is that doing noble, charitable acts make us feel better about ourselves. We reaffirm that we are 'good,' which is a highly valued trait in our society. It is also possible that being kind to others may help us be kind to ourselves," says the lead author, an associate professor of psychology in York's faculty of health.

Kadane recommends to make "being nice your own happiness project."