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Appreciation and Happiness

Today I shared a beautiful moment with my son. I listed my extra (yes I had a second TV in my bedroom, which is a whole other story). A mother and her sister came by with their 8 year old son to pick up the TV. I listed it at a very low price and had  huge response. I let my intuition choose who the TV would go to. 

In walks an 8 year old boy, hoping up and down and literally squealing. My son and I looked at each other with a smile, both of our hearts warming watching how appreciative and happy this little guy was to be getting a TV. We decided to look around the house for more items to give him, because we were really enjoying his energy and presence. I found a guitar I had just bought for myself. I know I wouldn’t really have time to learn, so we gave it to him. This giving and joyful receiving felt SO wonderful- it broke up the monotony of a long day of moving, which I was and am so grateful for. 

I don’t think I was able to let him know how he touched our hearts, other than our own smiles. We had a language barrier, but smiles could have been enough. This warm feeling that we all experienced today is still with me as I write this. It made me think about how I, as an adult, may better express my appreciation to people who help me in some way. I guess I could jump up and down and squeal. But maybe more appropriately, I could take some time to sit with the feeling and express it to the gift giver with a concise description of how this made me feel. 

I wonder, what would the world look like if we all learned to slow down, notice and appreciate others more often? Want to feel happier? Set an intention to either: be kind to others, yourself, or just observe regular acts of kindness. You don’t need to look far, they are happening all around us everyday.

We feel happier when we act in service to others

recent study reported on how people felt after performing or observing kind acts every day for seven days. Participants were randomly assigned to carry out at least one more kind act than usual for someone close to them, an acquaintance or stranger, or themselves, or to try to actively observe kind acts. Happiness was measured before and after the seven days of kindness. The researchers found that being kind to ourselves or to anyone else — yes, even a stranger — or actively observing kindness around us boosted happiness.

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