One of the hardest HPL rules is to GIVE. As well as having little free time or money to devote to charitable purposes, daily stresses mean I sometimes don’t feel particularly warmly towards my fellow man (especially when squashed under his sweaty armpit on the Northern Line).
However, the effects on us of being kind are HUGE – scientists say you feel satisfied, exhilorated, a sense of euphoria. You feel a connection with others (another of the HPL rules) and a sense of wellbeing, calm and relaxation.
Selfish though it may be, being kind to others makes you feel better, simples. So today I’ve mostly been inspired (again) by We Are What We Do and tried to remind myself to do the below, even when I’m grumpy or stressed:
- Smile at people on the tube. But not manically. And don’t get annoyed with others’ irritating tube behaviour (coughing, sneezing, standing on toes, not moving down, holding paper in awkward way, picking nose, jamming rucksack in face, snogging, listening to terrible R&B very loudly, etc etc)
- Have more empathy with others. They are probably having a rough day too. Try to listen.
- Compliment 2 people every day. Best not combine with smiling at strangers on the tube, this is likely to make them feel uncomfortable.
- Bake or make something for a friend (easy ones = make a birthday card from photos, give them a cutting of your house plant, bake a cake).
- Call rather than email (even better, meet for a coffee).
- Always smile and say hello or similar to people behind counters selling me things.
- And finally: give someone the empty tube seat/help that person with the heavy case/let that car push in/tell the barman they were there first/buy the first round.
UPDATE: Thank you to the lovely Irish girl on the tube who tapped me on the shoulder to point out that the tag was still hanging off my lovely new dress. With 50% off written on it! Some SERIOUSLY good karma coming your way!