My friend Sanjula, wrote a piece on random acts of kindness for the magazine Taographie. I admire her energy and her natural kindness. I wanted to share with you her text that would inspire us all.
You can follow Sanjula on her blog
The Keys to My Happiness
A feeling of wellbeing means different things for different people. For some, exercise such as Zumba, or yoga, dieting or running marathons makes a person feel good. For me a feeling of wellbeing means something else.
I feel my most happiest when I make someone else happy or if I do a random act of kindness. Acts of kindness or charity do not require large sums of money or hours of work at a charity auction. An act of charity can mean a simple act for someone else. It’s something to show your gratitude or something to make someone happy.
There are many among us who although dress well and drive a car and look happy on the outside, have the reality of loss of jobs or just getting by with very little for the day and your act of kindness can mean a lot to them.
Recently I celebrated my 40th birthday. I felt old, middle aged and I questioned the meaning of life that all women do at some point in their lives. I did feel slightly down and I was thinking what I could do to make myself happy?
I did not want a party that my husband so badly wanted to throw for me, nor did I want a big fuss made of me. Instead, I decided a month before my birthday to do 40 acts of kindness. I thought it was going to be easy, but as I wrote each task down I realized it was going to be quite a challenge.
As soon as I started this personal project of mine, I realized it made me hungry to do more. I was happy; I was looking forward to completing each task and seeing the results of what I was doing. The tasks I did were simple but brought such great happiness to those around me. I bought lunch for a friend, I cooked dinner for a sick teacher, I wrote letters of recommendation to all my kids’ teachers and mailed them to the principal, I dropped off food at the food bank. If an employee did a good job or helped me, I made sure to seek out the store manager and tell them what a great job someone had done. I helped a friend during hard times. I filled a bucket for a teacher with over 50 notes of why we loved her; and her tears alone were worth my effort. I sent little unexpected gifts to people, I took tired mom friends out to coffee and did not forget all those people who I took for granted, doctors, the receptionist at the doctor’s office who was always nice to me, the guy who pumps my gas even in the dead of winter with a smile, waitresses and such people I came into contact with.
It was small things on my part which produced big results. By the end of the month, I felt so happy and I had such a great feeling of accomplishment. I had hit on the key to happiness, both for others and myself. After I had completed my 40 acts of kindness, I was empowered to do more. And so that year I enrolled in a local volunteer organization and now continue to volunteer and help my community in a small way.
So here is my challenge to you, the next time you get an opportunity, seize it and let the gratitude and the smiles come back to you. You will automatically smile back, you will feel good, your brain releases pleasure endorphins and then comes a feeling of happiness and therefore wellness.
To balance it all, I eat right, lead an active lifestyle, and most importantly every morning breathe deeply for 5 minutes and drink plenty of water. I do my check ups and visit the doctor and dentist every year. I am deeply spiritual and daily prayer keeps me focused and calm.
We all do things that bring us peace and wellness, and this is my way of keeping happy and feeling good about my life. These are the keys to my happiness.