Happiness and Positivity, Just a Few Random Acts of Kindness Away
“If the hustle never stops, the cycle never stops. We get stuck in a state of constant doing and moving, rushing from one destination to another in pursuit of what’s next. The present stops seeming like enough; who we are, right now, stops being enough.”
We started Of Note Stationers as a reaction to the hustle in our daily lives. We were on the go and needed an outlet to slow down. So we began designing cards for people to use everyday. These cards were meant for the writer to sit down, reflect, and reach out. We didn’t want it to feel like something big, something intimidating, but instead just a quick note to let someone know that you are thinking of them. Little did we realize that our letter writing outlet could impact our mindsets so positively.
We could feel the ripple effects as each of our friends received their letters and were inspired to slow down and write their own notes, but we also realized that there was science behind these good vibes. Shawn Achor gave a brilliant TED talk on the Happy Secret to Better Work in May 2011 in which he shares that “90% of your happiness is predicted by the way your brain processes the world...If we raise the level of positivity in the present this will lead to a happiness advantage.” Achor continues and lays out the ways in which you can train your brain to think more positively which in turn improves happiness and productivity:
- gratitude - write down 3 new things for which you are grateful for 21 days in a row. the pattern in your brain will change from scanning the world for the negative to scanning first for the positive.
journal - write about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours allowing your brain to relive it.
exercise - teach your brain that behavior matters.
meditation - allows our brains to focus on the tasks at hand.
- random/conscious acts of kindness - write one positive email a day, thanking someone or praising someone in your social support network.
Our letter writing and reaching out had intuitively tapped into the random/conscious acts of kindness bucket. And now with the anti-hustle article we were excitedly hearing Leah Pellegrini share a similar recommendation for how to “savor the gentle, soft, and slow” and “incorporate the anti-hustle into ordinary days.” She wrote:
Save space for compassion. Give up a chunk of your day to brighten someone else's. Understand that you might sometimes need to halt your hustle at the benefit of the heart.
We are reinvigorated and motivated to keep reaching out. To take control of our own happiness and to spread that happiness and positivity to the world around us.
Perhaps you are to? Here are a few ideas for how you can reach out:
Each morning, Diane Von Furstenberg takes the time to compose one email that does not benefit her in any way—whether it be an introduction, a note of congratulations, or a simple compliment. (The Daily Habits of 8 Insanely Creative People)
Write and send a letter to a friend for no reason—just to say hi or share a memory—even if that friend lives in the same town. (Melissa Camilleri via Clementine Daily)
Send a letter (or write an email) to a friend you just saw to tell them how nice it was to spend time with them. (Reasons to Write)
How do you take control of you happiness and spread that happiness and positivity to the world around you? We are always looking for new ides!
Kate and Isabel