This COVID season has provided a lot of wonderful opportunities to throw parties! Stick with me here.
For the past 15 months, like you, I've encountered isolation, uncertainty, frustration, as well as a long list of other not-so-good feelings and experiences. Needless to say, I have not always been at my best emotionally. I wanted someone to help me out of my emotional doldrums. So, I decided to throw myself a pity party. I set the date. Decorated my home. Sent the invitations. And no one showed up!
Contrary to what we often think we need or want, it is on us to do what is necessary to restore our emotional and mental well-being. The research tells us if you want to feel good, then do good.
Doing good to others lights up places in our brains that increase happiness. Doing good connects us with others – and we all know that a key to long-term emotional health is relationships. Doing good helps us gain a clearer perspective on the quality of our own life. Doing good is contagious – soon others will also join us in doing good. If feels amazing to have a positive impact on those around us and our environment.
"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted." - Aesop
Doing good is often as easy as "simple kindnesses": looking someone in the eye and saying "hello", opening doors for others, giving your place in the checkout line at a store to the person behind you who has one or two items, stopping to listen to the answer to "how are you?", letting a car in front of you merge on the highway, giving a specific complement to someone for a task well done, using a friend's name often as you talk with them, and the list could go on for pages.
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does." - William James
The way up when you feel down is to do good whether you feel like it or not. I invite you to not wait until you feel like acting, rather do good when you don't feel like it and watch what happens to both you and the recipient of your deed. Nike's motto of "Just Do It!" fits here perfectly.
What if your level of feeling good is primarily determined by the good you do for others? If you believed this you would probably make it your habit each day to bless someone. Do you want to feel more energized? Then energize someone today. Do you want to feel more connected with others? Then step out and connect to someone on your path today. Do you want to feel more inspired? Then take that risk and inspire someone God places in front of you today.
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." - Theodore Roosevelt
This season of COVID has hit most of us hard these last number of months. Don't wait for others to bring you up. Do good to feel good.