Creating Possibility

How Do You Create a Heathy Glow?

Karen Coulson - Monday, July 25, 2011

Nice how we never get dizzy from doing good turns." George Bengis

How do You create a Healthy Glow?

Have you ever done something for someone and come away feeling better for the experience? Some of the most memorable and positive experiences we have are as a result of doing something positive for someone else.

As a child, I remember walking to the corner shop one day and passing by an elderly neighbour’s house. She was standing at the front gate, bent over, waiting for someone to walk by. She asked me if I would be able to get some groceries for her. I gingerly took the crumpled envelope with her list on it and headed off to the shop. When I returned, she was still waiting at the gate.

I learnt a valuable lesson that day – I had done something for someone, but I was the one who felt good. I had been the receiver as well as the giver. That lady has gone now, but I still remember the incident and how good it felt to do be able to do something for her. 
Helper’s high - as it has been coined, also works much closer to home.  Dr Stephanie Brown of the University of Michigan found that married couples who were supportive (helped) their spouse, relatives and friends lived longer and were healthier than those who were not so helpful. Not only does it make you healthier - it also makes the time you live with others a lot more enjoyable as well!

This positive energy not only works for the individual who is ‘giving’, it also has a ‘flow on’ effect (I call it a ‘glow on’ effect) to the recipient and then to others with whom that person comes into contact.

Psychologist, Alice Isen, tested this ‘glow on’ effect by placing a coin in a pay phone and watching what people did after they had made a phone call using the ‘found’ coin.  As they walked out of the phone booth, somebody ‘accidentally’ dropped something near them.

Isen found that those who had found and used the coin, invariably ‘helped’ the next person with whom they came into contact – in this case - the person who had dropped something. The ‘glow on’ effect can be contagious.

Try it – smile at someone as you walk by them. I guarantee you’ll get a smile and it just may be passed on as well.   We don’t have to change the world – it’s in the small, simple things we do each day that can make a difference – and who knows – the world may smile back.

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