Day 9 – Kindness and Giving

“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”

Dalai Lama

Happynesshub Hint Nine


For that extra boost of happiness, perform five acts of kindness all in one day. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small, but ideally perform a variety of acts. Write down what you did at the end of the day, and how it made you feel. This will add to your happiness levels.

The Day 9 Film – Sally

Welcome to our Day 9 Happynesshub Hint Film with our very own Sally here to explain more about today’s exercise and fill you in on the nuts and bolts of how to get the most out of the day.

Welcome to our Day 9 Movement and Meditation Video, which features gentle breathing, stretching and meditation. If you have any health concerns, please consult your GP first. If you have a yoga mat that is helpful, otherwise please do not practise on a slippery surface.

If you would prefer to follow a shorter breathing and / or meditation film (with no stretching) please click here. Or if you want an audio meditation only, choose how long you have, then click and go!

I’ve yet to meet anyone who disputes that being kind to another makes the giver themself feel happier. All research points towards this, and that not only does it make us feel better to give, but our brain’s pleasure and reward centres light up, as if we were the recipient of the good deed ourselves!

To me this has always been obvious; if you give you will feel better. Being kind is key to my existence, a part of my philosophy on life, so I wondered why, despite my giving on what I thought was a daily basis, I’d reached the point where it really didn’t feel like it was making me happy. So, I started reading.

Research shows time and time again that helping others makes you feel less isolated, less likely to experience symptoms of depression and it improves self-esteem and confidence. Interestingly, if you dig deeper there are a few tips that may help some of you out there who are natural habitual givers. These types of people take it for granted to be kind, and therefore don’t necessarily realise they are doing it. So, evidence shows that when being kind and giving to others there are a number of ways to boost our own happiness levels. One is to do a variety of acts. They may be as small as a smile, or giving up your seat on the tube, to making a poorly person dinner, or calling a friend in need. Another is to do a number of kind acts in one day. Research shows that spreading them over a week may diminish their salience and power, making them less distinguishable from your normal everyday kind behaviour. This is where writing it down comes in. If you make a note in your gratitude diary of not only what you did to help another, but how it made you feel, it is very likely you will recognise your kindness, appreciate it and feel better about yourself.

Now we know that being kind to someone else isn’t about making ourselves feel better, but if this is a side effect then surely that must be great news! Research shows too that the more we help others, the more we ourselves will continue to give, and the more the recipients of our kindness will also give – it’s called, “Paying Forward”. It’s win, win, win on today’s Happynesshub Hint! With one minor caveat. Givers in life can sometimes take it too far, ignore their own wellbeing, and make themselves ill. So keep an eye on that – and go be kind to someone now!

Wishing you a happy and giving Day 9!

Please click here for further research on Kindness and Giving.