A single morning commute is enough time to gather a thousand seething resentments. People shove you, they litter, they smoke while blocking the footpath. By the time you show up at the office, you might be in full Rorschach-from-Watchmen mode. Instead, fill yourself with the cleansing fire of a kind act.
Photo by Tom Parsons
Now, I hate the vibe of "random acts of kindness." I'm not the kind of person who celebrated World Kindness Day last week. But I do appreciate the power of a smug sense of superiority. And one way to earn that is to go out of your way to be nice. Let someone go ahead of you, buy someone coffee, hand out a compliment.
Here's the bit where I cite some studies, like the University of Louisville study that says people who do good, feel good, and the British study that found people got more pleasure from memories of gift-giving than from memories of buying something for themselves. And there's more evidence in the related stories below.
If you're in a bad mood, you might not want to think of this in some smarmy "all you need is love" way. Think of it as earning your secret smugness points. Or tricking yourself to stop thinking about the arsehole who honked at you for no good reason, and start thinking about the person you gave your bus seat. You're just making yourself feel good by making someone else feel good.