As we get older, many of us recognise that it is better to give than to receive. In his book Why Good Things Happen to Good People, Stephen Post describes the ‘warm glow effect’ of giving which is reported to have positive effects upon our health.
Research shows that one of the best ways to boost happiness and resilience is to perform acts of kindness. This takes many forms, for example; volunteering, mentoring, or even expressing gratitude toward others. Giving promotes cooperation and social connection. When we give, we’re more likely to get back: when we give to others, our generosity is likely to be rewarded by others down the line—sometimes by the person we gave to, sometimes by someone else.
Donating to a charity is clearly recognised as giving that creates the ‘warm glow effect’. However, it is believed that we get a warmer glow from something that doesn’t necessarily involve money, i.e. giving of ourselves or giving our time.
Listed below are some examples of giving.
- Formal volunteering program in an area you are passionate about.
- Pick one person a day to show extra kindness to.
- Display random acts of kindness, for example, paying for a stranger’s coffee.
- Volunteer with RHET to do a classroom talk on farming.
- Join local agricultural show committee.
- Volunteer at school sports day.
- Invite an elderly person to join you for a coffee, lunch or dinner.
What will you do to fuel your ‘warm glow’?
If any of these emails or exercises have affected you and you feel you would like to speak to someone, support is available through RSABI. You can call them on 0300 111 4166. Their helpline is open from 7am to 11pm all year.
These resources have been developed by Kim Walker of Advance Consultancy for the Farm Advisory Service.
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