If you ever want to feel "really" good...try to uplift someone else. Have you ever noticed when you say or do something nice for someone, especially when you do it for no personal gain, "You" feel great? Uplifting someone else will always make you feel good too.
Many times we focus a little too much on ourselves. What we need and want can consume our daily thoughts. This can get excessive; and quite frankly boring and narcissistic. We need to think about ourselves when it comes to taking care of our bodies, mindfulness, and goals, but we also need to think about caring for others to be a compassionate, caring, human being.
Our society has become very superficial in its focus on having material things, being famous, and losing a foundation of values and morals of common decency. We watch reality television shows that demean and humiliate people. Shows that glorify stupidity and obnoxious people without class, are many of the shows that are the most successful.
What does that say about us as? Have we lowered our level of consciousness to find this kind of thing entertaining? Sad, very sad. I suggest that if you find this stuff entertaining, check into why you are happy when others look bad. Do you feel good when you see others humiliated? You may feel inadequate in some way to want to watch others look stupid and degraded, otherwise you wouldn't enjoy it.
Say or do something nice to someone today and see how it makes you feel. Randomly and genuinely tell a family member who might annoy you and who you are often at odds with something uplifting. Watch the dynamics of your relationship change.
Smile at a stranger and say "how are you today?". Most of the time the response will be a positive exchange and you will feel better for it.
Tell one of your teachers who you may not like, something nice about them. You might see each other differently after an honest uplifting comment.
There is an old saying, "you get more bees with honey". If I had only got that when I was younger! What it means is, when your communication is based in kindness, your outcome will be more positive.
My most recent class of teens got a homework assignment. It was to tell one of their family members (someone who normally annoys them) something uplifting. It had to be out of their normal behavior, something that would be for no other reason than to make that person feel better.
They came back with the most amazing stories. One student told her older brother that she was glad he was her brother even though they annoyed each other much of the time. They began to talk to each other more, particularly at dinner where they usually didn't speak to each other at all.
Another girl told her Dad how grateful she was that he took such good care of her and her brother. The rest of the day he kept asking her if she needed anything. One of the students said to her mother that she was appreciative of the work her mother did to take care of her, and her mother offered to take her shopping.
Now we don't want to use this for a tool to manipulate people to get something or get our way. It should always be genuine. Use it to help someone else feel better, and you will feel better too. It's the best reward!
Give it a try today. Challenge yourself to uplift at least three people everyday. Be aware of how you feel, and watch how they feel. Some people may not respond to your kindness, but most will. Even if they don't respond, they heard you and that's what matters. You were kind and loving and that always feels good.
Be an "Uplifter", you'll be happier and healthier for it!
- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.