1: Getting better at getting better is what RiseWithDrew is all about.
Monday through Thursday, we explore ideas from authors, thought leaders, and exemplary organizations. On Friday, I share something we are doing at PCI in our quest to earn a spot on Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.
Want to feel better? Enjoy life more? Have better relationships? Be healthier?
At PCI, we kicked off 2022 with an “Acts of Kindness” challenge. The research shows “happiness interventions” like this one boost subjective well-being.
How does it work? It’s super simple. We select one day each week, and we perform five acts of kindness, all in the same day. It doesn’t matter if the acts are big or small, but it is optimal to perform a variety of acts. The actions do not need to be for the same person. And, the person doesn’t even have to be aware of them.
Examples include helping our spouse cook dinner, doing something for someone in our family, helping a colleague with a piece of work, visiting an elderly relative, or writing a thank you letter.
Simple stuff. Small acts.
After each act, we take a few minutes to write down what we did AND how it made us feel—just a sentence or two. We might also team up with someone else and share what we did and the feelings associated with doing the kindness acts.
The results are striking. Acts like these “promote feelings of connection with others and may trigger positive feedback loops within one’s relationships,” Kristin Layous writes in the Handbook of Wise Interventions. “People induced into a positive mood are also better workers in a variety of ways. They set higher goals, persevere at challenging tasks longer, complete a greater amount of work with no decline in quality, and come up with more mutually beneficial solutions in negotiations.”
There are also benefits to our physical health. “Specifically, participants who engage in happiness interventions (vs. comparison conditions) have reported better sleep duration and sleep quality, decreased diastolic blood pressure and inflammation, and healthier eating,” Kristin notes.
For the next four weeks, join us! One day each week. Five acts of kindness.
Reflection: What surprises me about this research?
Action: Join us in our “Acts of Kindness” challenge. One day each week for the next four weeks, perform five acts of kindness, all five on the same day. Keep track of what you do and how it makes you feel.