Barbara Fredriskson, Ph.D. researched two different kinds of happiness. Hedonia which is categorized as an “in the moment” kind of happiness, like when we get new gear for the gym, see a funny movie, or get a present from someone. Eudaimonic well-being is the feeling or sense of higher purpose, being of service to humanity, and having a connection to your community. Dr. Fredrickson discovered that these two kinds of happiness go hand in hand–they reinforce each other. “When people experience the positive uplift of hedonia they’re better able to go on and find meaning in their lives. And, that in turn, becomes a durable resource.” When life gets tough, or you’re having a crappy day, you can get in touch with the fact that you’re part of something bigger than yourself… that can cure so much!
People who engaged in more eudaimonic activities not only reported feeling greater satisfaction, stronger positive emotions and more meaning in life, but those feelings spilled over into the next day. They had what could be called a happiness hangover. What’s more, other studies have shown that eudaimonic behavior confers health benefits, too, including a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s and a decreased risk of heart disease. (Live Happy Magazine, Dec. 2013)
So, here’s my challenge to you… do something for someone else. Small acts of kindness go a long way and they are even better when they are random acts. Go pay it forward.
Can’t think of what to do? Here are a few ideas! And here are some fabulous grain-free recipes that are fitting for tomorrow’s sometimes not so happy Valentine’s Day. Finally, here are some non-food ideas for showing love!
Maybe you’re not ready to do that just yet. I want you to to except this other challenge —-> Keep a gratitude list. We all have things for which we are grateful, sometimes we just need to put pen to paper to really see what we have!
Enjoy the challenge and please leave comments below!