We are all familiar with the old adage that it is better to give than to receive. New research shows that this is indeed true.

PsychCentral.com recently reported that showing gratitude through efforts such as “giving back” can be a form of positive cognitive behavioral therapy, because it replaces negative energy that can manifest as depression or anxiety.

I’ve decided I’m going to spend this month doing random acts of kindness and invite you to do the same. Here are some suggestions:

  • Be on the ready. Have a few packaged snacks to hand to a homeless person you encounter when stopped at a light or walking down the street.
  • Stretch your comfort zone. It’s easy to offer free pet sitting to a family member, but what about helping out at the animal shelter for an hour or two?
  • Expect—and take—nothing in return. Give for the sake of giving and the spark of happiness it brings—to the recipient and you.

I hope that committing random acts of kindness this month will become a habit for me. Much like my meditation practice has become a healthy habit in my life. When we repeat a behavior over and over, it becomes routine and we reap its benefits daily.

So start building a habit of being kind and grateful. It’s good for your health!

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