Can you find five ways to lend a hand today?

Type ‘helping others’ into Google Images, and you’ll see a lot of photos of hands: one hand reaching for another, one person pulling another up a steep hillside, a young hand placed tenderly on an old.

It’s no surprise, perhaps, because we often refer to helping someone in terms of lending them a hand.

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When you do things for people, you also help yourself.

In fact, one study has shown that those who gave assistance to others felt stronger and more energetic after doing so – as well as becoming calmer, less depressed and gaining a higher sense of self-esteem.

In fact, in psychology it’s a well-known phenomenon, popularly known as the ‘helper’s high’.

But am I suggesting that you should only lend a hand to someone because of the good it will do you?

Of course not, I think virtually everyone who helps others does so out of a genuine desire to support a fellow human being, or perhaps to create a better social environment.

But the fact that you may feel better when you’ve helped someone is a rather handy side-effect.

A real win-win, if you like.

So why not think about what you can do for someone today?

Whether or not you’re busy, there are nearly always opportunities to be at least a little generous with your time.

At times, when my place is in dire need of housework but I can’t summon up the energy to carry out the total blitz it really needs, I’ll promise myself that I’ll perform five tasks, then stop.

Enough will be enough.

In the same way, then, maybe your mission today can be to deliver five small chunks of help to other people?

Simple actions are fine: holding doors open, helping to lift things – that kind of thing.

More involved ones are great too: baking someone an apple pie, tidying their garden.

So see if you can find five today, then think about your mood after you’ve done so.

Reflections? Please post them on the Moodnudges blog:

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See you next time,

Jon

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