Blood Type Personality Traits

In America, some people look up a potential partner’s star sign to see their compatibility. If you are not shy to admit, you may have at one time, or another sought advice from the stars. Well, for Japanese people, they do not rely on the astrological signs of personality information; rather it is their blood type.

Source: pixabay.com

But those who do believe are adamant that blood type plays a significant role in determining a person’s personality. You can use your blood type to understand your unique nature. In countries such as Japan, people are very fond of asking one’s blood type.

Do you know your blood type? Read on and find out more about your personality traits depending on your blood type. Also, possibly check out who would be your best match depending on their blood type!

Blood Types And Personality

O, B, A, and AB are the four blood types in the human race. A lot of research on blood types and personality has been carried out in Japan where the majority of the people are blood type A. The second most common blood type is the B blood type. People with blood type AB positive are universal plasma donors. Below are the four blood types and their associated personality traits. You will be surprised at how accurate some of these are!

A Blood Type Personality

People with blood type A are clever, passionate, sensitive, and cooperative. They are loyal, patient, and they love peace. Sometimes, they may be overly sensitive about different things. For instance, they care a lot about etiquette as well as social standards. They do not like to break the set rules on etiquette or the laid down societal standards or rules.

Blood types A personalities are careful decision makers, and they take their time before they can settle on any decision. Besides, they are not good at multi-tasking, as they prefer to handle one task at a time. Blood type A personality types are very organized, and they do not like haphazard actions. They prefer to keep everything neat and in the right place. They plan everything, and every task that they engage in is carried out with a lot of consistency and seriousness. Many people with OCD fall into this category and end up seeking help from a professional counselor who can help with their compulsive issues.

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People in this blood type personality are very stubborn and are easily stressed. They have high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and this makes them intense. They do not like fights, and they prefer to be in harmony with everyone, and they like to work in collaboration with others in the community. They tend to keep to themselves more so when they do not want to share their ideas or opinions. Some of the most common personality traits of blood type A are as follows. They are kind, shy, stubborn, attentive, composed, polite, tense, withdrawn, reliable, perfectionist, sensitive, responsible, tactful, timid, mild-mannered, anxious, earnest, reserved, and polite.

The best personality traits of people with blood type A are gentle, loyal, organized, consistent, loyal, and perfectionists. Their bad personality traits are, obsessive, pessimistic, overly sensitive, fastidious, stubborn, and easily stressed.

As friends, people with blood type A are very reliable and trustworthy. If you are in trouble, then you can rely on friends with this blood type. They do not like to show their emotions, and they keep their thoughts or feeling about things hidden from others, and they share only when comfortable.

Famous people with blood type A are George Bush, Adolf Hitler, Jet Li, Britney Spears, and Richard Nixon.

B Blood Type Personality

People with this blood type are famous for their creativity. They make their decisions very quickly, and they are not good at taking orders. When they focus on something, they put their all into it, and they are unlikely to let go even if the goal is unachievable. They have a very strong drive or desire to be the best at anything that they have set their minds to do. Nevertheless, they are poor at multi-tasking, and they are likely to neglect other important tasks and put all their focus on whatever they have set their mind on at the moment.

Source: pxhere.com

Blood type B people can be thoughtful and empathetic. They are good at understanding other people’s point of view and do not like challenging or confronting others. People with blood type B make good and reliable friends.

They face a lot of discrimination because of their negative personalities such as selfishness and uncooperativeness at times. The society mainly focuses on the negative side of people with blood type B, even though they also have their good side. As a result, they tend to be loners, and they isolate themselves from others.

Some of the most common positive personality traits of people with blood type B are such as curious, relaxed, strong, adventurous, creative, passionate, active, outgoing, and cheerful. On the other hand, the negative traits are, wild, erratic, unforgiving, selfish, uncooperative, irresponsible, and unpredictable.

Bs are generally a balance of As and Os, as they are both thoughtful and ambitious. Famous people with blood type B are Vince Young, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Jack Nicholson. People with blood type B are more compatible with fellow Bs, but they can also relate well with ABs.

AB Blood Type Personality

Blood type AB is a mix of A and B personality types. People consider them complicated and double-sided. For instance, they can be outgoing just like Bs and shy like As. At times, people view them as having double personalities, and they keep their true personalities from strangers. It is hard for a stranger to instantly decide which personality people with blood type AB have until they get to know them. They are the rarest blood types in the world.

ABs are popular and charming, and they make friends easily. When in the company of an AB blood type personality, there can never be a dull moment. They are fun and exciting friends to have around. Small stuff does not bother blood type AB personalities, but they are poor in handling stress.

ABs are empathetic, and they are always careful when dealing with others. They make sure that they consider other people’s point of view. People with blood type have exceptional logical and analytical skills, and they are seen as humanists.

Source: flickr.com

Some of their good personality traits are; caring, charming, controlled, dependable, cool, composed, sociable, dream chaser, trustworthy, rational, creative, adaptable, and diplomatic. Their negative traits are such as complicated, self-centered, irresponsible, vulnerable, indecisive, forgetful, unforgiving, critical, and two-faced.

Famous people with this blood type are Barack Obama, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Chan, and John F. Kennedy.

O Blood Type Personality

People with blood type O are outgoing, go-getters, and daring. They usually set high standards for themselves, and they do all they can to achieve them. Os have excellent leadership capabilities. Little things do not concern them, and this makes them appear as selfish to people in blood group A who are overly sensitive.

People with blood group O are generous and kind-hearted. Most people love this blood type. O blood type personalities adapt well to change. They are flexible and resilient and can do relatively well even in tough situations.

Source: pixabay.com

Some of the positive personality traits in people with blood type O are; leadership ability, self-determined, easygoing, optimistic, calm, confident, outgoing, loyal, cautious, passionate, peaceful, resilient, independent, trendsetter, reliable, carefree, and devoted. On the centrally, they are also jealous, rude, ruthless, insensitive, unpunctual, unpredictable, cold, self-centered, workaholic, and arrogant.

Individuals with blood type O are very enduring and strong, and that is why the Japanese call them Warriors. They are honest people and hate people who tell a lie or hide the truth. People with this blood type are not overly cautious about small details, as they tend to focus more on the big picture.

Famous people with blood type O are such as Queen Elizabeth II, Paul Newman, Elvis Parsley, and Ronald Regan, John Gotti, and Gerald Ford.

Here is an easy reference guide for making compatibility decisions:

Blood type Os are compatible with ABs and Os.

Blood type As are compatible with ABs and As.

Blood type B is compatible with ABs and Bs.

Blood types ABs are compatible with all blood types.

Blood types and personality traits is a fun way of understanding people. Do any of these apply to you?

Source: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/personality/blood-type-personality-what-does-your-blood-say-about-you/

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This Brand Is Making Makeup More Accessible For People With Disabilities

Love this!  It’s about time.

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#gracebeautyforall #soonavailable!

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The beauty industry is finally becoming more inclusive, and this brand just made another major step in the right direction. New beauty brand Grace Beauty is creating “beauty product add-ons designed to make products more accessible,” and they’re starting with a launch of three mascara handles that will make it easier for people with disabilities to apply mascara (available now).

The easy-to-hold accessories can be attached to any mascara wand, so regardless of whether you’re a YSL-forever kinda gal or a L’Oréal Lash Paradise lover, you can clip it on to make application easier. As Grace Beauty gracefully reminds us, “Anyone, regardless of ability, should be able to use any beauty product they want to.”

The beginning of something special…

We also love that this brand pitches itself as a platform to share stories. Since the announcement, the brand has already – and quite rightly – received a whole lot of love. One Instagrammer wrote, “I have a declining neuro function and in the last six months I have given up on makeup. I wasn’t even an actual everyday user before, but this makes me so happy I am crying.” While another commenter pointed out that they can be used for any packaged product in this shape, for example, a concealer or lipstick wand.

The brand is also welcoming feedback from its users, asking: “What do you think of it? Can it be helpful and do you like the design?” explaining that they’re “especially interested to hear your opinion.” Users are then asked to join the Grace community via their website and social media platform, and by doing so, users can even gain access to early prototypes and impact future releases and designs.

The Safe Grip

The Safe Grip provides a wide-angled grip that’s easy to hold, allowing for better control. The rubber material is supple yet firm so that it can be more easily held.

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The Ring Grip

The Ring Grip was created to allow for steady and even application so that users don’t have to worry about losing grip or dropping the mascara. The rubber will attach tightly to most mascaras on the market and the width of the ring will fit all finger sizes.

The Square Grip

The Square Grip accessory fits both ends of the mascara and makes opening, holding, and application easier while the rubbery texture helps with grip.

What do you guys think of this? We’d love to hear from you!

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This Brand Is Making Makeup More Accessible For People With Disabilities

 

Why Your Body Type Gains Weight, By Life Path Number

Your body type and personality are interconnected. Here’s how.

Weight gain is something that can affect us all differently, but when we’re not expecting to see a certain number when we step on the scale, it can really crush us emotionally.

This is especially true when you’re actually trying to work out more and eat healthily.

When the scale still says that you’re gaining weight, it’s upsetting.

I was able to go more than five years without really knowing just how much I weighed until my doctor said it out loud to me a few months ago.

In my personal opinion, knowing how much I weigh and if I’ve actually gained weight just makes me feel even more like I’m failing at getting healthy, even when I remind myself that it’s a journey and that even baby steps matter.

Of course, my life path number also proves that I can be pretty emotional and get caught up in little things that I know won’t matter eventually, so clearly, these two things don’t mix well.

 

For the longest time, our culture has been so obsessed with health treatments and exercise and asparagus juice from Whole Foods that if you weren’t flaunting your weight loss on Instagram you were an outcast.

I like to think that we’re starting to move toward a more body-positive culture and a more wellness-centered lifestyle, but I know that takes time.

The best advice I’ve ever gotten regarding my health and wellness is to just do whatever I want and choose the things that make me feel happy and healthy, without listening to a bunch of contradicting articles and experts.

Here is why you are gaining weight (and how to lose the pounds), according to your life path number.

Life Path 1

As a 1, you’re a born leader. No matter what you do in life, you have to be number one. In addition to that, you’re also incredibly independent – you don’t often let other people tell you what to do.

Deep inside you though, beyond this confidence, is a sense of cynicism and self-doubt. You’re a deep thinker and that can put a lot of stress on you.

Once you make something like cardio or meditation a routine thing, you’ll notice yourself feeling and looking healthier.

Life Path 2

As a 2, you are very emotional and sensitive. Everything you feel, you feel in the deepest crevices of yourself – in your body, heart, and soul.

You have a tendency to cope with the ups and downs of life with bad-for-you food and empty calories.

It’s important to learn how to separate your emotions from your physical self. Otherwise, you will always turn to comfort food and alcohol when you’re sad, stressed, or frustrated.

Engaging with friends and having a support system is a great way to continue to express yourself emotionally, just in a healthier way. Additionally, finding activities that make you feel good are important.

As a 3, self-expression is very important to who you are. There isn’t a moment in your life when you wish you had said something – because you’re always looking for ways to express yourself and communicate with others.

Of course, there are certainly times when people don’t want to hear what you have to say, which can make you feel like a burden.

When you find yourself gaining weight, it could be because you’re having a hard time finding the balance between over– and under-expressing your emotional self.

There are definitely times when a support system is the best way to express how you’re feeling, but there are also times when a kickboxing class or yoga is a much better creative outlet – let yourself explore it all!

As a 4, you highly value security and stability in your life and relationships. In everything you do, you have to know that there is a certain foundation that has been set beforehand to really ensure stability.

Hey, it’s just how you roll! That said, being such a stickler for security and stability can make you pretty stubborn.

When it comes to your health, being stubborn can be a good trait (like being able to stick to a diet) or it can be a bad thing (like putting unnecessary stress on yourself to succeed).

Not only can stress affect your emotional and mental health, but it can also affect you physically, too. The key to losing weight is to find relaxing techniques that actually work for you. You won’t believe what stress-reduction practices can do for your health.

Life Path 5

As a 5, adventure and excitement are your callings. You absolutely must have the freedom to be yourself and do whatever you want, without anyone holding you back.

When this call for adventure gets too unbalanced, it can make you feel claustrophobic and trapped in or even cranky and stressed.

All of this micromanaging your life and yourself can cause serious burnout, which can lead to a whole lot of other problems besides just weight gain. Sticking to a healthy routine that you can count on every day is a great place to start.

Light cardio in the morning, a walk with friends during lunch, and a healthy dinner in the evening are all low-stress ways to stay in shape and healthy.

Life Path 6

As a 6, you are known for being very responsible. You stick to your guns, even when everyone else around you is quitting. There’s definitely something admirable about striving for perfection in everything you do.

That said, perfection can easily turn into a four-letter word when it comes to your health.

It’s easy for that perfection to get in the way of the big picture. If you find yourself feeling like the things you’re doing for your health simply aren’t enough, it might be a good idea to take a step back.

You can become overly critical of your progress when it’s more important to appreciate how far you’ve come instead of criticizing how far you have left to go. Start with baby steps and remember that you don’t have to work hard for anyone’s approval but your own.

Life Path 7

As a 7, you are a deeply spiritual person. You are always looking for the meaning of life in the activities you do and in your own self-exploration. You are a very unique person in that you have both an intuitive and analytical side.

You sometimes get too caught up in your own head to let yourself be vulnerable, which can have an effect on your weight and body image.

If you want to lose weight and get healthier, it’s important for you to embrace that vulnerable part of yourself.

It’s okay to feel lost or confused on your health journey, but what you have to stop yourself from doing is letting these conflicting emotions win and giving up.

Make it a daily practice to express yourself in a way that makes you feel good about yourself, like through meditation or a group exercise.

Life Path 8

As an 8, you believe that success is measured intangible things, like money, a cushy job, or serious weight loss. You are one of those people who never seem to give up, even if it means pushing yourself past your limits.

People who know you know that you can be a workaholic at times, and you can even be a bit aggressive when trying to prove yourself.

If you’re not careful, this aggression can lead to a lot of stress-related issues and high blood pressure. It’s important to remember that there is no competition when it comes to health.

Life Path 9

As a 9, you are very selfless. You go through life always looking for ways to help others and put your friends and family first.

This is a great trait to have, but it also means you always put yourself second, even when it’s imperative that you let yourself be selfish and put yourself first.

Even if you don‘t always realize it, you tend to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders… talk about stressful.

You need to relieve the stress of being everyone’s caretaker by employing daily exercises like yoga, meditation, and even therapy to find the support you need to be your best self.

Source:

https://www.yourtango.com/2019327346/weight-gain-loss-life-path-numerology

 

5 Proven Ways to Learn to Love Yourself

 

As spiritual teacher and author, Iyanla Vanzant, puts it, “Everything that happens to you is a reflection of what you believe about yourself. We cannot outperform our level of self-esteem. We cannot draw to ourselves more than we think we are worth.”

The way we view ourselves impacts our views and actions in every way. If we don’t feel worthy of love, we tend to accept mistreatment or even abuse. When we doubt our abilities, we hide away from pursuing our dreams. When feeling inadequate, people close themselves off to the limitless possibilities that life has to offer.

When we look inward and develop self-confidence, a world of opportunity opens. We gain the courage to realize our potential. When we value ourselves, we walk toward loving, supportive relationships. When we develop self-esteem, we feel confident to work hard toward achieving goals. Taking care of ourselves gives us the strength to inspire and care for others in need.

While it’s one thing to ruminate on loving yourself, actualizing self-worth can require a lot of reflection and life experience. Still, you can begin that lifelong journey one step at a time with these tips to loving yourself.

Developing Positive Thought Patterns

Thought patterns can have a huge impact on how we view ourselves and our experiences. Science looks at how repetitive thoughts, those little conversations we have inside our heads, have a big impact on wellbeing. If you find yourself in a loop of constantly doubting yourself or having anxious reactions to life then practicing positive thinking can help reverse those patterns. Psychologists and spiritual leaders suggest different methods for reversing harmful thought patterns such as mindfulness meditation, positive affirmations, and journaling.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation involves bringing awareness to the present moment. Dr. John Paul Minda, a professor of psychology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, explains,” Mindfulness meditation can help people to be more attentive to their own emotions. By being aware of negative feelings as soon as they arise, people can engage in positive remediation rather than dwelling on the negative cognition.”

Positive Affirmations

Positive affirmations refer to repeated statements, often written down or spoken out loud, that inspire confidence and optimism. They can help to reverse the negative loop in our minds by replacing them with constructive thinking. For example, you can write down or say to yourself things like, “I am good enough,” “I am worthy of love,” “I can overcome anything one step at a time.”

Journaling

Journaling has a proven positive effect on self-esteem and works like a natural “antidepressant”. It gives a person the chance to process experiences. Also, writing about stressful situations can help diminish their perceived intensity. Spending just 15 minutes a day journaling increases self-confidence and leads to better mental, emotional, and physical health.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

Big changes don’t happen overnight. Cultivating self-love involves a fluid, constant journey of healing and self-reflection. With patience, compassion, and persistence, you can build a deeper sense of self-worth over time.

Taking small steps and setting aside a little time each day toward loving yourself will pay off in all areas of your life. Developing self-love sets the foundation for every other aspect of your life. With inner strength and confidence, you can approach obstacles with courage. By cultivating compassion for yourself, you can embrace others with the same level of care and understanding. By realizing your worth and embracing your individuality, you will inspire and lift up others to do the same.

Source:

https://www.goodnet.org/articles/5-proven-ways-to-learn-love-yourself

5 BEST DRUGSTORE FINISHING POWDERS UNDER $12

Every beauty junkie knows that a makeup look is never complete without a final dusting of setting powder — and if you’re as obsessed with makeup as we are, you also know that some of those powders come with a pretty hefty price tag. After years of trying every setting powder on the market, we discovered that some of the best ones are from the drugstore — so we rounded up our top five favorites. Not only are these babies under $12, but they’re also so good they may just convert you away from high-end powders for good.

NYX Professional Makeup HD Finishing Powder

Hands down, the translucent NYX HD Finishing Powder is one of our OG favorite drugstore products. We love this powder for two reasons: its fine, translucent qualities brush over the most colorful of makeup flawlessly and we love its lightweight, airy finish.

Maybelline New York Fit Me! Loose Finishing Powder

When it comes to a daily setting powder, Maybelline Fit Me! is our go-to. We love wearing this over Maybelline Superstay Full Coverage Foundation in a corresponding shade. Not only will it leave your makeup smooth and flawless, it will lock it in place all day.

L’Oréal Paris Infallible Pro-Sweep & Lock Loose Setting Face Powder

It’s no secret that L’Oréal Paris is one of the most well-known and trusted drugstore beauty brands on the market and the Pro-Sweep & Lock Setting Powder doesn’t disappoint. It provides you with a matte, soft-focus finish to your makeup and controls shine all day.

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Maybelline Master Fix Setting and Perfecting Powder

The Maybelline Master Fix Setting and Perfecting Powder is another awesome option for an every day, translucent powder. It’s super fine and soft and excellent for baking under the eye or applying all over.

Pacifica Crystal Rays Luminous Translucent Setting Powder

Loaded with skin-loving ingredients like watermelon, vitamin C and natural minerals, the Pacific Crystal Rays Luminous Translucent Powder is a favorite of ours because it provides us with a natural, illuminated complexion.

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Source:

https://www.makeup.com/best-drugstore-face-powders

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

I came across this article and found it very inspiring.  I hope you do as well.  If you didn’t know, I have a FB group, Lead with deed, where people can share random acts of kindness and inspirational articles.  I’d love to hear your stories!

30 Days of Kindness:

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

I don’t know his name, but his messy, shoulder-length hair hides a pair of hauntingly blue eyes. It’s a warm September day in New York, but he’s sitting under a mountain of ragged bits of clothing, towels and blankets. In one hand, he loosely holds a piece of string attached to the neck of a small, mangy-looking dog lying next to him. In the other hand, he clutches a nearly empty bottle of cheap vodka. His bright eyes briefly glance at me without recognition or focus. I don’t know what makes me pause.

My initial thought is to give him money, though I just avoided eye contact with the last 10 people, sputtering that I didn’t have any. And my mom’s words come to mind: “He’ll only spend it on drugs or alcohol.” So I turn to the closest Nathan’s stand and buy him a hot dog, chips and soda.

When I approach him, I feel awkward, my donation insignificant. As if I’m offering a glass of water to a man trapped in a burning building. Is he more of a ketchup or mustard guy? The absurd thought turns my face hot. What comfort will a nutritionally deficient meal with a side of dehydration be to a man who sleeps on cement and spends a life generally invisible to the world?

But when he sees my outstretched hands, he smiles, dropping the bottle and leash to accept the meal with shaky fingers. We don’t exchange any words, but his smile lingers with me.

Can random acts of kindness actually increase and sustain happiness?

It’s only the sixth day of my month-long challenge to find the joy in making someone’s day every day, and up until now, I had felt like a failure. It wasn’t for lack of trying, but rather questioning whether seemingly small gestures were actually accomplishing my goal. Can I really find joy by giving to those around me? Can random acts of kindness actually increase and sustain happiness?

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

Turns out they can, but there are exceptions. To find lasting happiness through generosity requires a suppression of our ego, an analysis of our motives and a reflection on how these acts alter our perception of the world.

How Generosity Benefits Us

As children, our parents tell us to make up for misbehaving by doing something nice for someone. As adults, we help friends move into a new house; we bring hot meals to new mothers; we might even donate time or money to local charities a few times a year. After all, it’s naturally uncomfortable to see a friend (or stranger) suffering or in need. Call it karma or mojo, but these acts are generally reciprocated. We receive tax breaks, returned meals and favors, thank-you notes. Tit for tat.

But what about pure, altruistic generosity, without the expectation of receiving something in return? Some researchers argue this type of generosity doesn’t exist. But I set out to see whether I could learn to give without the promise of getting. I made lists of various kind acts and placed reminders on my bathroom mirror, my work computer, my car dashboard: Make someone’s day today!

My first act of kindness was buying coffee for the woman behind me in the drive-thru lane at Starbucks. In fact, my first few acts were buying something for someone—lunch for an old friend, a copy of my favorite book to a stranger—but they didn’t make me feel much of anything. The recipients were grateful, but was I really making their day, and was that really boosting my happiness?

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

At the end of each day, I reflected how being kind made me feel. I dug for tangible proof of my growth. Some days felt more significant: buying cough syrup for the two coughing boys in pajamas at the pharmacy, for example. Their father, who had dark circles under his eyes, rubbed the bridge of his nose as his credit card was declined a second time. I couldn’t tell whether he was more embarrassed or grateful, but I like to think he slept a little easier that night, and I left the pharmacy feeling pretty good.

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

Countless studies tout the physical, mental and social benefits of receiving generosity. But until the 1980s, the effects on the giver were relatively unknown. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a psychology professor at UC Riverside and a leading happiness researcher, conducted a study in 2004 to determine whether committing five random acts of kindness would increase positive emotions. The short-term study revealed promising results with heightened levels of positive emotions, particularly in the participants who carried out all five acts of kindness on the same day. Spreading the acts over a week, Lyubomirsky theorized, led to a repetitive and often unoriginal pattern that either didn’t change the level of positive emotions or, in some cases, even lowered it.

Admittedly I experienced some form of generosity fatigue around the second week of my challenge. It’s easy to float through the day wrapped up in our own heads, focusing only on what directly impacts us. Consciously searching for new and different ways to improve someone else’s day was more difficult than I had anticipated. We just don’t face that challenge often in society. But then when I did the nice deed, I nearly always felt a boost of happiness afterward. A 2009 study by social psychologist Jorge A. Barraza, Ph.D., and neuroscientist Paul J. Zak, Ph.D., attributes this to a release of oxytocin, the feel-good chemical in the brain.

According to the study, when people feel empathetic, they release 47 percent more oxytocin into their hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for emotion and memory. The participants felt the urge to act generously—particularly toward strangers. As Matthieu Ricard, Ph.D., a Buddhist monk and best-selling author, writes in Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill: “When we are happy, the feeling of self-importance is diminished and we are more open to others.” Studies show people who have experienced a positive event in the past hour are more likely to help strangers in need. This explains why we help people, even at a cost to ourselves.

In the late ’80s, the term “helper’s high” was used to describe the euphoria feeling associated with volunteering. Beyond happiness, generous people also experienced enhanced creativity, flexibility, resilience and being open to new information. They’re more collaborative at work; they’re able to solve complex problems more easily and they form solid, healthy relationships with others.

Generosity allows us to forget our own self-importance.

As Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., happiness researcher and founder of The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, writes, “It may be people who live generous lives soon become aware that in the giving of self lies the unsought discovery of self as the old selfish pursuit of happiness is subjectively revealed as futile and short-sighted.” Generosity allows us to forget our own self-importance, even temporarily, and look outward to uplift those around us who, in turn, often uplift those around them.

Shawn Achor, a Harvard-trained researcher and The Happiness Guy at SUCCESS, calls this the ripple effect. Our behavior, he discovered, is literally contagious. “Our habits, attitudes and actions spread through a complicated web of connections to infect those around us,” he writes. That’s why we sync up with our best friends, often finishing each other’s sentences and reading each other’s thoughts. It’s also why one negative attitude can spread like a disease across an office and infect everyone’s mood.

So are happier people more generous, or does generosity make us happier? Rather than thinking of it as a cause-and-effect relationship, consider happiness and generosity as intertwining entities. “Generating and expressing kindness quickly dispels suffering and replaces it with lasting fulfillment,” writes Ricard, the Buddhist monk. “In turn the gradual actualization of genuine happiness allows kindness to develop as the natural reflection of inner joy.” Helping behavior increases positive emotions, which increases our sense of purpose, regulates stress, and improves short- and long-term health. All of that contributes to a heightened level of happiness, causing us to feel more generous, creating a circle of happiness and generosity.

Why We Aren’t Generous All the Time

I failed twice during my month-long challenge. What began as a positive and energizing morning was quickly derailed—a negative social media post, a complaining text, an overwhelmed co-worker. I refocused my thoughts and tried to make this my kind act for the day. What if I can turn this person’s day around? What if I can help him see the positive side of his situation? I listened, nodded with concern, hyper-aware of my facial expressions, eager to exude empathy and understanding. I’m not sure what I exuded, but both of us left feeling worse than before.

What happened? According to Paul Bloom, professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University and author of Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion, I had confused empathy with compassion, resulting in empathetic distress and burnout. Empathy requires feeling what others feel, “to experience, as much as you can, the terrible sorrow and pain,” whereas compassion involves concern and a desire to help without the need to mirror someone else’s anguish.

It turns out, you can be too nice. Psychologists Vicki Helgeson and Heidi Fritz created a questionnaire revealing that women are more likely to put others’ needs before their own, often resulting in asymmetrical relationships as well as an increased risk of depression and anxiety. When we experience empathetic burnout, we often shy away from generosity altogether. Feeling taken advantage of, we retreat inward.

Researchers have also theorized that every kind act is ultimately done to benefit ourselves in some way, even subconsciously. This concept, coined “universal egoism,” offers explanations that are easier to accept than true altruism: a desire to help others void of selfish motives. For example, there are multiple situations that can be initially perceived as true altruism but at its core, the kind act is governed by selfish motives. Ben Dean, Ph.D., psychologist and founder of MentorCoach in Maryland, offers three such examples:

  • It’s a natural response to feel uncomfortable when we see someone suffering. But rather than help in order to ease their suffering, we help them to ease our own discomfort.
  • In an attempt to protect our fragile egos and reputations, we don’t want to be viewed as insensitive, heartless, mean, etc. So we help others even when we might not feel an urge to improve their well-being.
  • We perceive there to be some form of personal benefit from the act, either short- or long-term.

The question remains: Is there a truly selfless act of kindness?

The question remains: Is there a truly selfless act of kindness? And does it even matter where our motivations lie? The homeless man in New York still ate a hot meal, and the two little boys at the pharmacy didn’t stay up all night coughing. Isn’t that what matters?

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

We aren’t consistently generous for a multitude of reasons, but in the traditional corporate setting, the prevailing enemy of generosity is the fear of appearing naïve. (And the possibility of going broke.) After all, isn’t the nice guy the one who finishes last? So we become “Givers” as Adam Grant Ph.D., details in his best-seller Give and Take. In the modern workplace, we are no longer solely evaluated on our work performance, but rather on how we interact as a cohesive unit and how we contribute to the organization as a whole. In fact, Grant’s research reveals this new business landscape paves the way for Givers to succeed and Takers to be left behind. By helping others, we help ourselves.

The important thing to remember is that Givers—especially those predisposed to putting others’ needs before their own—need to know their boundaries. Grant says it begins with distinguishing generosity from its three other attributes: timidity, availability and empathy.

At the risk of sounding cliché, my month of generosity did make me happier. Something about waking up and consciously planning to act selflessly lightened my step and made the morning drag easier to bear. Something about a stranger flashing a smile (albeit a confused one) as I handed them a dog-eared copy of my favorite memoir gave me an energy boost that a triple-shot latte never could.

For a precious hour or so every day, the fear, anxiety, stress and doubt of daily life didn’t plague my thoughts. I briefly forgot about myself, and it was intoxicating. Friends responded to my seemingly arbitrary good mood with confused laughs. When did being happy without reason become a cause for concern? I wondered.

Maybe my heart was in the right place when I gave the blue-eyed man a hot meal. But maybe my ego was directing my actions that night in the pharmacy checkout lane. And maybe I avoided generosity toward my close friends and co-workers because it was more difficult. Buying coffee for a stranger is easy, detached and allows for a clean exit. Gently pushing a friend to divulge her source of anxiety after she says “I’m fine” is not. After all, altruism and honest self-reflection take time and practice.

Thirty days of generosity didn’t make me a different person, but I do feel different. I don’t actively look for ways to be generous, but I notice the opportunities anyway. Like the sticky note residue on my bathroom mirror, I can see gentle impressions of my growth where I least expect it: during rush hour, when I give the benefit of the doubt to the woman cutting into my lane; after a long day of work, when I make time for the struggling friend who needs to talk; and, most important, in the moments when I forget myself and realize the joy to be found in caring for the people around me.

 

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How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

 

 

 

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