Paying it forward
A big smile spread across my face when I heard about the Cuttsy+Cuttsy Christmas campaign this year. For each day of advent, as a company, we’ll be paying it forward. Everyone at Cuttsy will choose a way to demonstrate kindness using £100 and each one will be revealed on the countdown to Christmas. The way we pay it forward could be anything from sending a supermarket shop to a local food bank to £100 worth of coffees for NHS workers at a coffee shop. Each day will be a surprise.
Research shows that the benefits of giving and kindness run much deeper than that initial smile on your face or warm feeling inside.
Being kind and showing compassion increases our mental wellbeing by lowering the stress hormone cortisol and increasing feel-good chemicals including serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. You feel rewarded and get a rush of endorphins that feels great. This is often called the ‘helper’s high’.
Deeper than that, performing acts of kindness has also been shown to improve self-esteem and self-perception through an enhanced feeling of purpose and meaning. Some psychologists are even using kindness as therapy with their clients facing depression[i].
More good news…kindness snowballs. If you receive an act of kindness you are more likely to also do something thoughtful for someone else. And like anything you practice, the more you show your kindness, the more it starts to become instinctive and effortless.
If you are short of time, or money then there are still endless ways to pay it forward. Smiling at a stranger, or ringing a friend are just as important. Here are a few other ideas:
- Let someone go in front of you at the supermarket
- Bake some cookies and drop them at a neighbour’s doorstep
- Call a relative to catch up
- Compliment people
- Send a positive text to a friend
- Donate things you no longer need to charity
- Thank a colleague for the great work they do
- Practise self-kindness doing something you love today
I am really looking forward to the opening of the doors on the Cuttsy+Cuttsy advent calendar this year and paying it forward. How will you pay it forward this festive season?