In case no one has told you today, you're awesome.
You may not realize it, but some of your natural behaviors could be making a world of difference, to others and to yourself. It's easy to dismiss certain actions -- like providing a listening ear, or making someone laugh -- because we don't really think of them as a big deal in the first place. But the truth is, these small acts can have a huge impact.
If you need a little pick-me-up, let us remind you of the times you brought some happiness and well-being into the world:
That night you brought your friend some post-breakup ice cream.
Dropping everything when your friend is in distress doesn't just make you a good BFF, it has some psychological benefits for the both of you as well. Research suggests that spending time with your close friends can reduce tension, and really helping people -- like being a good support system to someone in need -- can also boost happiness. That shoulder to cry on is more valuable than you think.
The one Monday morning when you made your co-workers laugh hysterically.
The beginning of the workweek is always a drag, so bringing a little light to the day is probably appreciated more than you realize. Not only that, studies have shown that laughing lifts the mood -- something that is much needed when sorting through 300 emails from the weekend. Plus, happier employees mean a lower risk of burnout. So on behalf of all of your co-workers, thank you.
The afternoon you listened to your roommate vent for an exceptionally long time.
With so many digital distractions around today, having someone's full attention during a conversation has sadly become more of a cherished quality than an automatic given. And your friends and family appreciate your good listening skills more than you know.
"People who are good listeners validate other people's feelings," listening expert Paul Sacco, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, previously told HuffPost Healthy Living. "It shows that what they're saying makes sense." Making others feel good just by lending your ear? Props on being an awesome person!
The hard conversation where you shared your honest opinion.
When you're an authentic person, you're not afraid to have those gently honest talks with people you truly care about -- and that characteristic helps you build genuine friendships. "[A] real friend -- someone you truly trust -- they know they can tell you exactly what's on their mind. People who are open and straightforward are some of the most important types of friends to have," Robert Rowney, D.O., a certified psychiatrist and the director of the Cleveland Clinic mood disorder unit, previously told HuffPost Healthy Living.
Plus, passive aggression is no healthy way to deal with a conflict. Pat yourself on the back for having the bravery to speak your mind in a constructive way. It's appreciated.
The one time when you fell short of your goal.
It's no secret that we're our own worst critics -- and that doesn't ring more true than when we fail at something. But as writer Mike Liguori explains in a HuffPost blog, our shortcomings are actually vital to finding success. Here's why:
Not everything we attempt will result in success. Every time we take a chance or risk to step out of our comfort zone, we learn something which helps us grow and become more successful in future ventures. When Thomas Edison finally invented the lightbulb, he said "I didn't fail a thousand times. I just found a thousand different ways it didn't work."
Failures also provide us clarity. Initially, when something doesn't work out, we tend to sulk on how bad the situation is and how we completely screwed up. When the dust settles and we can shift our focus to the pros and cons of the experience, clarity brings perspective. It allows us to view what went wrong and instantaneously we look to the next venture aware of past mistakes or reflecting back on the previous experience.
That lazy Sunday afternoon you spent parked on the couch.
You may feel unproductive or like the biggest bump on a log, but here's a secret: that's OK. In fact, our crazy lives have us using the word "busy" so much, it's starting to burn us out. Our well-being depends on embracing some idleness -- otherwise we could be harming how we connect and how well we perform at work.
So give yourself some credit for not being busy for once. As author Agapi Stassinopoulos writes in her HuffPost blog, we need to end the "glorification for our culture's busyness, getting things done on little sleep, and feeling like we have to catch up with the race -- because ultimately there is no race except for the one we assign ourselves to."
This GPS Guide is part of a series of posts designed to bring you back to balance when you're feeling off course.
GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.