Sometimes the world seems like a scary and confusing place. When we find ourselves in the midst of difficult times, it can be hard to know what to do. But no matter how bleak things may seem, there are always small things we can do to positively impact the lives of those around us.
If you’re wondering what you can do to add a little sunshine to the world today, consider reaching out and encouraging someone who could use a lift. Something as simple as sending a supportive text can make a real difference to a loved one. And making other people feel better will make you feel better, too!
Here are three science-backed reasons to offer someone encouragement today:
It will make them more successful.
A Carnegie Mellon University study found that when researchers asked participants to choose between an easy task or a challenging one, people who received encouragement took the tougher option, while those with less support chose the easier path. The result: Six months later, the encouraged go-getters exhibited greater personal growth and happiness.
It will bolster their courage.
University of California researchers asked 75 women to write a speech in four minutes, and as the women were preparing, some got a text of support from their loved ones saying, You’ll do fine! Others got a text about something unrelated, while some got no text at all. Participants who received encouraging texts said they felt braver compared to the others, and the supportive texts even reduced the participants’ blood pressure.
It will boost their self-esteem.
According to a study in the International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, when employees received a small encouraging gift from their employer, they had more confidence to face daily challenges. In fact, even the smallest gesture of support made others feel valued, needed and joy-filled.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.