Do an act of kindness to a stranger, expect unspeakable joy


Tash was in line at the supermarket when she noticed the new mom in front of her was having trouble paying her bill. Tash knew it was only a matter of time before the woman’s toddler became difficult, and she felt compassion for the mother, who seemed troubled and embarrassed.

Since the pandemic, people pay next.Credit:Stocksy

Having been in a similar position in the past, Tash didn’t hesitate to jump in and pay for his groceries. His reasoning was simple: “Pay next. “

While the film of the same name was released more than two decades ago, psychologist Dr Marny Lishman says the pandemic has seen an increase in the number of people wanting to bring joy or give someone a helping hand. one they don’t know.

“Good things often come from bad situations, and in situations involving human trauma and tragedy, you’ll often see people coming together to support each other,” Lishman explains. “Paying forward fits into this category, with people starting to help others by doing things for other people just for the sake of helping and expecting nothing in return. “

She says we often forget that humans are herd animals and that we are good at feeling connected to others and ‘part of something’. Feeling that we have a “bigger” goal than ourselves also allows us to grow psychologically.

This can lead to an increased sense of connection and an increase in feel-good hormones, flooding us with positive emotions. Knowing that our act of kindness can make a “huge difference” to someone else’s mental health and mood can also improve our own well-being, she adds.

“We often forget that humans are herd animals and that we excel when we feel connected to others and that we are part of something bigger”

Tash found it to be true. The 48-year-old mother-of-two from Western Australia said her only motivation to pay for the other woman’s purchases was to help someone who was clearly in trouble. Still, she was surprised at how much it felt good for her.

“It was really nice helping him,” Tash said. “It was only $ 50 or something, it wasn’t a huge amount. But then the woman hugged me and had tears in her eyes… and I also got a little emotional.


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