Found this video from the Close the GAP website. The idea is they are promoting the act of giving. The video explains the benefits of giving to your mind, including reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increasing oxytocin.
I found out about Close the GAP from an article online through Twitter. The journalist tried out being giving for a day and found out about the immediate effects on her happiness level.
How can we get everyone to try out being giving? I don’t think it’s as easy as having a Close the GAP day or a World Kindness Day. I think events need to be run. People need to be gathered together with one of their aims being to be giving. The focus doesn’t necessarily need to be entirely on giving. People need to be immediately confronted with the idea of being giving, with opportunities right in front of them. That would help motivate them to act.
On the other hand, I did it because I was curious about my well-being. I ran my experiment on being super-giving for two months, and have continued to be much more giving than I used to be. My motivation came from my curiosity about my mind.
World Happiness Day raises awareness about happiness… but maybe it doesn’t quite tackle it in the right way. World Happiness Day sounds a bit naff. Lots of people who could benefit from knowing things like ‘giving makes you happy’ are going to turn off when they hear the words ‘World Happiness Day’. And probably ‘giving makes you happy’ too. Something else needs to draw them in, without it being something that sounds hippy.
I think I’m on to something with my Superhero project. Superheroes are funny and in-your-face. I think I can reach a different set of people from the ones who like the sound of ‘World Happiness Day’. I’ve still got a way to go… but I’m on it.