Today I meditated for 15 minutes of mindfulness.
Today I acted kindly by standing at the entrance of my university’s library with one of my friends, holding signs that said, “Feeling stressed about exams? Have a free hug!” This was unbelievably fun—the best study break I’ve ever taken and, frankly, one of the best ways to spend an hour and a half of my life. People’s reactions were fascinating, ranging from immediately smiling and excitedly jumping into my arms, to noticing but quickly averting their eyes. Many people said, “Wow, thank you! I needed this!” and some were shocked that we were giving out hugs to spread joy rather than to promote a club or organization. I already knew that hugging triggers the release of dopamine and oxytocin, which makes you feel good and lowers your stress, but I did not know quite how amazing it would feel to hug a hundred or so strangers. Brief but extremely positive interactions, one after another after another… Just awesome.
“The key to compassion is that it is more fun.”