Book Giveaway and Excerpt: Happy AF

Dear KOM-ers!

We’re so happy to feature a new book giveaway!

Please enjoy this excerpt from “Happy AF” by Beth Romero.

There are 2 ways to enter to win a FREE copy:

  1. Leave a comment below with your email address (so we can contact you)
  2. Email us at KOMWriting@gmail.com with the Subject: Happy AF giveaway entry

The winner will be randomly selected on 11/14/23 and announced on our website and social media.*

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Drawing heavily from neuroscience, positive psychology and behavioral science, the straightforward strategies and exercises in Happy AF will teach you how to strengthen your “happiness muscle” and live up to your greatest potential. Beth Romero serves up a life-affirming parable laced with contextual how-tos – all backed by clinical research – in fresh, insightful and accessible language you can relate to. Kinda like your best friend giving it to you straight (with love) over cocktails.

In this book you will discover:
* the art of letting go
* proven ways to jiu-jitsu your negative thoughts to transform your life
* how goals, vision and purpose are the stepping stones to greatness
* the importance of gratitude and grace in your happiness journey
* the scientific link between sleep, morning routines, diet and exercise on your mental well-being

Excerpt: Chapter 6: All You Need is Love

When In Doubt, Focus Out 

Nineteenth-century American author Henry James observed, “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” Imagine what the world would be like if everyone embraced that philosophy. I’ve referenced Martin Seligman repeatedly throughout this journey because of his pioneering and game-changing research in positive psychology and happiness. His expertise and reach in this field are indisputable. He asserts in his book Flourish, “We scientists have found that doing a kindness produces the single most reliable momentary increase in well-being of any exercise we have tested.”

Research has found that acts of kindness can produce a positive feedback loop between kindness and happiness. In other words, doing acts of kindness makes us feel happier, and that happiness, in turn, promotes continued altruism. Another study revealed that recipients of kindness become happier (of course, right?)—but they found that the doers of kindness benefited even more than the receivers. Not only did they report an increase in happiness but an increase in life and job satisfaction as well as a decrease in depression.  Apparently, when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and awards center is activated as if you were the recipient of the kind act. In essence, giving has a boomerang effect on the brain, which re- searchers have called the “helper’s high.” Numerous studies have found greater psychological flourishing when people are giving to others as opposed to themselves.

Studies have found that acts of kindness reduce inflammation, blood pressure, negative feelings, depression, stress, and anxiety. In fact, it appears that kindness from the heart is good for the heart. According to Dr. Hamilton, author of The Five Side Effects of Kindness, being kind to others creates emotional warmth by releasing oxytocin (otherwise known as the love/attachment hormone), which in turn stimulates the release of nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. Kindness helps protect the heart by lowering blood pressure. It is cardio- protective.

Rather poetic irony, isn’t it? Opening your heart can actually protect it. Acts of kindness are also linked to increased levels of happiness, longevity, life satisfaction, optimism, energy, and peer acceptance.

If that doesn’t convince you, I’ll gladly appeal to your romantic side. Recent research reveals that kindness is the trait that people want most in a partner. Kindness trumped physical looks, financial security, humor, and a whole host of other variables. Dr. John Gottman, the world-renowned researcher and clinician who has spent over forty years studying marriage stability and divorce, has found that kindness is the glue that holds marriages together. So, kindness is not only what draws you to a relationship; it’s also apparently what keeps you there. Fancy that. Just. Being. Kind.

Researchers have found that kindness has a ripple effect, as recipients start to spontaneously pay it forward. Simply stated, kindness is contagious, like a game of benevolent dominos. And every act of kindness counts—from a smile to a thank you, to buying the next customer’s coffee, to volunteering, to humanitarian initiatives.

There are so many inspiring stories about kindness in this world. One that immediately comes to mind is Chef José Andrés and his charity, World Central Kitchen, which has served over fifteen million meals to those in need during times of global crisis. You see him, his field kitchens, and his staff of forty-five thousand volunteers at the scene of pandemics, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, and floods worldwide. He and his team come in when most people are fleeing. The acclaimed chef has an insatiable appetite for kindness and serves as a beacon and role model to millions.

The late Princess Diana was another walking embodiment of kindness. In 1987, she was famously photographed shaking hands with an AIDS patient without gloves at a time ridden with misconceptions, prejudice, and fear about the nature of the dis- ease and its transmission. She transformed the dialogue around AIDS with her single act of kindness. A handshake—piercing through the false narrative more effectively than any impassioned speech.

Another foot soldier of kindness is comedian Russell Brand who has been known to often spend time with the homeless— not just buying them food but spending time with them. It might seem like a small thing, but the truth is, time is often the greatest gift you can give—far more valuable, and meaningful, than any dollar amount ever could be. To reiterate, all acts of kindness matter. Big and small. The ripple effect produces a current of compassion that connects us all.

 

* By entering this contest, you give consent to Kind Over Matter to use your name for promotional purposes on our website and on all social media. 

NOTE: You can pre-order Beth;s book on Amazon.

beth romero
Beth Romero was born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. After a thirty-year sojourn on the West Coast, she recently moved back to Philadelphia. In addition to having made her a pizza afficionado, her Italian American, East Coast background inspires the straightforward, humorous and self-deprecating narrative style that characterizes her writing. (As every good cook knows, the secret is the salt.) With a background and degree in psychology, Beth channeled her creativity into a successful sales and branding career. A former business owner, VP, chief brand marketing officer and director of sales, persuasive storytelling is her superpower. She showcases those skills to their fullest in this practical and entertaining how-to guide for happiness.

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