In a time when discourse can be pretty negative, days like today’s World Compliment Day can and should be used to be that much more intentional in breaking through the fog of negativity and spreading positivity to those around you.
Carve out an extra minute of your day to tell that random person on the bus you think they look nice today. Lean over to your classmate and whisper to them that you think they make great comments in class. Thank your significant other for something they did recently and let them know you appreciate them.
Giving and receiving compliments creates positivity not just by giving someone the opportunity to pay it forward, but actually goes to a much deeper scientific process.
Research from a 2017 Japanese study shows that paying someone a compliment doesn’t just leave them with a smile on their face, it improves their motor skills. Compliments increase your levels of dopamine and make your body feel happier and more motivated, leading to increased motor memory. This means that receiving a compliment actually improves how your body physically functions.
Research from Japan’s National Institute for Physiological Sciences also suggests that receiving a compliment has the same effect on the brain as receiving money. While not everyone has the ability to hand a random stranger a thousand dollars, it’s much easier to give a well deserved compliment.
It’s not just the receiver of compliments that gets a boost of positivity. Research by the Chicago School of Professional Psychology also shows that giving compliments also has benefits for the giver. The giver is forced to contemplate positive aspects of those around them, which lays the foundation for rewiring their mind to see the possibilities in situations before the obstacles.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s research also shows that giving compliments forces the compliment giver to look deeper into people, which produces a positive connection with their fellow man. The research demonstrates that humans need social support to survive. Giving compliments leads to more social support, which leads to health benefits like reducing stress and illness. Compliments for the giver and receiver help to calm anxiety and make you healthier overall.
With all the benefits associated with giving and receiving compliments, why not take part in today’s holiday? Furthermore, why not keep the celebration going by complimenting everyday?
Features reporter Maggie Thornton can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow Maggie on social media at @Maggie_Thornton.