In episode 6, Generosity is All We Need, Elaina and Tracy discussed generosity from the perspective of the positive impact it has on our mental well-being.
"Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and satisfaction"- The Dalai Lama.
Did you know there have been several studies conducted where researches have determined that being generous has a positive impact on our state of mind and mental well-being? In this episode, both hosts have discussed how generosity can improve our mental health. In episode 6, Generosity is All We Need, Elaina and Tracy discussed generosity from the perspective of the positive impact it has on our mental well-being.
Tracy said that when I think of generosity, the first thing that comes to my mind is volunteer work because it's something that I'm passionate about. I love volunteering. But I also think generosity can be just those small acts that you perform for someone else. It can be something as simple as complimenting someone, holding a door for someone, saying thank you or smiling, and saying, good morning.
Elaina also supported her and share how she even thought about generosity as volunteer work and things of that nature, but also think about like you mentioned some of the small stuff like I cannot let a door close behind me. If I know somebody is walking up, I will stand there and hold it.
They discussed how being generous and not expecting it in return.
"That's what I consider true generosity: You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing." - Simone de Beauvoir
When you're generous to someone else, it does have a positive impact on your mental well-being. We feel happier and do not need anything back in return. We are just happy that we did it. We wanted to do good for someone, and people are going to appreciate it, or they're not.
And yes, you could look at someone and say, well, they should be appreciative, but we don't know their journey. We don't know their story, and we don't know what their mental state is, and so sometimes it may be difficult because there's a lot of pride. Tracy added that she couldn't imagine how much our small act probably meant to others. So that's just how much generosity can mean for someone else, and just the impact it can have.
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[00:00:00] Elaina: Hey everybody, this is Elaina.
[00:00:03] Tracy: And this is Tracy.
[00:00:04] Elaina: And today we are talking about generosity, and we’re talking about generosity from the perspective of the impact it has on our mental wellbeing. So, Tracy when you think about generosity and being generous, what are some of the things that come to mind.
[00:00:21] Tracy: The very first thing that comes to mind is volunteer work because it’s something that I’m passionate about. I love volunteering. But I also think generosity it can be just those small acts that you perform for someone else. it can be something as simple as giving someone a compliment, holding a door for someone, saying thank you or smiling and saying, good morning. I think it runs the gamut of all those things.
[00:00:48] Elaina: I would agree my mom was going through a drive-through somewhere and I could hear it on the speaker cause she was on the phone with me. The employee just did not sound like he was having a good day. And so, I said to her as she was pulling up to the window, say you should be really nice to him when you get to the window. And she was like, why? He does not sound when he wants to be here. I said, that’s why you should do it. tell him like, Oh, thank you so much. Oh, I appreciate you. Oh, have a great day. I said, be genuine about it, but extra stuff that people normally wouldn’t say to somebody in a drive-through. And so, she was like, why? And I said, because you could be the person that makes his day better.
[00:01:26] Tracy: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:01:27] Elaina: When I think about generosity I do think about the volunteer work and things of that nature, but also just think about like you mentioned some of the small things like I cannot let a door close behind me. If I know somebody is walking up, I will stand there and hold it.
[00:01:43] Tracy: I’m the same way. I think being generous and not expecting it in return because if someone else doesn’t hold a door for me, it’s like I have the biggest attitude oh my God, where were they raised? So, it’s like, now I’d be like, okay, are you really doing this to be generous? Or are you just following what you think is a social norm and people have to do it? So now I’m trying to look at it from the standpoint of I’m holding the door open for someone because I’m truly trying to be generous to this person not expecting the next person to do it for me. Like you said, even with your example, you never know whose day you’re making and what that small act can mean to someone else
[00:02:21] Elaina: that’s where for me it’s like I do things and I’m like, you know if I was in their position that would’ve made me feel better. So, when I do stuff like that, it, it makes me feel better. when you’re generous to someone else, it does have an impact on your mental wellbeing. I feel happier. I don’t need anything back in return. I’m just happy that I did it. I was being courteous. I was being generous, I was being pleasant, I was being polite. And that makes me feel better.
[00:02:47] Tracy: Yeah, absolutely.
[00:02:48] Elaina: my daughter reminded me of we went to a store and there was a gentleman there who was asking anybody if they had any money to give and I don’t carry cash and so I went back to the car and I said, I’m sorry I don’t carry cash, but here’s what I do have, it was like a handful of pennies. He was like, does anyone even use pennies anymore? I said, well, you have a blessed day, sir.
[00:03:15] Tracy: Oh my God.
[00:03:19] Elaina: I still gave this man my handful of pennies. what he did with them, I don’t know. But somebody was being generous to you.
[00:03:25] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:03:26] Elaina: Just appreciate that.
[00:03:28] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:03:28] Elaina: See, that’s what I needed my Peaches with me. Cause Peaches would have put him in order.
[00:03:32] Tracy: Oh, here we go. Yeah. Peaches would have straightened him out right then and there, no questions asked.
[00:03:40] Elaina: But I didn’t have any negative feelings towards him.
[00:03:44] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:03:44] Elaina: It was more, I wanted to do good for someone and I did, and people are going to appreciate or they’re not. And so who was just telling me, Oh, one of my peers on this project that I’m working on, she volunteers a lot. when she got done telling me everything that she does, I was like, you obviously wear a halo because I don’t know where she finds the hours.
[00:04:09] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:04:09] Elaina: I don’t remember if they were feeding the homeless or something like that. But she said the people were so rude to the volunteers, and she just could not believe., I said, well, you know what? It doesn’t even matter. And I said because you don’t really know what they’re going through.
[00:04:29] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:04:30] Elaina: And yes, you could look at someone and say, well, they should be appreciative, but we don’t know their journey. We don’t know their story, and we don’t know where their mental state is, and so sometimes it may be difficult because there’s a lot of pride.
[00:04:47] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:04:47] Elaina: I would imagine that they probably were appreciative and grateful, but just didn’t know how to express it. I would at least hope they were.
[00:04:56] Tracy: That’s disappointing. But and I look at it too, with her volunteering, and even with other acts of generosity, I look at it too as it’s help for me, that’s my mental health therapy, you know? You and I were just talking about the volunteer work that I’m doing, and I have to give it up because I just can’t take anything else on my schedule. But I think what’s the heart for me is just the fact that, that I get something out of doing it every week. It’s that time where I’m not focused on myself, I’m not thinking about my problems. I’m not thinking about work. Everything else seems to disappear during that time. And knowing that I’m doing something that’s helping someone else and possibly helping someone else have a better life, it makes me feel good. So, it’s kind of my little medicine. So even with your friend, they were rude, but just even looking at it from the standpoint of, she’s getting something out of, even if they right at the point where they can appreciate it just the fact that she tried to have an impact on someone else’s life. To me, that’s medicine within itself.
[00:06:04] Elaina: we had talked earlier and you just brought it back up and it made me think about an experience that I had over the summer things that may seem insignificant at the time, but because you took the time to do it, could have a huge impact on someone. over the summer, me and my daughter and my stepsister were in California and we were at our hotel for breakfast. Now when I’m out in public, if I’m in a safe environment, I pretty much tune everything and everyone out that’s around me and focus on who I’m with rather than the conversations that are taking place. If something happens that kind of alerts me, then I’m kind of like. What’s going on. But if I feel safe and comfortable, I’m really not paying attention, especially to other conversations. And so, my stepsister, on the other hand, I will say that she is intuitive, but really she’s nosy, but she nudged me and she’s like, are you hearing this? And I’m like, no, hearing what? What are you talking about? I didn’t even realize it was anybody sitting on the other side of her. But on the other side of her, I saw a couple, so a man and a woman, and what I later found out, their 14-year-old son was sitting next to the mother.
[00:07:20] But I didn’t see him. And so, once she pointed it out, then I kind of, you know, ears perked up and it was like, okay, well, what’s happening? And so, I could hear the mother’s saying how frustrated she was, and she sounded frustrated. And you could hear it in her voice. You could see it in her eyes. And she’s got these tears, and it was all about the son was not getting up to get ready on time. And they were there for her to do a presentation for work at a conference. And this was really important to her. And he was making her late and she was just talking about is this this constant pattern. she was trying to express how his behavior made her feel disrespected. Her husband was not providing her the support that she was looking for in that moment. He basically was trying to be the mediator between the two of them, and he wanted to be neutral. her feelings were never validated in that conversation.
[00:08:22] She got up from the table and walked away. Well, at that time, my stepsister and I got up and I’m thinking we’re leaving like, Oh, well, sorry that they’re going through that. That sucks. But my stepsister goes over to this woman, and you could see the terror and this woman’s eyes like she does have no idea what this girl was coming in and say to her. And my stepsister walks over to her and she just says, I’m proud of you. And this lady breaks down. we spent maybe after that, an hour and a half to two hours just talking to her. we got to know her. Her name is Andy, and. Her and I shared some war stories about having 14-year olds because they literally were the same child. some of the things that she experienced, I’ve experienced or was experiencing or still am experiencing, but it was just in that moment. She just needed someone to let her know that how she feels is valid.
[00:09:17] Tracy: Hmm.
[00:09:17] Elaina: And that she is not wrong for feeling that way, but it was just the kindness of my stepsister to take time out of her day to go up to a stranger and say, you know what? I’m proud of you and you were not wrong, because this woman was terrified. She told us, I thought you were coming to yell at me to tell me what a horrible mother I was. Like she thought she, she thought that she was just that wrong for even feeling the way that she felt and was like, no, you are valid. High five girl.
[00:09:46] Tracy: Exactly.
[00:09:47] Elaina: Check him. You better tell him; don’t you get snatched. I tell her, I said, I thought you handled it very well cause I’ve definitely been in some households where that conversation would look
[00:09:57] Tracy: yes, it went away. Completely left.
[00:10:00] Elaina: Including my own.
[00:10:01] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:10:04] Elaina: You are very calm and collected like,
[00:10:07] Tracy: Yeah.
[00:10:08] Elaina: I said, I barely could even hear what you all were saying, so it wasn’t like you were yelling at him. She wasn’t being disrespectful. She was just expressing how she felt, and we’ve kept in touch and text back and forth, but that moment just meant so much for her that it really just made her feel at peace.
[00:10:26] Tracy: I was just going to say that I just can’t imagine how much that small act probably meant to her. Cause you think about us as mothers. I think as mothers we’re always judging ourselves. You know, we’re always thinking where the worst parent ever when something happens so just having that validation from another mother, or just that acknowledgment, you know, from someone else, that probably meant the world to her. So that’s just one of those examples of just how much generosity can mean for someone else. and just the impact it can have.
[00:10:58] Elaina: All right, so we’ve talked about generosity and different things that you could do to be generous. So I have a challenge for everyone that is listening. Go to Facebook or Twitter. You can tweet us @CopeQueens, or you can find us on Facebook, CopeQueensPodcast. Send us a message or tweet us, what’s one thing. That you can do to show generosity and keep in mind, it’s all about your mental wellbeing and that feel good for yourself. Maybe it’s part of your self-care, hit us up on Facebook and Twitter and let us know one theme that you would do or have done to show generosity to others.
[00:11:34] Tracy: Yeah. And remember guys, it doesn’t have to be anything big. You don’t have to sign up for volunteering for an organization. It could be something as small as we talked about holding a door open, or maybe it’s just holding space for a friend or family member who needs you during this time. Whatever ways you feel like you can extend that generosity, go ahead and just give it a try.
[00:11:53] Elaina: All right, everybody well that is going to be it for today. Thank you so much for listening and we’ll catch you next week.
[00:12:01] Tracy: Bye.