50 Times People Had Each Other’s Backs Online In The Most Wholesome Way (New Pics)
You know, Pandas, it’s really way too easy to focus just on the negatives. In fact, we’re hard-wired for that. It’s called negativity bias and it means that we dwell on the awful things that have happened to us more than the awesome ones. So with all the news about just how bad things are looking recently, you’d be perfectly right to be anxious and upset. However, we shouldn’t forget that, at the same time, life’s full of beauty, wonder, and wholesomeness. Albus Dumbledore told us that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, but we have to remember to turn on the light. Well, let’s turn that light on, shall we?
Today, we’re featuring the best posts from the r/gatesopencomeonin subreddit, a 356k-member-strong community that celebrates people acting excellent and being wholesome to each other. It’s the kind of stuff that really restores part of your hope in humanity. And it’s a reminder that we have to strive to be altruistic and kind, especially when things are looking tough.
Upvote your fave pics as you’re scrolling down, Pandas. And tell us all about the nicest thing you’ve done for someone recently, in the comments. Meanwhile, check out Bored Panda’s interview about how to live a happy and healthy life, as well as how to be nice to others when we don’t feel like it, with writer Ariane Sherine, the author of ‘How to Live to 100’ and ‘Talk Yourself Better.’
The ‘Gates Open, Come On In’ subreddit has been delighting redditors (and more!) around the globe since early 2018. In the 4+ years since being founded, it’s carved out a niche of wholesomeness, hope, and good vibes by being the polar opposite of r/gatekeeping.
They only have two rules: there’s no gatekeeping allowed and you have to be nice. That’s it. Really. It’s a pretty straightforward recommendation for living a good life, isn’t it? Besides, it’s refreshing when you focus on the positives for a change, isn’t it?
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(Probably) everyone wants to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life. But it’s a hard thing to do in practice, especially when you’re bound by doubt, anxiety, and fear. Bored Panda reached out to author Ariane, who has written about health and happiness, to understand what contributes to our satisfaction with life the most. Really, it’s mostly about altruism and having a tight-knit social circle (among a few other things).
“Close, fulfilling relationships with others are one of the most important things when it comes to happiness, whether romantic or platonic. Studies show that the more close friendships and relationships you have, the longer you live,” Ariane shared with Bored Panda. “Volunteering and helping others are also likely to make you happy.”
This Made Me Really Happy
Other things that play an important role in our overall happiness include being fit, having a fulfilling career, and not focusing on the material side of things too much.
“There are other things that contribute to happiness and well-being including taking regular exercise, eating healthily, having enough money to feel comfortable, having job security, and enjoying experiences rather than possessions,” the writer explained.
Just Let Them Be They
“Self-care and taking time for yourself are also very important. But I'd say close relationships are probably the most essential things to happiness,” she stressed what we should all be focusing on the most.
It’s easy to be kind to someone when we’re feeling great, the sun’s shining, and it’s like we’re on top of the world. It’s far harder when we’re miserable, exhausted, and feeling down. Bored Panda wanted to get Ariane’s advice on how to be nice to someone when we’re down in the dumps and overwhelmed with problems.
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“It's worth remembering that being kind to others can also lift you up too. In fact, the easiest way to take your mind off your own problems is to help someone else with theirs,” she said.
“But if you're feeling really lethargic and low, the best thing is probably to sleep, or at least rest,” the author pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with getting some well-deserved rest. Getting some proper sleep is a piece of advice that really deserves more attention than it gets.
We were also curious about how people can control their anxiety better, especially if they’re worried about the economy, the war, and the pandemic. Ariane shared some of her thoughts about becoming more resilient during tough times. The important thing here is to control what you can and to let go of what you can’t affect.
“It's a matter of doing what you can to make your own situation better, and then accepting that you can't control everything,” she said. “You can never control everything, and trying will make you even more anxious. But you can control certain things to reduce your risk.”
A Grown Man Indeed
Ariane gave an example of how this works: “For instance, I wear an FFP2 mask on the train to work because I can control that, but no one else wears one these days. So it's possible that I'll still get Covid as no one else is masking up, but I just have to accept that, because my train journeys are essential.”
During an earlier in-depth interview, Suzanne Degges-White, Licensed Counselor, Professor, and Chair at the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at Northern Illinois University, shared with Bored Panda how our family values, spiritual beliefs, and even our biology all play a crucial role in our altruistic actions.
"Many of us are raised to believe it is the 'right thing to do.' Basically, all spiritual belief systems have a version of the 'Golden Rule, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ "We also do good turns because we know that one day we may be in need of a little 'generosity from the universe,' so it's like putting 'money' into a karma account," she shared how people think.
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"Lastly, humans are wired so that when we do something kind for another, we feel good about ourselves and neurotransmitters like endorphins and oxytocin have been shown to get a boost when we do something good for another. It is through cooperation that society functions, so the survival of the human race depends on being willing to help others. Family values, spiritual beliefs, and biology all play a part in this motivation," the professor explained to us.
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"Many of us take pride in being of service to others as it is culturally valued and we want to hold significance in our worlds. So when we do good deeds, we show others our willingness to help those in distress/need; we live out faith-based encouragement to treat others the way we would like to be treated, we uphold family values, and our brains get a positive jolt of happiness when we help others.”