• Audrey Tang

Give a little love and it all comes back to you: quick positivity hack

Why giving love to others means we start to give love to ourselves

Are you singing along? It's the finale song from the childhood gangster classic, Bugsy Malone - and a great way to easily lift your sprits. (Singing is too by the way :) )


So often we are told that "you cannot hold gratitude and negativity at the same time" - you sort of can, but it's much diluted as it is known as "attention splitting". The act of trying to focus on two cognitive tasks waters down the attention we can give to each (so being good at multi tasking without losing anything in performance usually means you are performing two tasks which are driven by DIFFERENT parts of the brain such as a motor/physical task along with a cognitive/mental one. Therefore, if we are feeling down, or resentful, or angry, sometimes to think about what is good in our life (not "Oh I should be grateful because...", but something we can really appreciate, no matter how small) - it can lift our vibe enough to get out of that funk.


An alternative is reaching out to others and telling them why they are special...which can sometimes be easier.


Sending a genuine compliment, or giving heartfelt praise and appreciation to someone - for the sake of doing just that (NOT because you are fishing...there IS a difference!!) WILL often result in something just as lovely in return - not because anyone feels they "have to", but almost because we're reminded - hey it's OK to say something lovely...we don't just have to do it when we're drunk!! It also tells someone something that they didn't know before - namely you really DO think they are great; AND it often causes a ripple effect, by raising their energy to go and do the same to others.

I often suggest a little exercise in training sessions for building healthy relationships:

  1. Draw a few cups of tea - I choose tea because it's time I COULD savour alone, but also time that is enhanced - like the warm soothing drink itself - in the company of loved ones.

  2. In each cup write the name of someone in your life you'd like to share that moment with and write down why eg: their values

  3. THEN:

a) Work to display those values yourself (because if we don't demonstrate them, how can we continue to attract them...they aren't just owed to us!!

b) TELL them - as I said, it'll really give them a boost

c) Do this exercise regularly, and you'll find the same names crop up - so seek to spend more time with them - and it'll mean you either get to "squeeze out" those who exhaust or drain you; or have a little more energy for them should you need to see them.

A common NLP analogy is to see the mind as a computer - what you put in also comes out. If you programme it with envy and anxiety and resentment - it is likely that is what you will experience because that is what you are expecting - so try programming it with love, kindness and compassion - starting, if it is easier - with others - and soon you will find it is easier to direct on yourself.


Give a little love, and it all comes back to you.


Dr Audrey Tang is a chartered psychologist and author with a specialty in the "how to take action", rather than just giving explanation and advice. Listen to her podcast Retrain Your Brain here; and catch her practical masterclasses Psych Back to Basics on DisruptiveTV & Energy Top Up for resilience. For coaching tools based within positive psychology: click Her YouTube Channel . Twitter/IG @draudreyt

Order The Leader's Guide to Resilience


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