Resolve to Give Your Presence Away This New Year’s

December 19, 2012

When it comes to your New Year's resolution, a Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center psychologist suggests you resolve to give your "presence" away.

 Each January 1st millions of people resolve to change something in their lives that they hope will make it a happier new year. They promise to lose weight, quit smoking, start exercising, get organized, stop procrastinating, get out of debt and clean that closet, to name a few, said William J. McCann, Psy.D, director of behavioral science education in Wake Forest Baptist's family medicine department.

 "However, recent research in positive psychology shows that the most important thing you can do to increase your happiness is to give your presence away, meaning give some of your time to helping others," McCann said.

 By searching out opportunities in your community - working with the homeless, the hungry, the lonely and the ill - and by spending time with them in some way, you give them your presence, he said.

"You will be surprised what happiness you will bring to the New Year," McCann said. "Your presence will be a present to others and to yourself."

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