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Photo: Gabrielle Bernstein

Welcome to Well+Good’s (Re)New Year—a five-week expert-led program that’s all about helping you have your best year yet. For Week Five, we’re excited to have Gabrielle Bernstein, the ‎self-help phenom (not to mention best-selling author and member of our Wellness Council). Throughout the week, she’ll be sharing her tips for how to channel the self love and confidence you’ve been working on throughout the program—so that you can be your most grounded and powerful self all year long.

Think about the last time you received an unexpected compliment.

Whether it was about a new top you were excited to wear or just a random “your hair looks great today” comment, it most likely changed your entire outlook on the day.

And as great as it feels to get compliments, it’s equally as impactful to give them. Offering love and kindness can, in an instant, shift your entire energy and support your nervous system—in fact, studies have found a strong link between compassion and the vagus nerve (meaning that compassion and kindness can literally help regulate the heart and reduce inflammation in the body).

And health benefits are just the beginning—when we offer up these loving words to others, we center into our natural emotional state. Marianne Williamson’s brilliantly metaphysical text A Course in Miracles teaches that “kindness created me kind.” This message reminds us that it is in our true nature to be considerate and loving towards all. 

When you compliment another, you’re complimenting yourself—kindness is a boomerang.

Unfortunately, as we get older, we lose sight of our true kindness—especially when the fear-based ways of the world set in. But this shift makes practicing random acts of kindness that much more important, to not only remind ourselves of the way we were born, but to remind us that we are exercising our truth.

So my challenge for you today (and all year): Take time out of your day to genuinely compliment someone. It doesn’t matter if you know the person or not—just dish out the compliment sincerely. If you see a girl with amazing hair and you think it, say it. If you love someone’s shoes—tell them!

Most importantly, make sure to pay attention to the way the energy shifts in the person. Witness their inner light flicker on and let it rub off on you. When you compliment another, you’re complimenting yourself—kindness is a boomerang.

The (Re)New Year series is not a “New Year, New You” program. (We think you’re pretty great as is!) Instead, we tapped the biggest and best influencers across the wellness space to help kick off the New Year in the best possible way. Between heart-racing workouts, DIY beauty recipes, and killer confidence advice, get ready to have your happiest and healthiest year yet.