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The People Project provides evidence-based practices to learn about and implement in your own life.  The five practices are Kindness, Gratitude, Flow, Connections and Values. For an example, you will learn about how kindness increases a sense of well-being and can actually change our brain chemistry for the better. 

Easy to understand summaries of the benefits of each practice as well as easy to understand directions for actually using the practices are provided below. Each research-informed practice was created by Dr. Jill Nelson, Professor of Counseling at North Dakota State University.   


1.    Kindness (P, M)

Kindness practices include doing random acts of kindness, but also everyday acts of kindness that do not require money or special skills. Kindness is good for our physical health and mental health, and the old adage is true and backed by science: It IS better to give than to receive.  Participants will learn the research-backed benefits of kindness and gain some ideas for making kindness a part of everyday life. 

2.   Gratitude (P, R)

Having an attitude of gratitude can be as effective as medication for improving a person’s mood and can last even longer! During this practice period, you will learn how to practice gratitude in a few simple ways and the benefits of doing so.  You can change your life in less than 10 minutes a week, what is there to lose? 

3.   Finding your Flow (E, A)

Have you ever lost track of time when doing something you enjoy?  An activity that brings you happiness and makes you feel energized? If so, you may have experienced something called “Flow,” which is a state of mind that is essential for well-being. During this practice period, you will learn about what flow is, and how to achieve more of it in your life.  Improved concentration and feeling accomplished are just two of the many benefits of Flow. 

4.   Connection (R, E)

We are wired for connection: we need other people to survive and to thrive as well.  For this tool, you will learn how simple acts of connection and small changes in your relationships can improve your well-being and even help you live longer.  In a world where we often substitute on-line communication for genuine connection, it is important to be reminded of why connection is vital.  You will also learn some new ways of making our brains happier by connecting with other people. 

5.   Values (M, A)

How do you know what is most important to you?  How do you know which battles to choose? And how do you know if you did the right thing?  Having a sense of your values is essential to knowing the answers to these questions and finding more meaning in your life.  This practice will guide you in discovering your personal values and how to put those values into place.  You will identify the thoughts and behaviors that let you know you are on the right track. 


Start With Acts of Kindness