Well, it’s been a long week. If you’re feeling bummed out because of all the election chaos and bad news in the world, here are five reminders that people are inherently good:
1. We’re hardwired for friendship. Research shows that humans are biologically programmed to seek friendships and other relationships. And hanging out with people we love helps us beat stress and improves our mood.
2. We’re naturally empathetic. A study from the University of Virginia found that people are hardwired for empathy, or being able to put ourselves in another person’s shoes.
3. Our first instinct is to act selflessly. It might be hard to believe, but humans AREN’T intuitively selfish. In fact, it’s the opposite. Research on human behavior suggests that our first instinct in a difficult situation is to put others before ourselves.
4. Our bodies physically change when we hug someone. Hugging releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin in the body and lowers blood pressure. Which is why it’s natural to reach out to someone for a hug during hard times.
5. We’re resilient. According to research, we’re naturally wired to move on from most bad events either on our own or with help.