Acts of kindness are great for your wellbeing and your community!
Random Acts of Kindness Day is celebrated every year on 17 February with the purpose to urge people to perform a random act of kindness either planned or spontaneous and be kind to each other, especially strangers and our communities. The most important part is that it is without any reason to do so, whatsoever.
It can be something simple like the gift of words, to helping someone in need, it’s the little acts of kindness that make the world go around and also make us feel much better in ourselves.
We don’t know everyone else’s struggles in life. But when you take the time to ask someone how they are; and really mean it and really listen to what they actually say, it can go such a long way to making someone else feel better and it also makes you feel good too.
Bernadette Russell author of The Little Book of Kindness was overwhelmed with the bad news of the world and had a chance encounter in a post office where she helped someone. She made a vow to do a kind thing for a stranger every day for a year. And discovered that after a year her acts of kindness had transformed her way of thinking. So maybe we should take her lead!
Firstly, being kind is good for your health!
Have you heard the phrase ‘it’s better to give than to receive’? That warm fuzzy feeling that you get inside you when you know you have done something kind and nice. It’s a physiological change in your brain. Being kind and helping others gives you that buzz. This has a really positive impact on your mental health as it’s making you happy. Being kind and carrying out random acts of kindness also reduces aggression and anger.
Kindness helps you to keep things in perspective which has a really positive impact on your own mental health. It makes you realise that perhaps your problems aren’t as big as you thought. This encourages you to have more positive thoughts which boost your immune system and ultimately reduces stress. It also enhances your self-esteem, and makes you feel better about yourself. Boosts your immune system and makes you less susceptible to illness and disease. In short kindness and being kind = happiness and health!
Being kind and putting others needs is known as altruism.
Being altruistic is pretty straightforward. Anything from giving up five minutes of your time to speak to the person that you always see on their own in the coffee shop, getting groceries for your elderly neighbour or saying hello to the mum at nursery who always looks harassed. (See our list below!)
A kind compliment here and there. Kindness is good for the soul.
Being kind to others doesn’t just have to be in day to day life it’s also really important online as well to be kind and just because you are online doesn’t mean you can’t carry out an act of kindness.
Just simply commenting on someone’s post and giving advice if they have asked for help or reaching out to them can be just as kind. Perhaps you belong to a local Facebook group and you can give some time and knowledge to someone. Sometimes people say things online that they feel they can’t say in real life, so it’s also really important to say hello and just let people know you are there if they need you.
It doesn’t stop there!
An act of kindness as well as making you feel better about yourself can also encourage others to be kind as well. Being kind helps make communities both online and in real life better, happier places.
If it’s a random act of kindness then quite often people won’t be able to repay the favour but instead they will ‘pay it forward’ to someone else. It becomes self-perpetuating and encourages other people to do something good too.
Kindness and empathy is the top value that comes out when parents are asked what values they want their children to grow up with. We lead by example with our children, so if we can be kinder to each other then we become better role models for our children making our society a kinder place.
Here’s our list of 30 ideas for performing your random acts of kindness!
- Being aware of people around you that might need help – the person that hasn’t got enough change in the shop.
- Checking in on your neighbor that you haven’t seen for a few days
- Inviting a new mum in your group for a coffee
- Sending some flower seeds to a friend
- Decorating some happy stones and leave them at the local park or swings.
- Lending an inspiring book to a colleague or friend
- Helping a tourist that is lost
- Asking someone how they are and really listen
- Say hello to someone you might see a lot but don’t really know
- Chat to the homeless person that you see every morning
- Give your time to help your friend
- Let someone in front of you in the queue at the supermarket
- Say hello to the person you see every morning struggling with their child
- Give way to the car in front of you
- Offer to have a friend’s child so they can have some me time
- Volunteer in an organisation
- Mentor someone that might need help
- Setting up a community social media group
- Taking the time to comment in your social media groups
- Spending five minutes chatting with the lady in the local shop
- Making a drink for a work colleague
- Helping someone on the bus with a buggy
- Giving up a seat on the train for someone who needs it more
- Lending an ear and just listening
- Compliment a parent on their child’s behaviour
- Call a friend you haven’t spoken to for a long time
- Taking your elderly neighbour’s dog for a walk
- Offer to babysit for a friend
- Donating hygiene and food products to your local hygiene and food bank
- Planting some flowers in your local park
Keep a diary of your good deeds – it’s great to look back on when you need a boost! Let us know how you get on!