How did you feel the last time you discovered someone complimented your work, to your boss?
How did you feel on that incredibly downer day when a complete stranger smiled and said “good afternoon?”
How did you feel when you opened up your mail and found a card from a friend, just because?
I don’t know about you, but when I am the recipient of a seemingly random act of kindness the world suddenly doesn’t feel like the land of dung beetles it once did.
I feel like someone thought of me, that I mattered, and that I was important. I feel appreciated, liked, loved, and/or respected. I feel better about myself, my life, and the world around me.
Now, let’s twist this around a little.
What happens if you are not the recipient but the provider of that act of kindness?
Well, researchers such as Stephen Post say that helping, volunteering, and donating create a “helper’s high” that can be just as beneficial to your overall health as exercising.
Elizabeth Dunn discovered that people actually feel happier giving money to others than spending that money on themselves.
Cancer survivor and stress relief expert, Lauren E. Miller stated “When you are grateful and practicing random acts of kindness in your life, you end up feeling safe and connected to that which is good and true in this world and the result is inner calm, clarity of thinking and a heart full of love.”
How do you get started?
First, simply smile. Smiling is contagious. How often can you frown at someone who is smiling at you?
Smiling is a powerful thing.
What else can you do?
- You can also donate your old books.
- Take those shampoo bottles from the hotel and create care packs for your local homeless shelter.
- Put a quarter in a parking meter as you walk by.
- Leave a $5 bill in backpacks at the store during back to school shopping time.
For more ideas, check out The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. This site provides daily suggestions, ideas, and a place to share stories about the impact of random acts of kindness.
Better yet, share your idea or story in the comments section and inspire others to act kindly.
10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy – http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/sustainable-happiness/10-things-science-says-will-make-you
Benefits as We Enter the Month of Thanksgiving: An Attitude of Gratitude and Random Acts of Kindness Can Release the Stress in Your Life – http://www.sys-con.com/node/1592701