Observed on February 17th, National Random Acts of Kindness Day has grown in popularity each year. Individuals, groups and organizations nationwide come together to encourage acts of kindness on this day. Whether it be buying a stranger coffee, calling a friend you have not spoken to in a while, running an errand for your spouse or making dinner for a family member; random acts of kindness day without the need for anything in return can truly brighten someone’s day and give you a sense of gratitude and happiness in return.
“We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love” – Mother Theresa
Kindness means a behavioral response of compassion and actions that are selfless; or a mindset that places compassion for others before one’s interests. In performing the altruistic act, a person may undercut his or her selfish interests. With kindness comes gratitude and with gratitude comes happiness. There have been many studies published all over the world that prove consideration can have positive impacts on both our physical and mental health, here’s how:
Random acts of kindness reduce stress: Positive emotions reduce stress and boost our immune system, which helps fight and protect our bodies from disease.
Random acts of kindness can increase our longevity: Studies and research in older populations show that those who give support to others live much longer than those who do not.
random acts of kindness day can help eliminate negative feelings: Negative emotions such as hostility, aggression and anger have a negative impact on both our mind and body but engaging in random acts of kindness can help decrease these negative feelings.
Random acts of kindness build into your “kindness bank”: When you show compassion to another individual, more than likely the favor will be returned to you, in one form or another. In other words, random acts of kindness can be a way of paying it forward.
Random acts of kindness can contribute to a positive community: An act of kindness can improve confidence, control, happiness and optimism in an individual. When many individuals are engaging in random acts of kindness and reaping the benefits, it can create a community full of individuals who are optimistic.
Kindness reduces physical pain: Studies show that consideration reduces physical pain by releasing endorphins throughout the body, which are the body’s natural painkillers. Kindness also lowers cortisol levels, which are the body’s natural stress hormones that usually cause inflammation and chronic pain.
Get involved in your local community by engaging in random acts of kindness:
- Call a friend whom you have not spoken with in a while
- Send a letter to your grandparents
- Send flowers to a friend just because
- Give a book to a friend with a personal handwritten note
- Offer to pick up groceries for your elderly neighbor
- Help a friend pack for a move
- Send someone a handwritten “thank you” note
- Offer to babysit for a friend
- Walk your friend or neighbor’s dog
- Tell your loved ones how much you love and appreciate them
- Help your parents with household chores
- Shovel snow or do yard work for an elderly neighbor
- Check on someone you know who is going through a tough time
- Help a friend with a move