We live in an overstimulated society, where busy schedules lead to lack of connection, where many people go through life barely looking one another in the eye, where connection is summarized by scrolling down a Facebook newsfeed and clicking “Like” to show we care. Research shows that helping others can be good for our overall health. It reduces stress, improves our emotional well-being and even benefits our physical health.
Doing something nice for someone doesn’t cost a lot of time or money. We have all been told that it’s the small things in life that can make a big difference. So, if you are not already in the habit of performing random kind acts — or if it does not come naturally to you — start by thinking about what you like to do. It’s not about you being like, ‘Oh man, now I have to learn how to bake cookies in order to be nice’. It’s about, what skills and talents do you already have? And how can you turn that into an offering for other people?
If you do nothing else today, keep an eye out for an opportunity to help someone with a random act of kindness or hold onto that warm feeling, when someone helps you. Here is a quick list of 10 things to consider:
- Read stories to school children.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- Smile at everyone you see today.
- Tape some coins on a vending machine for someone else to find.
- Leave a kind note in a library book.
- Donate an old toy to charity.
- Leave positive notes in random places.
- Help someone with their bags.
- Buy someone in the queue a coffee.
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
Remember, acts of kindness can be done all year round!