Science tells us that spreading peace and kindness to others has some positive mind-body benefits. For instance, Dr. David R. Hamilton, ex-scientist and best-selling author of the book, Why Kindness is Good for You, explains that “On a biochemical level, [good deeds] elevated levels of the brain’s natural…endogenous opioids [i.e., dopamine] and create a natural high, known as ‘Helper’s High’.”
Random acts of kindness are also extremely contagious, meaning if we’re kind to our fellow beings, we inspire others to be kind in an amazing ripple effect that spreads outwards…
Feed a Stranger’s Meter
See a vehicle with an expired parking meter—do a nice deed and feed that meter a few quarters.
You never know what could possibly of held that person up, and they will greatly appreciate not coming back to a parking ticket.
Pay Compliments Where They’ll Make a Difference
Oftentimes sales people or wait staff go out of their way to make your experience in their establishment better. Paying them a compliment and a nice tip is always appreciated.
However, go the extra distance and make sure to relay your compliment about them directly to their boss. Leave a note, leave a review online mentioning them directly and perhaps they’ll get employee of the month or a raise!
Smile, Just Because
Do you walk around your neighborhood, running errands or on the way to work, never meeting the gaze of those you pass en route?
Brighten the day of a stranger with a smile and a “good morning” as you pass them on the street. You may make their day and not even know it.
Donate Gently Used Clothes
I have an one in, one out rule when it comes to new clothing. That means, every time I purchase a new item of clothing, I get rid of an older item of clothing.
No, I don’t discard them or use them for rags, I donate gently used clothing items to charities that help women and new immigrants with attire for the workplace.
Lend an Ear
Take the time to really stop and talk to your elderly neighbor. Chances are their attempts to strike up a conversation may be because they’re a bit lonely.
Take the time to ask them how they’re doing and really mean it. Listen to their stories, you may learn something. And if you have grandparents or elderly relatives still living, call them…today!
Reach Out with Thanks
Teachers often choose the profession because they really want to help others and make a positive difference in the lives of their students.
If a teacher or mentor from your past helped your life take a turn for the better, be sure to reach out with a written letter, email, or social media message to let them know how much you appreciate their kindness and attention.
Share a Book
I used to finish a book and leave it on my bookshelf to collect dust for evermore. However, this past year I decided that if a book I recently read reminded me of a friend, I’d pass it along.
No occasion or birthday necessary, I just gift the present of words to a friend the book may resonate with, just because.
Be a Traffic Angel
Commuting to and from the office can be a source of stress and even anger for many folks. However, you don’t have to view your fellow drivers as competition on the road.
For instance, if you see a vehicle trying to change lanes or exit a parking lot with difficulty (i.e., no one will let them in), stop, give them a friendly wave and let them enter your lane safely. No doubt there in just as much of a rush to get home as everyone else.
Rescue a Rescue
Okay, so by now you’ve likely realized that I have a soft spot for animals. If you’re lacking a warm, fuzzy companion in your life, adopt a rescue, and don’t overlook the older animals at the shelter, they’ve no doubt been their for a while.
If you can’t adopt a pet due to a busy schedule or allergies, purchase a few cans of pet food, some warm blankets, and some toys and drop them off at your local animal shelter.
Help Out Your Neighbor
Did you hear that your neighbor is ill, recovering from surgery, dealing with the death of a loved one, lost a beloved pet, or just brought home a new baby?
Help out a neighbor during a trying time by cooking a casserole, mowing their lawn, doing a load of laundry, or offer to keep an eye on the kids for a few hours so they can run some essential errands.
Give Unexpected Thanks
You see the office cleaners, janitors, security guards, curriers, gardeners, and construction workers around your office building or en route to work every day. However, have you ever said, “Thanks for all you do?”
Perhaps it’s time to thank those behind the scenes for ensuring you have a clean, well built, safe workplace. Chances are they aren’t thanked or even acknowledged by others very often. So show a little gratitude on behalf of yourself and others.