With the holidays behind us, it’s time to look ahead to life’s next chapter. Performing a small act of kindness will inspire others to set the wheels of good fortune into motion. Whether you’re picking up the tab for the person behind you in line at the local cafe or handing out cold beverages on an especially hot day, random acts of kindness are actionable ways to integrate joy into your life at the start of the new year.
Let’s Get Psychological
Kindness is a chemical reaction. The chemical Oxytocin helps us build social trust as we perform random acts of kindness. As the chemical is released, our moods are purged of any sour feelings and are replaced with sentiments of joy and optimism. This chemical reaction is the building block to a happier and healthier emotional state.
Psychotherapists utilize a strategy of random kindness when devising treatment plans, encouraging patients to turn their spontaneous acts into actionable habits as a means to increase oxytocin production. You too can utilize this approach by slowly but surely ingraining kindness into your everyday life as habitual behavior.
Mind and Body
As you make random acts of kindness a habit, you will begin to notice gradual benefits that extend beyond your mind and into the body. Your body is a powerful vehicle driven by the consciousness of self. As that self is exposed to oxytocin, it will inspire you to make positive steps in your lifestyle.
Kindness creates the possibility of a more satisfying way of life by allowing us to build trust with friends, family, relatives, and even strangers. Invite a new sense of purpose into your life by holding the keys of kindness close to your heart.
- Identify that which you have and practice conscious gratefulness for each; connect with the possibilities that lie in your future and be grateful for those possibilities.
- Accept the things you cannot change and strive to turn the tides on things you can.
- Be generous not with your heart and spirit.
- Establish healthy social connections by being more open and honest with interpersonal communication.
- Express love through a random act without the expectation of receiving anything in return.
Embrace these practices of kindness to unlock greater overall mental, spiritual, and physical health.
All is Fair in Love and Wellness
Kindness can affect the body in ways that might not seem evident. When you make kindness a priority, you will experience these benefits as they begin favorably impact your health.
- Kindness boosts energy, making you more likely to participate in healthy physical activity.
- Kindness can lower blood pressure and decrease your body’s natural proclivity for anxiety.
- Though unproven by science, people who give of themselves selflessly tend to live a longer, healthier life.
- Being kind increases the output of serotonin and dopamine, causing the pleasure centers in your brain to light up.
- Kindness strengthens your tether to the world around you, invigorating your spiritual connection to the people and places that you love.
Your random act of kindness can be something as small as covering the latte charge for the car behind you in the grab-n-go line. Small acts like this can make a big impact, not just on yourself but with the person on the receiving end. That person might then be inspired to keep the kindness train in motion, spreading your one small act a step farther.
Do Unto Others
The wheel of positivity doesn’t have to be reinvented for you to make the world a better place. Embracing the culture of kindness starts with doing unto others as you would unto yourself. Simple acts of kindness carry great weight and can inspire the change you wish to see in the community you call home. All you have to do is get up and into action.
- Pay compliments to the first five people you meet for the day.
- Let a stranger jump ahead of you in line at the local market.
- Surprise a gilded member of your family with freshly baked cookies.
- Write a recommendation for a coworker or friend on Linkedin.
- Donate old blankets, towels, and sheets to your local animal shelter.
- Make care packages for refugees.
- Install personalized table covers on a neighbor’s picnic table set.
- Leave a gift card for gas at the pumps.
- Be especially kind and gracious to someone in customer service.
- Protect an elder’s outdoor essentials with an outdoor lifestyle cover or custom sofa covers.
- Donate designer items to a local thrift shop.
- Wash a valued member of your community’s car.
- Hand out personal sanitation and non-perishable items to those without shelter.
- Sew and distribute masks to local extended care facilities.
- Embellish custom sofa covers with messages of hope and appreciation for a local nurse or medical worker in your neighbourhood.
- Leave spare change near the machines at your local laundromat.
- Host a cleanup party at your nearest beach or nature preserve.
- Cook a meal for firemen at the precinct in your area.
- Surprise your family by overhauling your backyard with table covers, outdoor pillow & cushion covers, and patio blinds.