How Being Kind Is Good for Your Health
“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”
― Henry James
Besides being nice for others to receive, acts of kindness are actually good for your own health and well-being.
Research shows that practicing kindness lowers blood pressure, eases anxiety, releases oxytocin (which reduces inflammation) and serotonin (which improves mood)—in general, it can make you healthier and happier.
Maybe you already have a few ideas of ways you can show more kindness to those around you—your loved ones, coworkers, neighbors, grocery store clerks, etc. Or, random acts of kindness are powerful ways to brighten someone’s day or help them out in a difficult situation. “Random” kindness is, in a sense, kindness for the sake of kindness—not something you expect to ever be returned.
And, because research shows that kindness is contagious, your kind deeds will likely inspire their recipients to pass on kindness to others as well. (Yay!)
So—how to add more kindness into your daily life? Here are 25 ways you can brighten someone else’s day:
25 ways to be kind to others
Leave a pile of pennies next to a fountain so everyone can make a wish.
Donate games and activity books to your local children’s hospital—check the hospital’s website or call to see what specifically they may be in need of.
Walk around your neighborhood at night and write positive messages in sidewalk chalk for people to see on their way to work or school in the morning: “Good morning, sunshine!” “Today is going to be a great day!” “You’re awesome!”
Put change in an expired parking meter to save someone a ticket.
Write a letter to someone who needs it through the organization More Love Letters.
Carry change and snacks in your purse so you’re prepared the next time someone asks for money to buy a meal.
Anonymously pay someone’s tab at a restaurant.
Buy a few $5 Starbucks gift cards and leave them in study carrels in a campus library during finals week.
Say “Good morning” to a stranger standing next to you on the bus or in the elevator.
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Send cards to hospitalized kids—check your local children’s hospital for more information, or try a national group like Cards for Hospitalized Kids.
Sign up to become an organ donor.
Leave an extra big tip for your waiter/waitress and a nice note on the bill.
Bring bouquets of flowers to a nursing home.
And some not-so-random ones:
Get to the office early with a box of treats to share and an anonymous note saying “Help yourself and have a great day!”
Write a letter to a child who could use some extra attention. Kids love getting mail.
Write positive Yelp reviews for small businesses in your neighborhood.
Post a positive comment on a friend’s social media.
Send an overdue thank you note. Did someone give you a gift that you’re using? Send a picture of it being used, thanking them and letting them know how much you love it.
Bring something special for the birthday person.
Save some cute jars, pick a few bouquets, and leave them on your roommates’ or co-workers’ desks, or friends’ doorsteps.
Do you see the same person asking for change each day on your morning commute? Bring some cash to help out.
Think of a friend who is going through something challenging and send a sweet text message checking in to see how they’re doing.
Make little gift baskets for holidays and give them to the kids in your neighborhood, co-workers, or anonymously drop them off at friends’ houses.
Shy? Recruit a friend to join you in committing your acts of kindness. They’ll probably be touched by the idea. 😊
“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”
― Khalil Gibran
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Try one (or two, or several) of the ideas above to boost your (and others’!) health with kindness.
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