Want to feel better? Make someone else feel better.
Doing something nice for another person can trigger your brain to release oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, chemicals that boost your mood. A recent study revealed that little acts of kindness, especially when they’re practiced regularly, make us happier.
And now’s the perfect time to try this out for yourself. The official Random Acts of Kindness Week started yesterday and runs up until Random Acts of Kindness Day on Saturday, February 17th.
Wanna celebrate? Us, too! Here are a few ideas to get us started.
Ways to celebrate
In honor of Random Acts of Kindness Week, see if any of the following sound doable for you:
- Gather up your old blankets and towels and bring them to an animal shelter
- Whenever a sincere compliment for someone comes to mind, share it with them
- Send a nice text to a friend
Drop off a treat (like cookies!) at a neighbor’s house
- Write a LinkedIn recommendation for someone who deserves it
- Tell a manager when someone does a good job
- Buy a drink for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop
- Share a smile with someone in your neighborhood
- Tell someone why you’re grateful for them (a handwritten note makes it extra-special)
- Grab some gloves and a trash bag and head out to pick up trash in an area you know could use it
- Learn the names of the people you interact with regularly, like your mail person or office security personnel
- Tip extra if you can afford it
- Buy flowers for a friend
- Send a letter or email to someone who impacted you earlier in life, thanking them
Pull ideas from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’s workplace kindness challenge, including:
- Tidying up a messy area
- Posting encouraging sticky notes
- Leaving coins at the vending machine so someone can treat themselves
- Publicly acknowledging someone’s hard work
- Telling your boss what you appreciate about them
These are just suggestions to get your wheels turning. When you start looking for opportunities to practice random acts of kindness, you’ll find them. So keep those eyes peeled!
And if you want to keep fresh kindness inspiration coming in, you can always check out the monthly calendar of suggestions from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
Be nice to yourself, too
Kindness doesn’t have to — and shouldn’t — only get extended outward. It’s also important to be kind to yourself. In fact, if you want to participate in Random Acts of Kindness Week for the mood boost, experts recommend starting with kindness to yourself.
Cut yourself some slack when you need it. Check in and ask yourself what would make you feel better. Is it an hour to yourself? Coffee with a friend? Maybe the loving kindness meditation is your jam? Or digging into some freshly baked cookies or taking a hot bath?
Random Acts of Kindness Week gives us all a chance to look for ways to be kind to everyone in our lives, including ourselves. We’re looking forward to celebrating the rest of it with you!