“Life’s most persistent and nagging question is ‘What are you doing for others?’”- Martin Luther King Jr.
In a world that seems to be increasingly bombarded by senseless acts of violence, it is easy to lose hope, get lost in negative feelings and retreat into your own private world to restore a sense of safety. But now more than ever it is very important to emphasize on the good and positive and to keep believing that all is not wrong in this world. There is more light than darkness. There is more good than bad. There is more kindness than hostility. And good people overwhelmingly outnumber those who feel hatred in their hearts. We only need to nourish and expose it to our surroundings and we can do this if we truly give from the heart. Give kindness, attention and compassion whenever you can.
Because how you interact with other people has a tremendous effect on your mood and sense of wellbeing. In today’s society that is more than ever hectic and busy, it is easy to take people for granted and slip into bad habits. It can be very beneficial to take a step back every now and then en reflect on how you treat other people. That not only helps others but is good for you too.
And science has proven that doing a good deed not only gives you the feel good factor; the act itself also releases the feel good happiness chemicals called endorphins. Besides that, it can increase your happiness levels, because being kind releases the hormones oxytocin. Oxytocin, often referred to as the bonding hormone, has the ability to lower your stress levels. Another bonus is that it induces feelings of calm and contentment.
Kindness harbours in people’s memories and the powerful effect of a good and generous deed can be felt long after. We remember a friend in highschool who dropped by on the way home from school to give a single fresh tulip for no apparent reason. 20 years later we haven’t forgotten that simple but heartwarming gesture. It only emphasizes that with a simple act of kindness or a kind reaction, you can alter the course of a person’s day and even life.
So what will you be doing for others today? Find inspiration in 25 ways to brighten a person’s day.
1. Express gratitude by opening your heart and sharing your emotions is a very powerful gift that is always received in awe. Try doing it the old fashioned and write a personal letter.
2. Have you recently read a book that touched your heart? Drop by a friend and tell them you were thinking he/she might like the book. It’s a small gesture that shows you have thought about that person in a totally unexpected way.
3. Send flowers to someone anonymously.
4. Enlist yourself as an organ donor
5. Make a music playlist for someone and send it with a card why the music touches your heart.
6. Invite your parents over for dinner or call them and say you take care of dinner tonight.
7. Let someone else have your seat on a crowded bus or train.
8. Always keep doors open for the people that follow behind you.
9. Drop off a home made dinner to someone who just had a baby, has been ill, or you just think might need a break from dinner making.
10. Let you better half sleep late and make a special breakfast.
11. Buy a pizza or a warm meal for the homeless people and deliver it to them in person.
12. Offer to watch someone’s children so they can take a break and have some together time.
13. Tell any parent you know or even someone that you don’t know, that they are doing a great job.
14. Offer your time to help someone in whatever way you can.
15. Remember important dates, like days that loved ones of friends passed away and be sure to send a handwritten note on the anniversaries to express your sympathy.
16. Visit your friends unexpectedly and take them out to dinner.
17. Volunteer your talent or time to a good cause. This can be anything from spending time with the elderly to helping out in school or in social services.
18. Give a complete stranger in the street a compliment.
19. Buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line.
20. Express your love to your loved ones by actually telling them you love them for a specific reason.
21. Volunteer at your kids school to help with reading or any other task.
22. Help out an elderly person in your neighbourhood by offering to buy and deliver their groceries at home.
23. Really listen to people who tell you a story and react to what they are saying instead of talking about your own experiences.
24. Write a note of appreciation and encouragment and hide it in your child’s lunchbox.
25. Buy someone a gift for no apparent reason. A fragrant candle is always appreciated and lasts longer than a bouquet of flowers. WWW.RITUALS.COM
We could build a list that lasts forever, but we would love to hear how you give from the heart. Please leave a comment below.