When you think of random acts of kindness, you probably don’t immediately think of how to do them. We got you covered!
Here are seven easy and practical ideas to get you started during the Random Act of Kindness week (12-18 February) and help you incorporate more thoughtful gestures into your daily life
1. Monday: Leave a Note of Encouragement for Someone
A kind word can go a long way in lifting someone’s spirits, whether a friend, family member or even a stranger. Write something nice down and leave it somewhere they will find it. You can also leave a note of appreciation for someone who has helped you, like a teacher, or a mentor – remember that expressing gratitude is a great way to value and acknowledge others (besides boosting your mood, too!)
Need some inspiration? Check these uplifting examples
2. Tuesday: Pay it Forward
This can be as simple as buying a coffee for the person in line behind you or leaving a few extra coins in the parking meter for the next person. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, but a small act of generosity can make a big difference in someone’s day.
3. Wednesday: Offer to Help Someone With a Task or Duty
Whether it’s an older neighbour who needs help with groceries or a colleague who could use a hand with a project, lending a helping hand can be a simple yet meaningful way to show kindness.
4. Thursday: Show Empathy Through Active Listening
Active listening can be a powerful act of kindness that can make someone feel heard and understood. By fully focusing on the person speaking and giving them your undivided attention, you can offer a safe and supportive space for them to share their thoughts and feelings. Taking the time to listen can mean a lot nowadays.
“I often experience clients feeling very grateful to have someone who actively listens to them without wanting to make their own point or going into a defence mode”, explains Clara. “Normally, we are not aware of how quickly we react to what other people say. We rarely take the time to actually listen and understand what they want to express. A good way to practice this is to try out the Socratic method by closely listening to understand your counterpart, paraphrasing what they have said, and only after that, adding your own thoughts.”
5. Friday: Compliment a Stranger
This can be done in the checkout line at the grocery store, or while you’re waiting for your order. Whether it’s a compliment about their outfit or their attitude, a sincere compliment can have a profound impact on someone’s mood and self-esteem. The key is to make it genuine and be natural.
Still feel a little shy about it? Check out the video below and see how heartwarming this gesture can be 🙂
6. Saturday: Spreading Joy Through a Smile
A smile is a universal language that can spread joy and kindness to anyone, anywhere. Once again, smiling is contagious, and when we smile at someone, they are often more likely to smile back. This creates a chain reaction of positivity that can spread far and wide. Moreover, did you know that smiling is a natural mood booster that can increase our own well-being? According to an international collaboration of researchers, that is exactly the case..
7. Sunday: Volunteer Your Time
Help out at a local charity, soup kitchen, or animal shelter. Not only will you be doing something kind for others, but you’ll also be helping yourself by getting out of the house and doing something meaningful.
These are just a few ideas to get you started on your own journey of kindness. If you’re feeling stuck and need some inspiration, consider setting a goal to perform a certain number of random acts of kindness each day or week. This can help you focus your efforts and make kindness a habit.
Spread it like confetti
In a world where negativity and stress can be pervasive, it’s more important than ever to prioritise mental well-being and do good, whenever we can. Luckily, there are hundreds of ways that you can spread kindness around every single day. Whether it’s through a genuine compliment, active listening, or any other simple gesture, kindness has the ability to create a ripple effect of positivity and compassion.
“Often people are waiting for others to be kind or to feel happy enough to engage in a kind deed but essentially it is a choice we can make anytime”, concludes Clara. “How kind others behave does not lie in our control but we can decide to show kindness to others. Independent of how people or if people respond to it, showing kindness makes us, as givers, happier. When we are kind to others, it makes us happy – and even happier than doing the same thing (like spending money) to ourselves. It’s like a “positive feedback loop” of kindness and happiness so that one stimulates or even amplifies the other.”
So, this week and beyond, let’s challenge ourselves to be more intentional in our acts of kindness. Let’s go out of our way to show empathy and appreciation for those around us. And, most importantly, let’s have fun with it! You never know what positive impact your kindness may have, but one thing’s for sure – it always pays off.