This is a short list of 10 acts of kindness that will directly benefit the recipient and also give you an instant reward! You’ll immediately feel better about yourself emotionally and physically.
Any act of kindness places the needs of someone else above your own
An act of kindness is something small or large that you do for someone else, which places their needs above your own for a moment. An act of kindness, even if it seems small to you, genuinely does benefit the other person in ways that may far exceed your intention.
The other person may never forget your ‘small’ kindness
I have never forgotten the time that I had a dreadful migraine in a foreign city. It was boiling hot and I had no money to buy food or medicine, or any option to leave in advance of a specific bus that I was going to catch later that day.
Wandering alone in a haze of pain, I searched for some shade and found myself in a small, cool, open restaurant. The smiling waitress invited me to sit and I showed her that I only had a few coins in my wallet. She asked me what was wrong and I told her I had a terrible headache. She sat me down, served me an ice-cold coke, and gave me the best head and neck massage of my life. (Some fellow migraine sufferers will relate to how much a caffeinated drink and a few minutes of massage can relieve the pain)
She waved away my thanks and told me it was nothing, but that simple act of kindness made a huge difference to me. Not just to that day but to my life. I have never forgotten her or stopped being grateful to her, and sometimes when I do something nice for a complete stranger, I do it in her honour.
An act of kindness is a win-win
The fact that doing an act of kindness ultimately benefits your own well-being, doesn’t make it less significant. It benefits both of you, and it doesn’t have to be a big gesture for it to be meaningful to both of you.
Mixing it up keeps it fresh
It seems that you should mix it up for the best results in terms of your own happiness. In other words, offer different acts of kindness in different ways, to different people and different kinds of people.
Good for your psychological health
Practising kindness helps on a psychological level because it improves your self-esteem. Simply, it makes you feel good about yourself! It helps to bring a sense of meaning and purpose to your day. It also improves your interpersonal connectedness and your sense of belonging to a community, all of which is really good for your mental health.
Good for your physical health
In terms of your physical being, performing acts of kindness bring down your stress levels, which builds a healthy immune system. Kindness increases your oxytocin levels, which also makes you healthier too. Overall, the literature on this topic agrees that being kind builds better physical health.
Keeping track of your acts of kindness builds your identity
Taking the time to track your acts of kindness makes doing it even better for your daily happiness and overall wellbeing. Adding up your acts of kindness reinforces kindness as a habit and over time, habits form your identity.
Blue-footed Booby Success Formula: 10 acts of kindness that are quick, simple, and easy to add to your day.
- Let someone cut in front of you in a line or in traffic.
- Smile and wave a kind thank you to any service person (traffic officer, parking attendant, road worker)
- Stop and warmly greet someone (at work, in the store, at the gym, in the street)
- Send a quick text to a family member, friend, or someone in your community to say hi and that you’re thinking of them
- Give an extra-large tip to your server or barista
- Give someone (family member/friend/stranger) a sincere compliment
- Make a small or large donation to any cause that you consider to be worthy
- Feed a stray animal, or donate animal food to your local animal shelter
- Pick up litter and throw it away (properly)
- Send someone a thank you email, note, or message.
This list of 10 acts of kindness is just to get you started. As soon as you become mindful of your own intention to be kind, multiple opportunities to be kind to others will pop up in your day.
So set your intention daily, Booby (yes I mean set a reminder on your phone), and start spreading the kindness and feeling the benefits.
Has someone ever been kind to you in a way that was deeply meaningful to you? Or have you ever done something kind for someone else that has made a big impact on them, much bigger than you intended? If so, please leave us a comment, and/or share this article on your social media tagging us.