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February 17 is Random Acts of Kindness Day in the US. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, founded in 1995, is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Random Acts of Kindness Day originated in New Zealand in 2004.
The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about the global need for kindness. This unique holiday encourages us to practice kindness in random ways with friends, family, strangers and animals.
The Foundation’s mission is to change schools, the workplace, families and society through kindness. This is the Foundation’s Random Acts of Kindness Week with the theme of Making Kindness the Norm.
I love the emphasis on kindness, defined as expressing friendliness, generosity and consideration. And I appreciate that practicing kindness is not limited to one day out of the year. Consider making kindness the norm every day, with these tips.
Kindness Provides Health Benefits
This morning I followed curiosity down an interesting trail. Aware of Random Acts of Kindness Day, I wondered if expressing kindness towards others offers any health benefits to the giver. It does!
Kindness and empathy help us to relate better to others and develop positive connections with family, friends, animals and even total strangers that we encounter. Beyond improving relationships, kindness can make us healthier in these ways:
- releases the “feel good” hormone serotonin
- eases anxiety and boosts self esteem
- releases the hormone oxytocin, which benefits heart health by lowering blood pressure
- reduces stress by helping us get outside our own lives while we focus on others
- produces oxytocin which also lowers inflammation in the body, a condition linked to disease
- prolongs life by helping to strengthen relationships, which in turn supports heart health and positively raises mental outlook
We don’t practice kindness to create better health. We practice kindness to better the lives of others, in small and large ways. The health benefits are a wonderful “perk”! Energetically, what you put out into the world flows back to you. Kindness does good and produces good in the body.
Making Kindness the Norm
Check out the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website for lots of activities that promote kindness. They offer a fun challenge that promotes kindness as the norm at home and in communities. The challenge involves completing a series of kindness activities to fill in 60 hearts. Activities are worth one, two or three hearts, depending on how challenging they are.
Activities include random acts of kindness, writing prompts, self care and even coloring pages.
“Imagine a world where we can succeed by being nice, where we all look out for each other, where we pay it forward and where kindness is the norm.” Random Acts of Kindness Foundation
Additionally, the site offers classroom activities, quotes, posters, inspiration and an extremely cool 2020 Kindness Calendar with a suggested act of kindness for every day of the year. I absolutely LOVE that. All these resources are free and downloadable.
Ways to Practice Kindness
On this day, on every day, these are simple ways for making kindness the norm:
- volunteer at a animal shelter, a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a school
- ties scarves around trees in cold weather and tuck gloves into hats and place on benches
- donate your time, your money, your wisdom
- walk the neighbor’s dog
- babysit for free for a single mom or dad
- carpool to work
- smile at everyone
- high five a stranger
- shop for a shut in
- call your grandparents
- clean house for an older family member
- send an encouraging text
- mail a card to brighten someone’s day
- give out hugs
- in a drive through pay for the person behind you
- leave change in a laundry mat or taped to a vending machine
- hide encouraging notes in random places
- allow a car to cut in front of you in traffic
- run errands for someone who is ill
- invite a lonely person out for tea or coffee
- give groceries to a shelter pantry
- donate clothing to a community closet
- give garden produce away
- pick up trash in parks and neighborhoods
- use less plastic
- compliment a stranger
- visit a nursing home
- write reviews for local businesses, organizations you care about, products you love
- practice cyberkindness to counteract cyberbullying
- BE KIND to EVERY KIND
Scott Adams said,
Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
Let’s create ripples that circle the globe, on this day, during this week and throughout the year. Join me in making kindness the norm, every day.
Check out these related posts: Random Acts of Kindness Week 2018
Kindness is Contagious – Pass it On from 2017
Kindness Find on Amazon:
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