Have you ever done something nice for someone, “just because”? You didn’t owe them a thing and you weren’t hoping for anything in return. Then you’ve done a random act of kindness.
Why Random Acts of Kindness May Be Good For Us?
Researchers have suggested that happiness is what we experience when we act in ways that promote our survival. Kindness helps us build healthy relationships with those who may be able to protect and support us, so psychologists believe that kindness makes us happy because it helps us survive and thrive.
Who Performs Random Acts of Kindness?
Some people are more likely to practice random acts of kindness. Here are some of the influences that may lead us to be kind:
- Witnessing our family engage in random acts of kindness likely makes it more likely that we will too.
- If another describes us as kind, we’re more likely to engage in random acts of kindness.
- If we witness an act of kindness, we are more likely to show kindness. Kindness is contagious.
Want to engage in random acts of kindness? Here are some ideas and feel free to adopt them and fit them to your needs.
- Compliment someone on one of their personality traits
- Write a handwritten thank you card
- Text a friend to share your gratitude for something they did for you.
- Leave a positive review online for a business
- Compliment a photo someone posts on social media
- Let someone get in front of you in line
- Introduce two people who may have common interests
- Pick up trash
- Compliment someone
- Shovel snow off the sidewalk in your neighborhood
- Offer to mow the lawn for a neighbor
- Give up your seat on the plane to let a couple sit together
- Talk to someone at a party that doesn’t seem to know anyone
- Invite someone new in your town to a social event and introduce them to others
- Invite a friend that you haven’t seen in a while out to lunch
- Offer to pick up a friend at the airport
- Spend time with seniors at a local retirement home
- Address cashiers, waiters, or other service people by their first names
- Offer to bring someone else's grocery cart back to the store
- Keep an extra pen in your purse to give people when they need one
- Put a positive note in a library book
- Attend events that support your friends’ passions (like an art show, musical performance, etc…)
- Donate unused items to charity
- Bring snacks to the local fire or police station
- Keep packs of toothpaste or packs of socks in your bag to give to the homeless
- Post an uplifting photo on a friend’s social media
- Tell a parent that they’re doing a great job raising their kids
- Help to connect a friend seeking a job to someone who has a job to offer
- Make dinner for your friend group
- Bring in the trash bins for your neighbor after trash has been picked up
- Send an email to a former teacher to let them know how they impacted your life
- Leave a thank you note in your mailbox for your mail carrier
- Buy a gift card to give to a stranger
- Buy a sandwich for the next person in the lunch line
- Leave a sticky note with a positive note somewhere public, like at a bus stop or restroom
- Put coins in someone’s parking meter that is about to run out
- Slow down to let someone merge in front of you in traffic
- Be on time
- Hold the door open for the person walking behind you
- Give an extra big tip when eating out
- Share veggies you grow in your garden with friends, neighbors, and family
- Become an organ donor
- Volunteer at the local animal shelter