You probably know how beneficial random acts of kindness are for the people you do them for, but do you know how beneficial they are to you? When you do good things for other people, small or big, anonymous or not, you feel happier and you become healthier. The hormone oxytocin is released, which is a hormone that lowers blood pressure and protects the heart. It also helps you feel closer to people, reduces social fears, enables pain relief, helps prevent obesity, reduces stress, and more.
In addition, doing random acts of kindness repeatedly helps you to feel more self-confidence, self-realization, less depression, and even lengthens your life span according to experts.
And, random acts of kindness can also influence the world in a big way. Could you imagine if everyone did one act of kindness per day? That act of kindness could have a domino effect in the world and create a shift where people are focused on compassion and kindness rather than selfishness or hate. With all of the known benefits of being kind, why wouldn’t you want to get started doing something that has such a big impact on your overall health and happiness?
If you are ready to be kind consistently, then a great way to start is to take a two-week challenge. Not only will a challenge help you stay accountable – after all the challenge is to finish the two weeks doing something kind every day, but it will keep you on track too. You won’t forget to do something kind because the challenge will keep it your awareness as you move through your day and allow you to see opportunities that arise to do something good.
Remember, you don’t have to do huge things to reap the benefits of doing kind things for others. Little things count too. Following is a two-week challenge that everyone can do. You don’t have to wait until a Monday to start this. Start today and start reaping the benefits now.
Day 1: Donate To The Local Food Bank
There are people in your community going hungry right now. If you have the money to do it, then go out and buy some food on sale. Even if you only have a few dollars, you can get a few cans of food that will help feed someone in your local area. If you have more, donate more, but just make sure you take the initiative to give someone nourishment for their body, and you will get nourishment for your soul.
Lots of big supermarkets have a food bank donation box right in the store; however, if you know where your food bank is, you can also take your donation directly to them. Don’t worry if it is only a few things and you think you are being cheap. One can is more than nothing. And, if we all gave one can, then the food bank would be rich with food to give to the people who need it most.
Day 2: Write Down An Inspirational Message For Someone
If you are out and about, get a sticky note pad and get ready to leave an inspiring note for someone. You will know when the time is right to do this one. You may see someone who is unhappy leave their car and want to leave a note telling them that you think they are beautiful and hope they have a great day. Or, you may see a mother struggling with her little and big kids, and you can stick a note on her kids’ stroller telling her how amazing she is to do so much.
If you are not going out today, then get online and send an inspirational note to someone on social media. For example, you can scroll through Twitter, find someone who seems down, and then send them a message of encouragement or love.
Day 3: Genuinely Smile At One Person Today
A smile is one of your biggest gifts. It makes other people feel good and can brighten up a day that has gone wrong. It is contagious, and it can make a huge difference in someone else’s life. Just don’t force the smile because it looks forced and can send the wrong message.
A genuine smile involves eye contact, and the smile is not forced. It is a sign that you like them or what they are doing, and it can make them feel great about themselves. So, when you see someone that makes you feel good, or someone that you think needs to see a smile, smile at them and show them your appreciation.
Day 4: Do Something For A Neighbor
Even if you don’t like your neighbor, you will find that doing something good for them will help you feel better about them and, most likely, cause them to be nicer people. You can shovel their sidewalk, pick some weeds, leave them a kind note, nominate them for their great yard, or pick the garbage off their yard. They may not know that you did any of those things, but you will be saving them time, helping them out, or making them feel good, so you will know and experience the benefits of it.
Day 5: Listen To Someone Today
This is a real act of kindness in this day and age. When you can put away your phone, let go of the distractions, and really take the time to listen to someone, you are doing them a favor. You are validating them as a person who has something to say. You are letting them discuss something they want to discuss. And you are allowing them to vent or just talk to someone. This works well with older neighbors and people who seem lonely at work.
Day 6: Let Someone Cut In Front
Whether you are driving or at a supermarket, let someone who seems like they are in a hurry go in front. If they are stressed out, then you are helping them alleviate some stress, which is a very kind thing to do for anyone. Moreover, you are showing them that you notice them and care enough to let them get the inch that they need to feel better.
Day 7: Give Someone You Love Something
Whether you go out of your way to make or buy your mother’s favorite food, or go out of your way to make your spouse feel pampered, take the time to do something good for someone you love. Doing random acts of kindness for someone you love is so important to your relationship and happiness. Research has shown that acts of kindness can strengthen the bond between two people, so it is something that you should be doing at least once a week – if not more. But, for today, take the time to give someone you love something you know they will love – even if it is just your time for a visit.
Day 8: Give A Social Media Friend A Boost
If you are on Facebook, then you probably have a ‘friend’ on there who is constantly publishing stuff to their profile. Usually someone who seeks attention from their social media friends is feeling lonely or low in confidence and can really use a boost from the people around them. Take the time to compliment someone on their picture or status or let them know that you are thinking about them. I once took the time to let someone know that even though I didn’t talk to them much, I was always impressed about the great things that they were doing. Their response was full of emotion and gratitude.
Day 9: Leave The Parking Space For Someone Who Needs It
It’s always tempting to take the parking space closest to the building, but leaving it for someone who really needs it will make you feel much better about yourself. The chances are good that some young person who doesn’t need it may pull into it right after you pass it by, but it is the gesture that matters. There is a chance that someone who is older, disabled, or feeling sick might end up getting it, and you will be making their day with this one small gesture.
Note: If you take the bus, leave the bus seat for someone else. If you don’t drive or take the bus, then leave something else of value for the next person who comes along – the coin on the ground, the last donut, or the last of anything!
Day 10: Buy Someone A Drink
It’s interesting how much value we put on drinks. A nice warm coffee can make us feel alert and ready for the day. A cup of hot chocolate can make us feel warm and comfortable. A glass of wine can help us unwind and enjoy our meal more. If you are around someone you know, but them their drink today. If you are not, buy for the person behind you or beside you. Everyone will appreciate a free drink.
Day 11: Go Out And Tip Someone
Go to a restaurant or order in and give someone an unexpected tip. The meal doesn’t have to cost a lot, but the bigger the tip, the better. You would be surprised at how little people get tipped out there. People who work hard to provide a service for you are often tipped in offensive amounts. A waitress friend of mine says that a few dimes is not uncommon after her hard work with customers. That’s why a good tip is so unexpected to most people. It shows you value them and what they do, and it helps encourage them to keep doing what they are doing with a smile on their face, which will benefit everyone they cater to afterwards.
Day 12: Go For A Walk And Pick Up Some Garbage In Your Neighborhood
This is one of those random acts of kindness that is not directed towards someone, but still has an impact on many people. First, it helps beautify your neighborhood, which makes everyone feel better. Second, it saves the residents from having to come out and pick up trash around their yard. No matter where you live, this is something that you can do.
Day 13: Develop A Stronger Recycling Plan In Your Home
If you drink out of bottles, I’m assuming that you save them for recycling. If you throw them in the trash, then use this day to stop throwing them out and start throwing them in a bag for recycle. Same goes for anything else in your home that could be recycled, such as paper, cardboard, and even food! You can compost your food and leave it out of the landfill. You are doing the environment (and everyone who lives in it) a favor by recycling as much as you can in your home.
Day 14: Compliment A Co-Worker On Their Hard Work
There is likely someone who works with you or in the same line of business that you do, who takes their job very seriously. They may put in lots of hours, do things that help their co-workers out, or just stand out as someone who enjoys their job and makes it seem like fun to put in a day’s worth of work. Give someone like this a compliment. Let them know that you see how great they are at their job and you appreciate it. Doing this will help them feel better about what they do and give them a head’s up that their efforts are not lost on other people. In short, you will make them feel great and likely increase their productivity at work.
What To Do After The Two Weeks?
Don’t stop after the 14th day! Take the time to create another two-week challenge, this time with your own ideas that you have gathered over the first two weeks. Make random acts of kindness a regular part of your life by making it habitual.
Just for fun, you can even create different challenges, such as random acts of kindness at work, or random acts of kindness at home or anywhere else you regularly go. This will especially benefit you if you don’t like going somewhere. For instance, if you don’t like to go into work, then your random acts of kindness will be something that you look forward to during your day and help you see work as a place to do great things rather than a place you don’t like to go.