You’ve probably been the recipient of a random act of kindness at some point.
A random act of kindness can be anything spontaneous that puts much-needed positivity out into the world. And it doesn’t always need to be some grand gesture. It can also be a simple good deed, a kind word, a selfless act, or a small gift.
Think back to when someone gave you a random compliment that meant a lot, a friend reached out to see how you were doing out of the blue, or a stranger paid for your order in a drive-thru line. And it probably made you smile, right?
A sweet surprise like this can make a difference, especially when going through a tough time in life.
Imagine that someone is at rock bottom in life, running out of hope, and someone reaches out to them with a kind word or a helping hand. It can mean the WORLD to some people! So it’s almost always worth the effort.
Did you know that random acts of kindness can also be good for your health and well-being?
For example, they’ve been shown to have positive effects like:
- encouraging gratitude
- reducing stress/cortisol levels
- improving mood
- lessening physical pain
- improving relationships
- increasing self-esteem
Random acts of kindness are suitable for both the giver and the recipient.
So, today I wanted to talk about why we should do more of them, examples to challenge you, and how they can make a difference in the world!
Examples and ideas:
Random acts of kindness don’t have to be super planned out or complicated. Small and simple gestures also mean a lot. They can be simple things that you can do on a daily basis to be nice to strangers. So here are some examples to inspire you!
- Hold the door open for the person behind you
- Let someone cut in front of you in a line
- Check on an elderly neighbor or shut-in
- If you know someone is struggling with mental/physical illness or an event in their life, reach out and ask if they need anything
- Donate items or clothing to those in need
- Tape change to a vending machine or parking meter
- Ask the new employee if they would like to have lunch with you
- Volunteer – at a nursing home, a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, your kid’s school, anywhere
- “Adopt” a child or family during the holidays to give gifts to
- Send a get-well card to someone, or even a card for no reason whatsoever
- Ask for donations to your favorite charity instead of presents for your birthday
- Smile at someone who looks sad
- Give a random compliment
- Pay for the person behind you in line at the grocery store or drive-thru
- Let the manager of a store know when an associate gives you exceptional service
- Leave kind notes in the dressing room to encourage body positivity
- Offer to babysit for free for parents who really need a night away
- Clean up the trash in your neighborhood or at your favorite outdoor recreation spot
- Visit a nursing home just to spend time with those who rarely receive visitors or bring treats for the residents
- Send a note of thanks to someone who’s made a big difference in your life
- Mow the lawn, rake leaves, or shovel the driveway of an elderly neighbor who might have trouble doing it themselves
- Mentor a person newly entering your profession
- Help someone stranded on the side of the road (only if you feel safe enough!)
- Take the time to listen to someone who is having a bad day
- Slow down so someone can merge in front of you in traffic
- Give someone your seat on a crowded bus or subway
- Tip a server or delivery driver more than they expect
- Surprise someone by dropping dinner off at their door
- Donate a vacation or sick day to a colleague who’s struggling with something
- Build a “little free library” box in your yard
- Introduce yourself to a new neighbor
- Invite someone to your holiday celebration if you know they’ll be alone
I challenge you to do random acts of kindness!
There are lots of things that could be keeping you from sharing random acts of kindness with others. Many people feel insecure about putting themselves out there and allowing themselves to be vulnerable in this way. It takes courage to give freely to another with no agenda or particular reason.
But you’ll probably overcome this once you begin to practice doing little acts here and there. The rewards of doing these acts are usually worth the risk. Because most recipients are quite enthusiastic and happy to get such a surprise.
Doing random acts of kindness takes you out of your own little world and allows you to connect with others in meaningful ways. This can have a very powerful effect on you, your recipient, and also anyone who sees or comes in contact with your efforts.
Performing unsolicited good deeds adds positivity to the world around you. And it will also rarely have negative repercussions. Try taking just one small step outside your comfort zone to give to another in even the smallest of ways. Then try something a bit more daring the next day. Each positive response will increase your confidence.
If everyone challenged themselves to do random acts of kindness, the world would be a better place! <3