February Random Acts of Kindness Challenge!
The other day, my husband left to go to Home Depot for lightbulbs. A pretty standard, non-noteworthy excursion, to be sure. When he came home, I was pleasantly surprised to see that, not only did he get the lightbulbs, but he stopped to buy me a bouquet of fresh flowers as well. Swoon! No, it wasn’t my birthday and no, he wasn’t trying to apologize for something. He did it just because he knows I like fresh flowers and they would brighten my day. It’s definitely not unlike my husband to make such a gesture. But this particular day, it really got me thinking…
Anytime someone commits a random act of kindness, such as bringing flowers to a loved one for no reason, it spreads joy exponentially. By bringing ME flowers, my husband FELT better. We’ve all heard that “tis better to give than to receive.” Right? And it happens to be true. It brought him joy to bring me happiness. Obviously, I felt happy getting the flowers. And it made me want to spread more joy and happiness to others by doing my own random act of kindness. So you see…exponential.
And as if everyone feeling good isn’t reason enough, studies actually show that being kind to others benefits our physical and emotional health. According to quietrev.com, being kind contributes to your health in six distinct ways. The article states that kindness:
Releases the feel-good hormone, serotonin, and endorphins, giving you the “giver's high”.
Reduces anxiety by increasing positive social interactions.
Benefits your heart by releasing oxytocin, lowering your blood pressure.
Increases longevity through the development of stronger social and familial bonds.
Reduces stress by allowing you to focus on others instead of your own pressures.
Prevents illness by reducing inflammation
So…with all of this knowledge about how kindness can benefit ALL of us, I propose that, for February, we participate in a Random Acts of Kindness Challenge! Each day, complete one random act - either small or large - that benefits someone else. Share this with other people who you think might want to participate - or NEED to, for that matter, to boost their own spirits! Social distancing may have made things a little more challenging, but there are still tons of ways you can incorporate kindness into your day. Here are some ideas to get you started on your kindness quest:
Compliment a stranger
Pay for a the person behind you at the drive-thru
Bring a small gift to a friend and leave it on the porch
Say good morning to a neighbor, the crossing-guard, the checkout clerk at the grocery store…and ask how they are doing
Make a donation to your favorite charity
Plant a tree
Reach out to a friend you haven’t spoken to and tell them you miss them
Let your kids stay up an extra 15 minutes past bedtime
Suggest playing your child’s favorite game before they ask you
Make lunch/coffee/tea for your spouse and surprise him/her with it
Write a positive, friendly message on the sidewalk using sidewalk chalk
Make a bird-feeder out of a cup and leave it out in your backyard
Let someone move in front of you in line at the store
Take your dog on a walk and let him/her lead the way, even if it's longer
Donate your time by making calls or sending flyers for a cause you believe in
Give someone you love a big hug and tell them 5 reasons why you love them
Send a note of appreciation to your child’s teacher, your mail person, the police and firefighters…
Bring someone you love fresh flowers
These are just a few but the possibilities are endless! Let’s see how much joy we can spread together for the next month and beyond. Because now, more than ever, we all really need a little happiness!
Share your Random Acts of Kindness in comments or on Instagram (@thegreenestgrassblog) and Facebook (The Greenest Grass).