Performing Random Acts of Kindness not only help make someone else's life better, they have measurable benefits for you as well.
A Random Act of Kindness (RAK) is an act, big or small, that shows kindness to someone else often for no other reason than to show kindness.
My son's Math teacher recently drove out of his way to drop a magazine off on our porch for him (we are still in virtual learning due to Covid). The teacher has been working on mindfulness with the students, and my son isn't exactly buying into it. But, when a teacher goes out of his way to give you a present you pay attention.
Another teacher at the school challenged the students to answer Martin Luther King Jr.'s call to service and participate in a "day ON" instead of a "day OFF" on January 18. Her family took donuts to the fire station. We made cookies for a virtual Cookies for Kids Cancer fundraiser and sent them to a friend that lost his sister to cancer.
Once when I was cycling with my then-preschooler in a trailer behind me up a hill, a woman driving past me rolled down her window and cheered me on with a simple "You go, Mama!". It cost her nothing except a few seconds of her time, but it made such an impact on me that day I remember it 8 years later.
Benefits of Random Acts of Kindness
We often consider how the act of kindness effects the recipient, but the giver also benefits. Here are a few things gained by doing something nice for someone else.
Sense of Gratitude
Doing something nice for someone else can make you feel grateful for your blessings. This is especially true when the recipient of your act is less fortunate than you or in a tough spot. When you realize you’re able to give even the smallest bit of yourself to someone else, it shines perspective on the abundance you have in your life.
Stepping out of ourselves in order to focus on someone else is another great way to gain renewed perspective. Plus, doing good just makes you feel better. It releases feel-good hormones and increases your happiness. Suddenly, your troubles may seem a bit less burdensome.
Numerous studies have shown a positive effect on mood when people engage in random acts of kindness. You’re bound to feel better about life in general when you do good deeds. Improved mood, less anxiety and higher energy levels have all been linked to the performance of random acts of kindness.
It’s been proven that endorphins are released in the brain after doing something for someone else. Endorphins are the feel good hormone and are often referred to as natural painkillers for their pain reducing abilities.
Random acts of kindness promote good feelings among people and increase connections. These bonds can lead to better relationships and lasting positive interpersonal results.
These are merely a handful of the rewards that come from doing random acts of kindness. Remember, it doesn’t matter how small the gesture. Doing good always makes a positive difference to both the giver and the recipient.
25 Examples of Random Acts of Kindness To Inspire You
Random Acts of Kindness are great for you and the recipient, but where to begin?
Besides the examples above, here are 25 examples to help you brainstorm ideas.
Some of the activities will cost you nothing and take only a moment of your time. Others will be more in-depth. Choose whatever fits your comfort level and the occasion.
- Hold the door open for the person behind you.
- Smile at someone on the street.
- Give an unsolicited compliment.
- Allow the shopper in the grocery line to move ahead of you.
- Let the store manager know when an associate gives you exceptional service.
- Check on an elderly neighbor or shut-in.
- Leave kind notes in the dressing room to encourage body positivity.
- Donate your old clothes, household items, phones, etc. to charity.
- Tape change to a parking meter or vending machine.
- Visit a nursing home just to spend time with those who rarely receive visitors or to bring treats for the residents.
- Send a note of thanks to someone who’s made a big difference in your life.
- Give the new employee a tour of the building and offer to sit with them at lunch.
- 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.
- Pay for the person behind you in line at the fast food restaurant.
- Offer to babysit for parents who really need a night away or to help with the nightly feedings for a new mother friend.
- Clean up the trash in your neighborhood or at your favorite outdoor recreation spot like a park or beach.
- Make a financial donation to your local school to help pay for meals or bus passes for families that are struggling but don't qualify for aid.
- Thank a veteran or first responder for their service.
- Shovel the driveway, mow lawns or rake leaves for elderly neighbors or those who may otherwise have trouble doing the job themselves.
- Mentor someone entering your profession
- Help someone stranded on the side of the road.
- Take the time to listen to someone who is having a bad day.
Hopefully you are inspired to begin sharing random acts of kindness with those around you. Pick an idea from the list or one of your own and put it into action. See how you feel. Chances are you’ll be ready to do another one tomorrow.
If you'd like to start your kindness journey the easy way, share this post with friends and family. (Thanks!)