A few months ago OPRAH featured an article about 35 little acts of kindness.
1. Say “Good morning” to a person standing next to you in the elevator.2. Pay the toll for the driver behind you.
3. Take a minute to direct someone who is lost, even though you’re rushing.
4. Write a letter to a child who could use some extra attention. Kids love getting mail.
5. Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor, especially in extreme weather.
6. Give a homeless person your doggie bag.
7. Say “I love you” to someone you love.
8. Put a coin in an expired meter.
9. Help a mother carry her baby stroller up the subway stairs, or hold a door open for her.
10. Each time you get a new item of clothing, give away something old.
11. Take someone’s shift as the car-pool parent.
12. Bring your assistant coffee.
13. Out of the blue, send flowers to a friend.
14. Say “please” and “thank you”—and really mean it.
15. When you’re on a crowded train or bus, offer your seat to an elderly, disabled or pregnant person.
16. Don’t interrupt when someone is explaining herself.
17. Let a fellow driver merge into your lane.
18. Offer to baby-sit for a single mom.
19. Put your shopping cart back in its place.
20. Call or write to a teacher who changed your life.
21. Bring a box of doughnuts to share at the office.
22. Forgive someone a debt–and never bring it up again.
23. Listen with all your senses.
24. Write a note to the boss of someone who helps you, and explain how great a job that person is doing.
25. Simply say “I’m sorry” when you’re wrong.
26. Throw away your trash—and someone else’s—after a movie, picnic or visit to a park.
27. Encourage someone who seems despondent.
28. Volunteer to take care of a friend’s dog while he is vacationing.
29. Help a friend pack for a move.
30. Ask someone “How are you really doing?”—and then really listen to her response.
31. Offer change when the person in front of you at the register comes up short.
32. Before a friend moves away, give her your favorite recipe or quote and a photo of the two of you together.
33. Leave a generous tip for a pleasant waiter.
34. At work, offer to transfer a caller who needs help from another department.
35. Pass along a great book you’ve just finished reading.
So, why do a random act of kindness?
According to a study on the NIH, happy people become happier through kindness. Do you want to be happy? Then do some random acts of kindness.
The researchers studied the relationship between the character strength of kindness and subjective happiness , and the effects of a counting kindnesses intervention on subjective happiness. Of course, the study was conducted in Japan however, why wouldn’t it be relative where you live?
Results of the study showed that:
Happy people scored higher on their motivation to perform, and their recognition and enactment of kind behaviors.
Happy people have more happy memories in daily life in terms of both quantity and quality.
Subjective happiness was increased simply by counting one’s own acts of kindness for one week.
Happy people became more kind and grateful through the counting kindnesses intervention. Discussion centers on the importance of kindness in producing subjective happiness.