Random Acts of Kindness

The night before Valentine’s Day I was inspired to throw love into the world. For about two – three hours I created and perfected 26 Valentine’s Day cards and handed them out to my close friends and random students in the hallways. While doing this, I felt delighted to see strangers and friends’ faces light up with joy when they received my card.

While doing this, I started to think about why people do random acts of kindness and what gives us the need to help and or make others happy. Could it be the need to tend and care for others? Or is it more scientific than that?

Random acts of kindness have many, many benefits other than an overall mood boost. Research has shown that being kind can lower anxiety, stress, and can even extend your lifespan!

“People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after eliminating every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church.” Christine Carter, Author, “Raising Happiness; In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents”

Kindness is also very contagious. If you see a person doing something out of the kindness of their heart, you will feel warm and fuzzy. This is called moral elevation, which makes you and others want to help others. It’s a “natural high” that the pleasure-seeking hormones love, which creates a very alluring effect.

Through the research it has been proven time and time again that being a nice person will significantly change and enhance your life. Maybe it’s your time to do some random good things in your daily life, like helping your family cook or even giving a passing compliment to a stranger on the side walk. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem, you could make the world a happier place, so during Spring Break try doing a few random acts of kindness, you might enjoy the feeling of giving without expecting anything in return.