“Random Acts of Kindness”

July 6, 2012

Debbie Sessions

Most people have heard of the phrase –“Random Acts of Kindness”, and probably some of you have actually done some random acts or been the recipient.  I know a couple of times when the person in front of me, paid my toll for me- it immediately set my good mood for the rest of the day.  But, according to a recent article in Good Housekeeping, “studies have shown that performing, or even imagining performing a good deed, has major physiological benefits- for the giver, and the recipient”.  Wow- so, does that mean that not only does the good deed recipient benefits, but so does the giver?  Dr. David Hamilton does research in the health benefits of kindness and happiness.  He says, that “performing a kind act releases oxytocin-the same brain chemical that surges when you hold your baby or snuggle a dog – which also temporarily lowers blood pressure.  Kindness is literally good for your heart.”

I would imagine that most people do not get up every morning and immediately think of what kind of awesome good deeds that they could do that day.  Most of us get up every morning and go through the list of “things” that have to be accomplished that day – family, business and personal.  It would be an interesting experiment to include “good deeds” in that list and be intentional about focusing and finding actions/activities that could bring a smile to someone else and also to you.  I would imagine that this experiment would prove that having this as a focus would energize and inspire you to complete the “other” tasks on your list.  So, why don’t you try it for a couple of days – here are a few ideas:

  • Donate diapers at a diaper bank – diaperbanknetwork.org to help low income families
  • Forgive someone
  • Send valentines in August
  • Write a note to someone thanking them for being your friend

There are also tons of ideas posted at 366 randomacts.org –A Chicago man who is doing something kind every day and blogging about it.

Be interested to hear if you try this and reap some goodness yourself.