A lady smiles at me. She has big round eyes that are kind. A friend texts to see if I’d like a food parcel delivery. Another sends me a card with kind words – and then a beautiful bunch of flowers arrive at my front door. A stranger tells me my hair looks fantastic, a colleague thanks me for inspiring them, and a shop assistant informs me my visit has made their day.
Kindnesses. So many of them. And they brighten my week.
“A random act of kindness, no matter how small,
can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.” Roy T. Bennett
I’m still on crutches, but I’m more mobile; and as I move from strength to strength it’s easier to focus on the positive and remember such kindness. It’s easier to be grateful when you’re well, easier to meditate even, life is just easier all round. So it got me thinking about why, when I’m ill or injured, does staying upbeat become so hard. There’s the obvious – the pain, the physical symptoms. When I’m really unwell it’s harder to give to others; difficult to carry out random acts of kindness, one becomes more of the receiver than the giver. Can this be a contributing factor?
Now don’t get me wrong – I love receiving! From Christmas and birthday pressies, to compliments and kindness, they lift my spirit and warm my heart. But research shows that being kind to others makes us feel just as good as if we were the receiver of that kindness. Neuroscientists James Rilling and Gregory Berns from Emory University found that helping others triggers the same responses in the brain. So giving is just as important as receiving. Furthermore there’s evidence that being kind to others can boost our energy levels, increase our happiness and decrease anxiety.
And from my experience so much of the above is true for me. So when Tim F suggested that to celebrate International Happiness Day we should all do a random act of kindness on the day itself, I thought what a fabulous idea! What better way to make others happy whilst making ourselves happy at the same time – double whammy! Plus, if we then write down what we did or take a photo, research indicates this will strengthen the effect even more.
So join us Hubbers – this Monday 20th March on International Happiness Day, please carry out at least one random act of kindness; however small, however big. Then please, please share it with us – you can tweet us @happynesshub with messages, photos, or videos. Make the world a happier place, and make yourself a happier place too.
Have a Happynesshub International Day of Happiness one and all!
* For inspiration for your random acts you can visit: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/101-easy-ideas-for-random-acts-of-kindness