Has anyone ever told you that doing good things is good for you? Well, research shows that random acts of kindness or paying it forward, as some call it, have mental health and physical health benefits. Have you ever paid for the coffee of the person in line behind you? What about donating gently used clothing or household items to your favorite charity or shelter? Do you volunteer around the holidays? These actions actually have been proven to improve your mental health by boosting feelings of overall happiness, fulfillment, and positivity.
In addition, performing random acts of kindness is beneficial to your physical health because it releases oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the body to release a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure. With all these benefits, the spirit of giving should last all year.
Pay it Forward
Paying it forward is a trending way for describing the recipient of a good deed repaying the kindness to others, instead of to the original giver. These acts of kindness not only yield better mental and physical health, but they also create good karma.
In the moment, random acts of kindness are actually mindful meditation and produce positive karma for the giver. Being more mindful of giving and kindness keeps us present in the moment. We can overcome being oppositional, judging others and clinging to things. It can help us to stay in a mindset of abundance.
Karma is inextricably linked to kindness, since even your simplest thoughts have karmic potential. Since February 17, 2020 was National Random Acts of Kindness Day, let’s think of ways we can bring a smile to someone’s face.
What are some ways to show kindness and give that don’t cost a lot of money? Let’s see...
- Try paying the local toll for the car behind you in line.
- You could also surprise your co-workers or your children’s teachers with homemade cookies.
- Leave unused coupons next to items in the grocery store.
- Simply write a kind message on a post-it note and put it on the mirror of a family member or significant other.
- Give a compliment to everyone you encounter for one entire day.
- Leave a thank you note in your mailbox for the carrier.
- Give away gently used items on the local community board or on the Internet.
Paying it forward inspires generosity and compassion. Most importantly, random acts of kindness can change a person’s circumstances for the better and even save a life. You never know what another is going through, but a simple, kind action can mean the world to another person. By giving randomly, you are practicing credibility and accountability by taking other’s needs into consideration.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” --Dr. Seuss