February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day. It’s a day to celebrate, as well as encourage, random acts of kindness, and was first created in Denver, Colorado in 1995. (https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/random-acts-of-kindness-day/) You may have seen the movie “Pay It Forward”, which is a story about a young boy played by Haley Joel Osment, who did 3 good deeds for others in need. His goal was to have each of those 3 people pass on the good deed, and so on and so on…continuing the cycle.
Such as the young boy set out to do something good for others, so does Random Acts of Kindness Day…the pay it forward mentality. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) is a small group of individuals who make it their life’s work to make the world a better and kinder place. According to RAK, kindness is teachable and contagious. “The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people!”
In fact, the act of being kind to someone produces oxytocin, known to improve cardiovascular health. In addition, the kindness you show can decrease stress and anxiety you may be experiencing, makes you feel good about yourself, and give you more energy by increasing serotonin levels.
Furthermore, you never know how your actions, no matter how small, may impact those around you. Oftentimes, something as small as a smile or saying “thank you”, can brighten someone’s day. How you celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day is entirely up to you. Of course, be creative, do what’s in your heart, or try one of these suggestions:
- Take a friend out to lunch
- While at a drive-through, pay for the car behind you
- If it’s raining, give your umbrella to someone who doesn’t have one
- Help an elderly person with a chore or their groceries
- Take snacks into work
Helping yourself by helping others will not only benefit you, but it will benefit the person you helped. Who knows? You may have just started a trend for that day.