Common civility and politeness can be a rare event with the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It can be easy to get caught up in our many daily responsibilities and feel we just don’t have time to help others or stop to make kind gestures.
When was the last time you helped someone without wanting something in return?
Research shows that doing acts of kindness is an intentional activity that can have a great influence on our level of happiness.
Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky reveals a wealth of information on how we can live a happier life. According to some of her research, one way to increase positive emotions and well-being is to commit random acts of kindness.
Doing acts of kindness provides many benefits like:
- Gives us positive self-esteem and feel better about our own good nature
- Provides more positive social interactions and opportunities to make friends
- Leads to greater probability, people will help us in return
- Relieves anxiety about the misfortunes of others
- Helps us see the world as a more generous and loving place
To get the most out of your acts of kindness, here are a few keys to consider.
1) The greater the variety of acts of kindness, the better – Committing a wide variety of kind acts has more impact than doing the same thing over and over again.
2) Commit more kind acts in a shorter time – Respondents showed higher happiness rates by committing more acts of kindness in a shorter period of time, rather than prolonging them for several days.
3) Do something you usually wouldn’t do – Showing kindness in a way that you wouldn’t normally do is an important aspect. Think of ways of showing kindness that is not a normal part of your daily life or your normal obligations.
There are countless ways to show you care, such as letting someone get ahead in the queue, doing chores you do not usually do, or helping a stranger in need.
Consider all the ways you can do good for others and start making a list that you can apply when the time comes.
Kindness is being thoughtful and considerate of others, and it is also about incorporating affection and kindness into the community and the world we live in. Start showing more kindness today, not only for others, but for your own good.