Practice Random Acts of Kindness This Week — for Your Health!
Author: Lalaine Estella
Today is the day the world focuses on being kind; it is Random Acts of Kindness Day — a day to celebrate going out of your way to do something kind and unexpected for someone else. Not only will participating in this special day increase happiness in the receiver, it will make you happier too!
Today also kicks off Random Acts of Kindness Week, a whole week of Kindness Days. While there are an infinite number of random acts we can practice this week, we at TAPS know that just being present for someone and holding sacred their tears, silence or their story can be one of the greatest acts of kindness we can offer.
“While we strive to help others, our efforts also yield personal rewards, helping us rise above our own losses and shine a bright light on all those in whose names we labor,” said Audri Beugelsdijk, TAPS Vice President of Survivor Services. “Our loved ones whose memories we treasure so dearly are honored in each human touch we pursue in their names.”
The act of giving without expectation of return or reward also has benefits rooted in biology and neuroscience. An empirical study showed that random acts of kindness can increase happiness in both the giver and the receiver. The study also showed that acts of kindness can reduce depression and increase life satisfaction.
During Random Acts of Kindness Week, it is also important to remember the benefits of allowing others the opportunity to be kind to us, and the necessity of being kind to ourselves. Kristin Neff, the author of “Self-Compassion,” believes that being kind to ourselves means “treating yourself with the same type of kind, caring support and understanding that you would show to anyone you cared about.”
Neff’s research shows that practicing self-compassion and kindness can provide lasting improvements in happiness, self-esteem and health. This week, let’s commit to practicing acts of kindness for ourselves and others.