Cella’s Chat: Are You Performing Random Acts of Kindness?

random acts of kindness

February 10-16th is Random Acts of Kindness week and I think it is a perfect time to get your nice on!  Have you ever been the recipient of a random act of kindness?  You know, that kind person that lets you step in line in front of them, the person who pays for your coffee at Starbucks, maybe they just smiled at you on a morning when you felt like hating the world.

Health Benefits

These are all random acts of kindness and the health benefits of this cannot be denied. According to Dr. David R. Hamilton, acts of kindness create an emotional warmth, which releases a hormone known as oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. This reduces blood pressure and, therefore, oxytocin is known as a “cardioprotective” hormone. It protects the heart by lowering blood pressure.

Proof Is In the Research…

Researcher Stephen Post of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine serves as president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, which conducts and funds research on altruism, compassion and service.  His research shows that when we give of ourselves, especially if we start young, everything from life satisfaction to self-realization and physical health is significantly improved. Mortality is delayed, depression is reduced and well-being and good fortune are increased.

Examples of Random Acts of Kindness: See Where You Fit In

  • Complimenting your waiter/waitress
  • Thanking a veteran for their service
  • Offering to work late
  • Paying for someone’s cup of coffee
  • Sharing a positive blog
  • Mow a neighbor’s yard
  • Babysit for your friend’s child
  • Volunteer
  • Eat lunch with someone new (maybe encouraging your child to treat nicely someone in school who is usually bullied)
  • Forgive someone
  • Pay it forward
  • Help someone for free
  • Visit someone who is lonely; and the list goes on

Embracing Random Acts of Kindness

There are endless ways to perform a random act of kindness and, perhaps, you are already practicing this in your life daily.  Were there times in your life when you passed by a certain situation and later regretted it? Feeling guilty that perhaps you should have lent a helping hand no matter how big or small?  Remember, we do make the world a better place when we get out of ourselves and help another.  Teaching children to think of others sets forth a life long practice from a young age, that becomes automatic to the child and not something that feels forced.  Simple practices as giving away unused toys, having children collect canned foods for homeless shelters, opening a door for a stranger at a store, smiling at someone to make their day, maybe even accompanying you to a soup kitchen to allow them to serve food to the homeless.  When we step out of ourselves and help others, our problems seem to diminish in the presence of our service.

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle, or you can live as if everything is a miracle.”~Albert Einstein

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