It’s called Random Acts of Kindness Week and it’s a week dedicated to encouraging Random Acts of Kindness around the world from February 12th to the 18th. As this international week of kindness ramps up, it seems an appropriate time to share the benefits of this important character trait with you and the impact it can make upon both your home and work life.

According to latest research, kindness to others is scientifically proven to make a positive impact on your mood. And by taking action, and actually carrying out a task to be kind to someone, you will be releasing the hormones in your brain that make you feel good!  So, win-win!

Thanks to many researchers including author and scientist David R. Hamilton, kindness has been scientifically proven to do the following:

  • Kindness Makes Us Happier – it elevates levels of the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroin.
  • Kindness gives us stronger hearts – it can lower blood pressure when we perform a kind act.
  • Kindness makes us feel more connected to the people we work or live with.
  • Kindness is contagious – yes, it’s true – you do a kind act and someone else will feel like doing one and so on and so on.

Knowing this, I thought it might be helpful to share a list of suggested activities for the upcoming international week of Kindness.

  • Buy a coffee for a co-worker, or the person behind you in the queue.  Get a conversation going!
  • Bake (or buy) some biscuits, and leave them with a note, for a neighbour who doesn’t get many visitors.
  • Write a letter to a relative, colleague or friend you’ve lost touch with.  Tell them you’re thinking of them.
  • Offer half an hour of your time to a friend you know is struggling – they may just need a sounding board.
  • Take an empty glass jar to work and ask colleagues for spare coins to donate to a local charity.
  • Give someone an unexpected compliment today – it costs nothing and might make their day.
  • Smile at a stranger when you walk past them – watch them smile back!
  • Hide a surprise note or sketch in your kids’ or partner’s lunch box, or bag.
  • Contact your local voluntary organisation and see if you can use your talents to help someone – even a few hours a month can make a huge difference.
  • Start a list of things that you’re grateful for.  Add to it daily.  Research shows this increases happiness by 25% – so be kind to yourself too!

If you think of any great ideas, please add them to the comments below, and share them on Facebook.  You never know who is going to read it, or what an impact it could have on somebody’s life.

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Please accept this blog in the spirit in which it is offered.  I am intending only to give you some light hearted food for thought here – not reams of indigestible facts that you can find elsewhere all over the internet.  If any of the suggestions ring a bell for you – great.  This is a simplified version to give you a taster, so if your problem is more serious, and you feel you need more in-depth professional help, please contact me.  I can help you identify any underlying issues that may be holding you back, and allow you to kick-start the process of moving you forward again.  And of course, if you feel the need to visit your GP please go straight away.  NLP, hypnotherapy and counselling are not a substitute for professional medical advice, but a complementary therapy.  Thank you for reading this, and I hope to meet you soon.