May 01, 2014

Oh May Oh May

Be Kind

What goes around comes around - and with kindness it really does. Research shows that being kind to others increases our own levels of happiness as well as theirs. What's more it has a knock-on effect --kindness is contagious, so it makes our communities nicer places to be.

Recent research into brain functioning has confirmed that we are hard-wired for love and compassion. So it's not all chasing about individual success - our communities and society flourish when people look out for each other.
When we're kind to people we know it strengthens our connections with them and provides a source of support. Research shows that we may benefit from giving support more than those receiving it - and we're also more likely get support in return when we need it. This may not be like-for-like support, or even from the same person, but being kind to others builds a wider support network which increases well being all round.
Doing kind things for strangers helps build cooperation, trust and a sense of safety in our communities. It also helps us to see others more positively and empathize with them. These are the foundations of a thriving local community and a flourishing society!

Here's a list of suggested acts of kindness to get you started:

Give up your seat

Hold a door open for someone

Give a (sincere) compliment

Make someone laugh

 Give someone a hug

 Take time to really listen to someone

Make peace (you know who they are)

Make someone new feel welcome

Help someone who's lost

Have a conversation with a stranger

Pick up litter as you walk

Let someone in front of you in the queue

Read a story with a child

Tell someone they mean a lot to you

Let someone have your parking spot

Offer your change to someone struggling to find the right amount

Treat a loved one to breakfast in bed

Buy cakes or fruit for your colleagues

Invite your neighbor for a drink and a chat

Offer to help with someone's shopping

Tell someone if you notice they're doing a good job

Pass on a book you've enjoyed

Say sorry (you know who to)

Forgive someone for what they've done

Visit a sick friend, relative or neighbor

Buy an unexpected gift for someone

Bake something for a neighbor

Pay for someone in the queue behind

Do a chore that you don't normally do

Help out someone in need

Offer to look after a friend's children

Offer to mow your neighbor's lawn

Donate your old things to charity

Give food to a homeless person and take time to talk with them

Visit someone who may be lonely

Give blood

Get back in contact with someone you've lost touch with

Organize a fundraising event

Volunteer your time for a charity

Plan a street party

The lists can go on…think about it!