Six small, kind gestures to make a big impact each day
Story courtesy of Family Features
Everywhere you look, you can see moments of kindness.
From a friend sending a thoughtful text message to a stranger holding the bus for someone running late or a person paying for someone else’s coffee, acts of kindness happen every day. While these moments can have a monumental impact on the person on the receiving end, they often go unrecognized.
A study published in the “Journal of Experimental Psychology” found that performing acts of kindness improves individual well-being and leads to more positive moods. At the same time, many people underestimate the impact their kindness may have on themselves and others.
To help foster positive connections among friends, family and communities, which the U.S. Surgeon General’s advisory revealed can help reduce the risk of serious health conditions, people should consider ways to weave moments of kindness into their daily lives.
Here are a few simple ways to show kindness:
HOLD THE DOOR FOR STRANGERS
It may seem small, but holding the door for someone who is entering or exiting a building after you is a brief way to offer a helping hand and set off a contagious string of goodwill.
SEND A THOUGHTFUL SURPRISE
Sending someone a favorite treat, book or even a photo memory can provide a positive boost to not only the recipient, but the sender as well. To take this gesture one step further, have a gift delivered to a person you don’t know but may need a thoughtful gesture — such as a basket to a soldier overseas or senior citizens in local nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
CELEBRATE AND SHARE KINDNESS ONLINE
So much of the world is connected via social media. To build positive connections online, seek out digital spaces or services that emphasize and inspire kindness, such as the Starbucks Kindness Mobile AR experience. By combining the real world with augmented reality, the experience invites people to explore and share acts of kindness through notes inspired by real stories of kindness, photos, videos and Kindness Cards that can be shared on social media or by text message.
LOOK FOR VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Volunteering time to local organizations, such as nursing homes, homeless shelters or food pantries, is an engaging and personal way to help those in your community.
BE KIND TO YOUR MIND
By practicing gratitude, compassion and kindness toward yourself, you can spark moments of kindness that are more genuine and intentional with others. Meditation invites
calm and kindness, opening the door to cultivating a more considerate relationship with mind, body and world.
“Experiencing kindness in the world begins with cultivating kindness toward ourselves,” says Dora Kamau, mindfulness and meditation teacher at Headspace. “This week, try being kind to your mind and notice how this has a ripple effect on others and the world around you.”
OFFER WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND GRATITUDE
Whether it be via a text, note or conversation in-person, words are a direct way to show kindness and help individuals feel seen, appreciated and respected. Depending on what the situation requires, providing a compliment or saying “thank you” can make a significant impact on someone’s day.