Did you know that performing random acts of kindness can actually improve your health? Amid the challenges of the pandemic, now more than ever is a time to be kind. Simply sending a thoughtful note to a faraway friend, holding the door open for someone, or agreeing to an afternoon of free babysitting for a busy parent can make a huge difference in someone’s day.
You can also benefit. Being kind can go a long way toward improving your emotional wellbeing. A 2019 study in The Journal of Social Psychology found that people who performed kindness activities for seven days saw a boost in happiness. The degree to which their happiness increased was directly tied to the number of acts of kindness they performed.
Kindness has been shown to benefit our emotional wellbeing and improve overall happiness:
• Mental health can improve, as doing acts of kindness has proven to increase serotonin and dopamine which makes us feel good
• Oxytocin, a hormone that makes us feel connected to each other, is increased by kindness
• Kindness reduces stress levels
• Research has found that performing random acts of kindness can also increase our longevity and boost heart health
In addition, thinking of others first, or doing something nice for others can help strengthen social ties and the sense that you’re part of a community.
Being kind any time is best, but to reap the physical, emotional, and mental health benefits, consistency, is key.
Here are a few free or low-cost ways to perform random acts of kindness during the pandemic:
• Connect with a loved one. Pick up the phone and call, not text, a loved one you have not spoken to in a while. They’ll love to hear your voice!
• Give an exhausted parent a break. Holiday time most parents are tired from the hustle and bustle of the season. Offer to watch their children for a few hours so they can relax and rejuvenate.
• Give a shout out to a local business. Leave a positive Google or Yelp review after a good experience. This is especially helpful to them during the challenges of the pandemic.
• Donate your gently used household items. You may receive new towels and blankets this holiday; consider donating your old stuff to a homeless or animal shelter.
• Volunteer. So many organizations are in need of help with providing food, gifts, holiday dinners, etc to those in need. Or, lend your ear to someone at a retirement community – they have the best stories!
And if you do have room in your budget, consider paying for another customer’s coffee or meal next time you’re at the drive-through. In December 2020, a Dairy Queen customer who did this sparked a chain reaction, leading to more than 900 cars of customers covering each other’s meals in Minnesota. It shows how one small act of kindness can snowball into something larger that makes everyone’s days just a little bit brighter.
Need more ideas? Follow Noble Credit Union on Instagram as they surprise and delight members, people on the street, and local businesses doing random acts of kindness.
Noble Credit Union, a Forbes Best-in-State Credit Union, has been treating each member with kindness, dignity, and honor while helping members make sound financial decisions for 80 years. The Credit Union offers members full access to a wide range of financial education and services, including low-rate auto loans, MyRewards Visa credit card, mortgage and equity loans, online and mobile banking, and more. For more information about membership at Noble Credit Union, call (559) 252-5000 or visit NobleCU.com.