World Kindness Day takes place each year on November 13, and it is a day designed to promote being kind to each other, to yourself and to the world. This fits perfectly into our year-long mission to “Choose Happy.” The Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at the University of California, Berkeley wrote about how kindness makes you happy, and happiness makes you kind. They cite results from a study that suggests a “positive feedback loop” between kindness and happiness, with one encouraging the other.
One checklist item on our “21 opportunities to focus on happiness in 2021” is to perform a random act of kindness once a month. With World Kindness Day and the holiday season coming up, the Aspire Health Plan team felt like this was the perfect time to share some ideas for how you can perform random acts of kindness for your friends, family and others living here in the Monterey County Community:
21 random acts of kindness
- Bake cookies or other treats for someone whether it’s your friend, neighbor, postal carrier, etc.
- Buy coffee for the person in line behind you.
- Call or email a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while, just to ask how that person is doing.
- Drop a heads-up penny on the ground for someone who believes in good luck to find.
- Give a compliment to a random person passing by. Spread positivity!
- Hold the door for someone wherever you go throughout the day.
- Leave a kind note in a library book.
- Lend a friend your favorite book or movie.
- Let someone ahead of you in the checkout line.
- Offer to water a neighbor’s lawn or flowers.
- Put coins in an expired parking meter.
- Put your neighbor’s trashcans away for them after pick-up.
- Say something encouraging to a parent who’s struggling with rambunctious kids in a restaurant or grocery store.
- Say yes when a cashier asks you to donate to a cause.
- Send a positive, sentimental or silly card to brighten someone’s day.
- Smile at someone who looks sad.
- Take a friend’s child(ren) or grandchild(ren) shopping for an upcoming holiday so they can buy their parents or grandparents a surprise gift.
- Thank a soldier.
- Volunteer with a local community organization.
- Write a positive review online for a restaurant or other local business that you love.
- Be kind to yourself.
“Research links kindness to a wealth of physical and emotional benefits,” wrote Elizabeth Bernstein in her “Bonds: On Relationships” column for the Wall Street Journal. Being kind leads to lower levels of stress hormones and makes people less depressed, less lonely, and overall happier. On World Kindness Day (and all year-round) think about ways you can be kind to others, be kind to yourself, and overall remember to “Choose Happy.”
We will continue to share activities and content showing how happiness can lead to better overall health. Follow along on our blog and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn) and share your journey with us using the hashtag #AspireChooseHappy.