I recently finished reading “The Happiness Equation” by Neil Pasricha and my biggest take-away was how completely random acts of kindness can make us happier people. Upon applying this principle in my own life, I have found myself exponentially happier by going out of my way to be kind to others. Here are a few kind acts I have performed in the past few weeks that you can easily incorporate into your daily life.
1. Use Venmo as a Tool for Kindness.
I stole this idea from a good friend who did it for me. One dreary Monday morning I received a Venmo notification that someone had sent me $5. Confused I looked into the app and I had a note from my friend that said “coffee on me.” It literally made my day. I don’t often treat myself to coffee, so I was able to head to Starbucks and indulge in a latte I otherwise wouldn’t have had. I do this randomly on occasion for friends and they always send me the kindest texts in response.
2. Send Out a Like, Comment or Happy Birthday!
Picture the feeling you get in your heart when the recent selfie that you posted hits 100 likes and 8 people commented how amazing you look in it. You have the power to make someone else feel that same warm fuzzy feeling while scrolling through your various feeds. I always try to make an effort to wish my Facebook friends a happy birthday and like and comment on as many photos as I can. You’re already looking at it anyway, and it takes 1 second for a double-tap to bring a smile.
3. Send a Handwritten Note.
Handwritten notes are like the pandas of our generation, exceedingly rare and special to witness. I always keep a supply of blank note-cards on hand and try to send at least one handwritten note per week. Whether it’s a thank-you note to a coworker, a life update letter to my grandma (pro tip: grandmas love handwritten notes), or just an “I’m thinking of you” to a friend in another state it’ll be something special they can keep. Plus they’ll always think of you and smile when they see it.
4. Help the Homeless.
I was on my morning run when I spotted a grubby head poke up from a red blanket across the river under the picturesque Manayunk Bridge. My heart immediately broke for this man. I jogged home and grabbed a granola bar, orange and water bottle from my kitchen and marched across the bridge to the other side of the river. The homeless man looked so confused as I illegally picked my way along the railroad tracks towards his makeshift bed. “I thought you could use some breakfast.” I handed him my care package and the stunned look on his dirty world-weary face split into a grateful grin. Shocked, he explored the contents of the bag and said “thank you SO much honey!” That was the best feeling I have had in a long time. You don’t have to give money. Buy a meal. Give them some clean clothes. Anything helps. Anything.
“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” – William Arthur Ward
Billy Ward makes an excellent point here: smiling is the single easiest thing you can do to brighten anyone’s day. It is the only human expression that is both universal and contagious. Plus, even simply slapping a smile on your face when you aren’t feeling so cheerful tends to help frame your day in a positive way. Smiling is a win-win for everyone.
I hope this post gave you some ideas for making the world a kinder place. Feel free to share some of your kindness ideas below or the results of trying one of these tips out in the real world. Also, you are always welcome to follow me on social media because follows make ME smile! 🙂