We get reminded every year that it’s not just during Christmas season that we should be kind to our family and to strangers. A little act of kindness, especially, when it’s suprising can make such a big difference for someone and it won’t cost you anything. Here are ten ideas of simple acts of kindness in case you’ve been overwhelmed by everyday stress and don’t know where to start:
Random acts of kindness ideas shouldn’t always be complicated. Smiling, even if you’re not in the best of moods, is one of the easiest ways to brighten someone’s day – a shop assistant, a stranger who bumped into you on the street and then apologised, anyone. Smile and the world will look better, these are no idle words. Science has shown that smiling can literally improve your own mood. And don’t you like people to smile at you? Well, they liked to be smiled at too.
2. Gift a book to a stranger
Here is another one of random acts of kindness ideas – give a book to a stranger. That might be harder if you love your books but why not leave one of your favourites at some public place? There’s even an international movement for this: people leaving books in cafes, on park benches and other places, so another person can enjoy what they’ve enjoyed. Go on, you can always get a new copy.
3. Send a surprise card to a friend
Not for their birthday, not for another occasion but just randomly. We’ve now pretty much forgotten what it was like to get real cards, it’s all emails and texts. But a physical, beautiful, handwritten card will be such a wonderful surprise for someone you love and care about!
4. Offer your help
Help your neighbour with the trash after a party, for example, or something else that’s small but meaningful. Of course, ask before you start helping – not everyone likes to be helped, even if they need it.
5. Don’t hold compliments back
If you’ve been impressed with how a co-worker has done something, don’t keep quiet, tell them. If you like how your partner looks on this particular day, don’t keep it for yourself, tell them, it won’t spoil them. Complimenting someone when they deserve it costs nothing but it makes a difference.
6. Give away
Another one of good random acts of kindness ideas is to give away something regularly. Every time you buy yourself a new piece of clothing, donate one old piece. We plan and plan to collect all the old stuff we don’t wear any more and donate it but the right time for this seems to never come, so do it step by step, it won’t be so much hassle.
7. Give up your place in the queue
If you’re not in a rush and you see that there’s someone who is and he’s next, offer to give him your place. You won’t lose anything, after all, and you’ll gain someone’s gratitude. If that someone is a mum with a couple of kids on the rampage or an old frail lady, it’s common sense, but don’t limit your kindness to tortured mothers and the elderly.
8. Be kind behind the wheel
Here is another one of simple random acts of kindness ideas that is often overlooked – instead of almost crashing with another car to get to that free parking space first, let the other car have it – less stress for you and a nice surprise for them. Someone will do the same for you some day. Or let another car in front of you on a busy street, your kindness will be appreciated and it will make you feel good.
9. Say “I love you”
Life is short, every day can be our last, but don’t let this depress you – just tell your loved ones that you love them every time you feel a surge of this love. Repeating “I love you” ten times a day “just because” will soon wear it out and make it an empty phrase, but if you share a genuine burst of emotion, it’s a completely different matter.
But honestly. Holding a grudge against someone is toxic, and it’s most toxic for you. Few things in life are really unforgivable, so do yourself and someone else a favour and forgive them whatever they did that hurt you. The past is gone, stop looking back.