Life these days can become fraught and stressful if we let it and become a tangled web of negative news, upsetting emotional conflicts, and a daily grind of work and sleep; it’s then hard to find ways to feel positive.
I spend a lot of time helping others and myself to think in a much more positive way, these days we are all aware of the mind-body connection and the importance for our physical health to have a positive attitude and to be happy. The simple physical act of smiling releases endorphins in the brain and that just simply makes us feel good.
One way to proven to help you feel good about yourself and think much more positively about yourself and life, is to perform random acts of kindness. The really cool thing about doing a random act of kindness is that you feel great and someone else feels blessed, too. By one simple act, two people will feel better about their lives.
To give an example of this, I was recently putting my recycle and rubbish bins out ready for collection the following morning. Now this isn’t my most favourite job in the world, as you can imagine, and was made especially unpleasant by the fact it was snowing quiet heavily at the time. In the area I live we have fortnightly collections, one week being household rubbish for landfill and the recycling bin full of empty bottles, and I have to confess, beer cans. Then the other week being for the composting bin for food waste, paper etc, anyway I’m sure you get the idea.
Now as I was struggling in the snow to put the bins out, keep my feet dry and my hands warm a lady I have never seen before stops and asks which collection it is this week. I could have chosen to just simply answer her question with “It’s household rubbish” and walked away. Instead despite my cold hands and wet feet, I smiled and replied “It’s household rubbish this week, compost bin next week, why do you ask?” This smile and question led the lady to explain that she and her family were new to the area and despite living in her new home for over a month had yet to get to grips with which rubbish was supposed to go out on which week and what day of the week it was supposed to go out.
Again I was faced with a choice, I could either simply just tell her that this week was household rubbish and next week was composting, and that the bins are collected early on a Thursday morning so the bins need to go out Wednesday night or I could perform a random act of kindness. So I chose the latter and went back into my home, retrieved the card from the council with all the dates for collection and information about what is supposed to go in which bin etc, photocopied it and took it back out to the lady. This small act of kindness on my part was received with lots of thank you’s and a big smile from the lady I had never met before.
So why not brighten your day and someone else’s by a kind act?
Here are 6 Random Acts of Kindness you can try or think of your own lovely favours to do for other people to make them smile.
1. Deposit money in a vending machine and walk away. If you work in a setting with food and beverage vending machines, a wonderful, inexpensive way to give someone’s day a lift as well as your own is to deposit money in a machine and leave it for the next person. The next person to use s the machine will see there’s money “waiting” for someone to make a product selection. They’ll get a free bag of crisps or drink and hopefully a smile.
2. Help someone in the supermarket with their shopping bill. In this day and age most big supermarkets given you coupons and discount vouchers to use on your next shop, but most of us just throw them away or forget to use them. So why not give your £5 off voucher to the next person in line or someone who looks like they could use an act of kindness.
3. Open doors for others. Although there are still some who open doors routinely for others, it seems this simple random act of kindness has widely gone by the wayside. It does raise one’s spirit when someone takes the time and effort to open a door.
4. Pitch in to assist your neighbour who’s washing his car. With a little bit of elbow grease, you and your neighbour will be thrilled with the results of your random act of kindness.
5. Give your unused Pay & Display parking ticket away. So often now we can’t park for free and the minimum amount of time you can buy is 30 minutes when so often all you need to 10 minutes to pop into the Bank, Shop etc, rather than just get back in your car and drive away, give your valid ticket to the next person or leave it on the pay & display machine.
6. Give something away that you don’t use anymore. You know that television game system you don’t play? There could be a child right in your street that would love to have it. Keep your eyes and ears open for what people around you say they want. You might own something you don’t even use that would bring great happiness to others, or if you prefer, donate items to a charity.
Simon @ The Trows Hypnotherapy