A Small Step for Me – A Big One for the Society
They say that if you do good, you feel good. Those who devote their life to the science of do-gooding have proved that performing, or even just imagining that you’re performing a good deed can have great psychological benefits for both the recipient and giver.
Namely, researches have proven that an act of kindness releases oxytocin, the same chemical that surges when you pet a puppy or hold a baby. It lowers your blood pressure and benefits your heart.
Benevolence is a forgotten term, really; but if you pay a bit more attention, you’ll notice the generosity all around you. There’s the person who stands on a bus so that someone elderly can take a seat; it’s the person in line at the post office letting a pregnant woman stand in front of them; it’s the young boy helping an old lady cross the street.
What can you do today?
Give a compliment
How many times have you looked at your loved one, though how good they look that day, but never bothered to say anything because you had to rush to work? Take a moment to compliment your sister’s hairdo, your colleague’s outfit for the day, or maybe send a text message in the middle of the work day to your better half telling them that you love them – no, it really doesn’t sound like much, but it can make someone’s entire day. Making a small effort to find something to complement a person every day will, in the long run, make you more aware of the little things that make your life complete, and will make you more appreciative of the kindness that surrounds you.
Find a way to help those in need
Whether it is volunteering in a retirement home or kindergarten, such institutions are always in need of an extra pair of hands. At times, as an amateur, you will not be able to do much – still, just reading a book to an elderly person who has lost their vision, or listening to their stories is more than enough. Still, if you feel like you can give a bit more than that, you can always apply for government funded courses and obtain a certificate in early childhood education and care, aging support, individual support… whichever appeals to you most, and get the chance to help someone who truly needs a 24/7 care.
Cook just a little bit extra
Have you ever hosted a big family dinner and made way more than all of you can eat? Even though you pack everything up, more often than not it goes bad in your fridge and eventually ends up in trash. Just that one extra portion of lunch or desert you’re always stocking for some other day when you won’t have the time to cook, can be someone’s best treat for the day.
Help those who are having a rough time
Quite often we shy away from people who are going through some rough periods in life, usually because we don’t have an instant solution to their troubles. However, sometimes all they need is a warm hug and a shoulder to lean on; a familiar, friendly face to talk to; someone who quite possibly won’t have the much needed answers to their questions, but will be there to listen when they need to get things off their chest. Pay close attention – they won’t always come to you on their own, since they might not want to burden you. You’ll have to approach them and show there’s someone to rely on, no matter the nature of their problem.
So what’s going to be your act of kindness for today? Maybe start small – start with a hug, a compliment, or a single rose. Once you see a bright smile on their faces, you’ll get a surge of inspiration to do more. So much more.