I did. I posted it on Facebook and now here in the newsletter to help make me more accountable. So what did I resolve? Well, I am going to actively look for more opportunities to perform random acts of kindness.
You may ask, why resolve to actively look for opportunities, don’t they just present themselves. The answer would be, well, yes they do. But sometimes we are running around, being very busy, trying to get stuff done, and not always in a frame of mind that would allow us to recognize such opportunities when they present themselves. So we miss a lot of opportunities to be kind, or even sometimes choose to ignore them when we see them because it might not be convenient at the time.
When that happens we not only do a disservice to others, to the universe, but to ourselves as well. Did you know that there are actually health benefits to doing acts of kindness? It increases our optimistic outlook on life, we smile more, are less stressed and therefore have lower blood pressure, more stabilized blood sugars, breathe easier, and walk a little taller. All from a good deed.
Studies out of Montreal’s Concordia University show that performing acts of kindness is a form of enlightened self-interest and that people are likely to reciprocate when someone helps them. They will be kind back to you and will also most likely “pay it forward” when they get a chance. Meaning your one act of random kindness can be spread around the world from one person to the next – your act of kindness has to potential to bring joy, a feeling of appreciation and any other numerous good feelings to millions of people, like a set of dominoes.
In another recent study, it was suggested that helping others may also make us luckier in love. Helping others raises our vibrational resonance which makes us more attractive to others. Really, when you think about it, wouldn’t you rather spend time with someone who feels good about themselves and others rather than someone who is walking around grumpy all the time and can’t make time for you, others or themselves.
A study at the University of Western Ontario supports the theory that altruism gives people a sense of self-worth. When we ask ourselves, am I good enough, do I matter, do I make an impact in the world, does anyone care if I am here, not only we, but others as well can answer “yes” to these questions and we feel better about ourselves, the world, the universe and our place in it.
Researchers believe that we are genetically and evolutionally predisposed to do good for others as it creates a sense of community connectiveness which creates co-operation and that increases our chances of survival. That is why it feels so go to help others, because you are responding to that evolutionary directive to build co-operation among the members of our species. Huh! Who knew!
Good Deed Starter Kit:
Start small: open a door; give up your seat on the and six bags of groceries; or even just smile at someone who looks like they are having a bad day. None of these take much time or effort but will make all the difference to the other person.
Think Local: sure donating to the oppressed in Africa is great, and honourable. But by putting your efforts into something local, not only can you help your community, but you get to see first hand that you make a difference and this is more likely to keep you motivated to continue your acts of kindness.
Think Family & Friends: these people are just as worthy of your efforts as stranger are, so joyfully give them a hand when you notice they need it. Doing so will create that community connectiveness right at your back door, and it will spread from there.
Use Common Courtesy: acknowledging the drive who stopped to let you cross the street will give them a good feeling and will encourage them to repeat that act again; just by saying thank you to someone who has provided a service to you, even if they are paid to do it, is a way of giving back to that person and lets them know that their efforts are appreciated. Bear in mind that most of these people are working really long hours, usually standing for an 8-12 hours shift, usually at minimum wage, and have a lot of people complaining to them or being grumpy and ungrateful to them, so that simile you give them or the friendly thank you that you give them will mean a lot to them and is a great gift to them, as well as a gift to yourself.
Volunteer: once you get in the new habit of doing good deeds, find something that addresses a passion and go out and volunteer your time, experience and knowledge. It does not matter what it is, everything is as valuable as the next, so don’t let anyone tell you that counting birds at the Christmas bird count is any less important than volunteering in a seniors home, or with the SPCA or your church. If it makes you feel good, then it is benefiting you, and will have the ripple effect of raising the vibrational resonance of the world.
Happy New Year.