Random Act of Kindness
November 4th was Random Act of Kindness (RAK) day which is an annual day celebrated by people across Alberta. Although it is just one day, being kind should be practiced in the rest of the 364 days of the year. Many of us can sometimes get wrapped up in our work or home life, we often fall into the mindset that we are too busy or stressed to help others. Being kind is not hard; it doesn’t have to take a lot of time and does not have to cost money. It could be something as simple as holding the door for someone, or helping someone complete a chore or task. Random acts of kindness make us feel good, more optimistic and can contribute to our overall mental health. How is this possible? Research has shown that by being kind can actually have positive effects on your health and wellbeing. Showing kind gestures can decrease your blood pressure and levels of anxiety therefore positively affecting your mental health, and simply making you a happier person.
Practice random acts of kindness:
- Grab a co-worker a coffee
- Say good morning
- Be a “sound board”- let colleges bounce ideas off of you, or vent about a problem they might be facing
- Give a complement
At home and in the community
- Call a relative or friend you haven’t spoken to for a while
- Help others with chores
- Send a friend or loved one flowers
- Volunteer at a community event
- Help a neighbour shovel their walk way
- Give a friend a ride
- Pick up garbage in the street
The great thing about kindness is that it is contagious. When you are kind to another person, it makes them feel good and in turn they are more likely to continue the act to someone else. Completing a random act of kindness does not have to be for someone you know, but can be a complete stranger. Showing someone you have never met a simple gesture kindness is a very empowering feeling.
Try it! Go out and be kind!
Amanda Niskala is a Health Promotion Coordinator for Alberta Health Services. November 2016.