Being happy and satisfied with your life is a fantastic place to be in. If you feel as though this is you, have you thought about how you could brighten up someone else’s day? Small acts of kindness can easily put a smile on the face of a stranger in more ways than you might think. We are talking small acts here, which might include things like helping a senior pack her groceries into her car. Opening the door for a disabled person or letting a mom with a crying baby through the checkout ahead of you. Every day we read about people who have experienced acts of kindness and, how it has changed their life. As amazing as these acts of kindness are; acts of kindness do not have to be big and complex to make a difference to peoples’ lives.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a nice gesture, such as someone holding the door for you? Notice how it makes you feel as though you want to return the favour to someone else, almost immediately. It’s true; one act of kindness is often the starting point for more actions.

The same applies if you were to ask someone for help and they refuse. You are less likely to ask them again, and if they were to ask for your help, you would want to refuse. Keep this in mind the next time you see a situation where you can help someone.

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The hidden benefit of acts of kindness

Helping others can do a lot for increasing your own self-respect and self-confidence. It just makes you feel plain good to help out another person. Even if you aren’t one hundred percent satisfied with your own life, helping others can help you get one step closer to achieving this. In fact, if you are feeling down or upset, one of the greatest things that you can do is to take the time to help somebody who is less unfortunate than you. Along with helping somebody in need, it provides you with the opportunity to gain a clearer perspective and appreciation for your own life. Often, a clearer perspective is all you need to make you feel on top of the world again. As Gandhi said:

‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’

When you help others out without being asked you become happier and feel more fulfilled in life. Those people around you tend to view you in a different light. They will start seeing you as a giving person, someone who thinks about others more than they think about their own interests.

Examples of simple acts of kindness

There are many different acts of kindness that you can do in order to make life a little bit better for others. If you choose something that you enjoy or; is important to you, you will be sure to experience the benefit too. The following are just some examples:

1. Help out at a sporting event

I am currently helping out a local sporting even for the youngsters of the town. While my job is to manage a couple of teams; I don’t actually know much about coaching sports. That doesn’t really matter though as the young kids (aged 11 and under) are there to have a good time and they seem to be enjoying it.

There are also many other volunteer positions involved in these events and it is truly amazing to see how many people do volunteer their time to help out.

2. Coach a sports team

Coaching a sports team on a consistent basis does require a little more knowledge of the sports or, the willingness to give up your time to train as a coach. It is not my kind of thing but it is my brother’s biggest passion and he really does get as much out of it as the people he coaches.

3. Help out in the background at your sports club

Every sports club needs administrators. There are a great many functions which need to be done though they may never be noticed by playing members. They are the type of functions which are only noticed when they are not done e.g. mowing the grass. I have a preference for working in the background of clubs and there are many roles for this type of person.

4. Non-sports related clubs

Acts of kindness are not just required in sports clubs. All non-sports clubs and societies also require volunteers. They will have positions similar to sports clubs and without the volunteers, they couldn’t survive.

5. Help out a charity

Almost every good cause in life is dependent on support from charities e.g. cancer charities fund a massive amount of research each year. While donating money to charity is one of the best known acts of kindness; many people fail to consider that charities need people to donate time and skills too. If there is a cause that you are passionate about; consider what acts of kindness, other than just money, you can offer them.

6. Serve in the soup kitchen or food bank

In times of economic difficulty, more and more people are reliant on soup kitchens and food banks. Even when times improve, there is still a percentage of society that requires this level of support. It is a problem that will not go away. You don’t need to volunteer everyday but giving the occasional day can make a great difference to those in need.

7. Take dogs for a walk

Taking dogs for a walk at animal shelters is one of the most common acts of kindness. Many people do not have a lifestyle which allows them to keep a pet but their love of animals means that they want to spend time with them. Animal shelters need volunteers to bring dogs for a walk so there is a perfect fit.

In your own community there may also be people who cannot walk their dogs for one reason or another. You may be able to help a friend or neighbour by taking the dog for the exercise it needs.

8. Visit someone who lives alone

Many people live alone and rarely receive a visitor. Visiting them for a quick chat can make a real difference to their life. Everyone needs some social interaction and a small piece of your time can help.

9. Compliment someone

Everybody loves to receive a compliment, as long as it is sincere. It is the most basic of the acts of kindness but it does have an effect on people. We often think nice things about others so, why not go that extra step and express that nice thought?

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10. Let someone go before you

Again, this is another very basic but highly effective act of kindness. It’s a busy world and many people constantly feel under pressure. Being caught in a queue when in a rush can really stress some people out. If you are in queue and somebody looks impatient or frustrated, you can simply let them go ahead of you in the queue. As soon as you let them skip ahead, you will usually notice that they calm down and de-stress which is in the best interests of everyone.

Kindness is one of the most important values. If you have yet to identify and define your values, check out Values Based Living.

The world really is a better place when everybody acts in a kind manner towards each other. We face all manner of challenges and difficulties in life but even in our darkest moments, small acts of kindness, given or received, can make a real difference. Many people find it incredibly easy to be kind when they are in a good mood and everything is going good for them. However, as soon things take a turn for the worst; it becomes more difficult to be kind. The paradox is that if we act kindly when things are tough for us, it will raise our confidence and self esteem to a point where we are more likely to overcome the difficulties we face. Acts of kindness, when conducted regularly, really are that powerful.


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