Our routines can make life seem monotonous and maybe even boring. What if there is another way to live, a way that leads to greater happiness and life satisfaction?
Imagine a day that looks like this: you wake up to the sound of your alarm, get dressed, brew some coffee, and take your daily route to work.
When you get there, you hear commotion in the break room — one of your colleagues decided to bring in breakfast tacos. After a delicious taco and heartwarming conversation with colleagues, you get to work. Halfway through your day a colleague tells you how proud they are of you and how grateful they are for your work contributions. Your day just went to great.
What improves a regular day? Kindness. Kindness is “doing something and not expecting anything in return; respecting and helping others without waiting for someone to help one back,” according to the Urban Dictionary. It’s also defined as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate” by Psychology Today.
At Family Service Center of Galveston County, we define kindness as seeing ordinary moments as extraordinary opportunities to bring a smile to someone’s face, help someone feel seen, or turn a bad day into a good day.
While it feels incredible to be the recipient of an act of kindness, research indicates that those who perform the random act of kindness have greater and more profound takeaways. Those who implement acts of kindness deliberately and consciously have elevated levels of well-being and experience more positive social emotions.
Author Shawn Achor conducted a study showing that partaking in random acts of kindness for two minutes a day for 21 days rewires the brain to be more positive. A more positive brain is linked with greater intelligence, creativity and productivity.
Kindness has been shown to have a positive effect on a person’s happiness, energy level, social connection, compassion, trust, and life satisfaction while also decreasing the negative impact of pain, stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure.
Kindness impacts three people: the recipient, the actor, as well as the witness. Witnessing others’ experience with kindness fuels motivation to engage in more acts of kindness. Thus, kindness is like a cascade — it doubles when you choose to share it and it takes on new forms along the way. How cool is that?
Based on all of this research, Family Service Center promotes kindness as a way to improve well-being. In a world that is facing increased levels of brokenness, isolation, division, and pain, will you join with me in boldly leading with kindness to those around you? Together, our kindness can improve Galveston County children, families, schools and communities. “How do we change the world," actor Morgan Freeman asked. "One random act of kindness at a time.”
For more information about random acts of kindness and positive youth and family development, visit www.fscgal.org.