Monday, December 22, 2014

The Power of  Random Acts of Kindness (RAC).

RAC is a very simple concept, being kind to others. Being kind without expecting anything in return! One simple act of kindness can turn around someone’s day and you do it usually makes your day that much better too.
It’s also being aware of how our conduct affects others and holding ourselves accountable and responsible for the way we treat others. Remember the “golden rule” do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Another benefit to RAC is it is contagious. This is a real win/win/win  for everyone. The person you are being kind to benefits through your help, you feel good for helping someone and the world benefits from your kindness. Imagine if everyone practiced just one random act of kindness every day how much better the world would be.

 From research done on Buddhist monks’ brains, we are beginning to believe that when we think positive thoughts — about gratitude, kindness, optimism, and the like — we activate our left prefrontal cortex and flood our bodies with feel-good hormones, which give us an upswing in mood in the short run and strengthen our immune system in the long run. Conversely, when we think negative, angry, worried, hopeless, pessimistic thoughts, we activate our right pre-frontal cortex and flood our body with stress hormones, which send us into fight or flight mode, depresses our mood, and suppresses our immune system. In other words, we are bathing our body/minds/spirits in good or bad chemicals based on our thoughts.

Here are a few ideas for Random Acts of Kindness:

  • Open the door for someone
  • Give a compliment to a waiter/waitress, their manager
  • Pay for a strangers cup off coffee next time you’re at Starbucks
  • Pay the toll for the car behind you at a toll booth
  • Send a hand written note to someone
  • Help an elderly person carry a bag or get an item from a high shelf in the store
  • Tell your family members how much you appreciate them
  • Let someone else have the parking space you were waiting for
  • Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger
  • Cut the neighbors hedge or rake their leaves
  • Help a co-worker
  • Let someone go in front of you in traffic
  • Let your teacher know you appreciate him or her
  • Wash a friends or family member’s car for them
  • Bring in your neighbors trash cans for them
  • Pick up someone else’s trash when you see it
  • Volunteer – homeless shelter, food bank, special Olympics,
hospital, animal shelter…
  • Compliment someone
  • Bake cookies/muffins and take to a friend for no reason or to the office
  • Smile

I hope you experience the joy of helping others. This is a great lesson to share with your children too.

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