We are celebrating kindness at AdventureWomen this month, so we wanted to give you some tips on easy ways to show your kindness and give back. Not only will you help other people and organizations, the simple act of being charitable could actually make you happier!
Have you ever wondered “why are we always buying new/more/better things”? Does doing this actually make you any happier? As it turns out, happiness and well-being are improved not through acquiring new things but through giving. Research published in 2014 shows that generosity and kindness (and spending on others) are strongly associated with well-being.
Here are our favorite ideas for acts of kindness which we hope will brighten your days this month and throughout the whole year:
Volunteer your time where it is most needed.
Find a local organization that excites you and needs your help. If you have specific skills you can offer (accounting, legal, etc.) do. If not, be happy to do whatever they ask, even if it’s folding letters and stuffing envelopes (bring hand cream – trust us! If you fold enough letters, you’ll want it). Even in what might seem like a trivial way, you’ll be helping the organization accomplish their mission and that’s what really counts.
Donate to a cause you care about.
We can’t all give huge sums to charity, but every small amount counts. Find a few organizations that you are passionate about, and set aside a little money to give them each month. You can even set up auto-payments for $25 a month out of your checking account. The continuous support helps the organization plan for the future. Tip: consider giving a general gift, instead of directing your money towards a particular project. This is a lot simpler for the organization, especially for smaller groups.
Be even kinder to others.
This is a great life goal, and sadly, one that we probably all struggle with from time to time but try these out. Take a deep breath before speaking in a challenging or charged situation. Try to learn three things about each person you meet – this will help you build a connection and help you understand the other person. Pay it forward by buying someone’s coffee or lunch. Think about the last time you were pleasantly surprised by an interaction with someone else and how much it brightened your day, didn’t it? Try to channel and emulate that “brighten your day” spirit.
What are the ways you practice kindness in your own life? Tell us on Facebook or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!