6.5 Do Good For The Hell Of It
Productivity hack no.57 from '60 Ways to Hurray! by Ralph Varcoe.
In the mid-2000s I read a book called ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ by Danny Wallace. There are 365 suggestions for random acts that could make someone’s day. Some of them are very funny:
- Bellow a cheery hello to a vicar or a nun
- Give a slice of your pizza to the delivery man
- Phone someone in a call centre and tell them they’re doing a great job
- There’s even one about buying a pack of cigars and leaving them at the maternity ward for the new fathers!
I’m not sure some of them actually work, but with 365 to choose from there are bound to be some that you would look at and say “I could do that!”
I found the book pretty inspiring. In fact, it’s now a whole movement. Did you know that 3 days after Valentine’s day, on 17th February every year it is Random Acts of Kindness Day, promoted by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Who knew there was such a thing?
There are benefits to being kind above making others feel really special which can have a knock on impact to how they treat you or how karma touches you. There are benefits to you as the giver of kind actions, such as:
- One study found that people feel stronger and more energetic after helping others
- A Harvard Business School survey showed that those who help others are happier than those who don’t
- Helping others can release serotonin, the happy chemical, which can reduce stress and make you calmer
- Doing things for others triggers the reward centre in your brain giving the giver a ‘high’
- Another study found that those who volunteer have a significantly lower likelihood of dying younger
- Oxytocin, the love hormone, is released increasing self-esteem and optimism
- Kind people have a lower level of cortisol which is also known as the stress hormone
- It can help reduce anxiety and depression with the release of serotonin
- Oxytocin also keeps blood pressure lower
Just by randomly being kind to others you will improve your mood and your health (and likability!) which in turn will help you achieve your goals.
You will also help to make the world a nicer and kinder place.
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