Kindness can be hard to find these days. If we watch the nightly news, we’re constantly bombarded with stories of hatred, anger and incivility in the world.
But that certainly doesn’t have to be the world in which we live every day. In fact, countless people of all ages, races, and backgrounds are actively striving to make our world a better place for everyone. They’re doing it by performing what’s known as random acts of kindness.
There are actual and proven health benefits of random acts of kindness. Studies have shown that if you perform just one random act of kindness a day, you reduce your stress, anxiety and depression. Your body is also flooded with serotonin, endorphins and oxytocin, all hormones that make you feel happier and calmer while also reducing pain and lowering your blood pressure.
So we know random acts of kindness are good for us and good for others. But what’s a random act of kindness? And how can each of us make a positive difference through them? We’ll explain that, and give you 22 random acts of kindness ideas you can perform in 2022. Read through this list, come up with your own unique ideas for random acts of kindness you can perform — and you might find yourself feeling better already!
What a random act of kindness is
A random act of kindness is a term that refers to selfless acts, both large and small, that you can commit unexpectedly, without prompting and with no apparent ulterior motive. People often use the term to describe acts performed for the benefit of strangers, but random acts of kindness can also be done for friends and family.
The “who” isn’t as important as the “why,” which is simply to improve someone else’s life in some small way or to brighten their day. That’s it.
Perhaps the most remarkable part about random acts of kindness is that anybody can perform them. It doesn’t matter if you’re old or young, rich or poor, tall or short. None of that matters. All that matters is your desire to spread kindness to others.
A list of 22 random acts of kindness
If you’re motivated to perform multiple random acts of kindness in 2022, but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. One of the best ways to perform a random act of kindness is to leverage a talent or skill you already possess.
You may be a talented piano player; volunteer to play piano in a local memory care community. You may be skilled in woodworking; have you considered making wooden toys for children that you can then donate during the holidays? Or maybe you know how to knit — consider assembling a few people who also love kitting and make knitted beanies for preemies in a local hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The possibilities are truly endless, limited only by your imagination and your willingness to contribute toward making a positive impact on others, in ways you may never know.
If you’d like a few ideas to get you started in the right direction, here are 22 for you to start off with; see where your creativity may take you!
- If you’re out shopping, buy a brand-new toy and add it to the for Toys for Tots bin.
- Pay it backward: Buy the coffee for the person behind you in line at the coffee drive-thru or counter.
- Bake cookies or fresh bread for your next-door neighbor.
- Buy $50 worth of $5 gift cards from your local grocery store and hand them out to people you walk past on your daily walk.
- Read a book to someone in assisted living, hospice or memory care.
- Give your favorite book to a friend.
- Put your gently used books into a Little Free Library.
- Donate your time to read kids’ books to a preschool class, or to children in a daycare.
- Buy the meal of the person behind you in a drive-thru.
- Pick up trash in a local park.
- Donate to a charity of your choice.
- Assemble care packages for homeless people, or for a women’s shelter.
- Create personal hygiene kits that volunteers can hand out to homeless men and women.
- Feed someone else’s parking meter.
- Donate towels, blankets and pet food to a local animal shelter.
- Leave a positive handwritten note inside a library book.
- Plant a tree.
- Let someone go before you in line at the grocery store.
- Recycle, and encourage others to recycle.
- Start a community garden and donate the bounty to an organization that feeds the hungry.
- Find a Little Free Pantry and add to it with cans of soup, ramen, clean socks, soaps, toothpaste and toothbrushes. If you don’t know where a Little Food Pantry is, just take a sack of these items to your town’s food pantry.
- Offer to give someone a hug and tell them you’re available to listen.
These are all random, and they’re definitely acts of kindness. You may notice some cost money, while others cost only your time, thought and attention. Decide what you can do, and do it. You won’t regret the good feelings you’ll get from it.
And if you’re looking for a prime spot to both practice and experience random acts of kindness, consider a senior living community like Ventana by Buckner. Our community is home to many active, interesting, and kind people who love and look out for each other like family. Our staff consists of people who are genuine and caring, and always put the needs and interests of members first.