It’s Random Acts of Kindness Week, and it turns out being kind keeps you healthy! After all, whole health encompasses your mind, body, and spirit. Keeping those healthy can be achieved with a little help from supplements, good whole food, exercise, and emotional well-being. At FitFormula, we typically focus on the first three on that list, but we figured we’d focus on the last one in honor of Random Acts of Kindness Week! Here’s how being kind can improve your health, and some examples of how you can be especially kind this week.
Kindness and Health
Did you know kindness could help your health? It can! First of all, the act of being kind can ease your anxiety. In particular, if you have social anxiety, being kind to others can help. One study showed that a group of people who performed random acts of kindness for others got some good social interactions that helped them have more positive perceptions of the people around them.
For more ideas on how you can combat anxiety, check out Anxiety Is the New Black
Kindness can even help your heart, literally. That’s because when you help someone, you get a content feeling that causes your body to produce oxytocin, which in turn prompts the release of nitric oxide in your blood vessels. This can expand them, reducing your blood pressure and protecting your heart.
Finally, being kind to others can reduce inflammation in your body. One study found that people who used acts of kindness—not simply buying new things—as their way to feel happier had less inflammation in their body. This means they had a lower chance of getting cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.
Ready to start reaping the rewards of being kind to others? You can kick off Random Acts of Kindness Week with the following ideas:
Random Acts of Kindness Idea #1—Rake a neighbor’s leaves or shovel their sidewalk
Surely you’ve seen someone around your neighborhood struggling with the rake. Or maybe you’ve noticed a neighbor’s driveway or walkway still covered in snow when everyone else’s paths have been cleared. You can make their day—and make their property a little prettier and safer!—by raking or shoveling for them.
Random Acts of Kindness Idea #2—Help someone put groceries in their car
Not everyone can easily load up their groceries, yet they still need to bring food home, so they might try. If you see someone struggling, help them out. It will likely only take five minutes of your time, but it will make a big difference in their day!
Random Acts of Kindness Idea #3—Fix a smoothie or healthy snack for your trainer
Whether you frequent your local gym, or are a Pilates lover, an Orange Theory fan, or a Yoga fanatic, making a smoothie to take along with you is any easy Random Act of Kindness. Give it to your Pilates instructor or personal trainer, or even the person manning the front desk. People doing healthy things love healthy treats. And the bonus? They’ll be super surprised. So it will be fun, too!
Try out this smoothie, which is one of my favorites, for some energy after you exercise: Cal-EZ’s Race Day Energy Boosting Smoothie
Random Acts of Kindness Idea #4—Walk your neighbor’s dog
For some people, even taking the dog for a daily walk is a chore, especially when they’re super busy, ill, or injured. There are also a ton of people who travel for business a lot and it is often a challenge for them to make sure their dog gets the exercise they need daily. Here’s where your random acts of kindness can save the day for someone and their dog—all by way of a quick and easy dog walk!
Random Acts of Kindness Idea #5—Flowers are always smile-inducing
Pretty much everyone loves fresh flowers. Pick up a bunch at the grocery store the next time you’re there, and send them to school with your kid for their favorite teacher, drop them by your mother-in-law’s house, or drop in on a favorite girlfriend and brighten her day.
Random Acts of Kindness Idea #6—Bring a healthy dinner to friends or neighbors
Any time you manage to put together a healthy meal, consider doubling the recipe, and then bring half to someone who could really use it. That could be someone who is sick or recovering from surgery, or it could just be a friend or relative whose day you want to make.
Need some ideas for healthy recipes? Use one of the recipes from this 7-Day Healthy Skillet Dinner Plan
Random Acts of Kindness Idea # 7—Let someone skip you in line
Easy random acts of kindness are often the most simple ones. I love letting people skip me in line, especially when I have a ton of purchases and they do not. Not in a hurry today? Make that your Random Acts of Kindness mission today and you’ll be sure to make someone else’s day.
Random Acts of Kindness Idea #8—Surprise someone by covering their costs
If you have some extra money this week, pay it forward! You can do something as inexpensive as covering a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbucks, or you can go all out and pay for someone’s dinner or groceries. Think about how much this would have helped at a time when you were struggling. You might just be about to make someone’s day!
Ready to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness week and get a healthy mind and healthy body? Have at it, and let us know how it goes!
Other resources on the topic of Random Acts of Kindness Week: