How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

I came across this article and found it very inspiring.  I hope you do as well.  If you didn’t know, I have a FB group, Lead with deed, where people can share random acts of kindness and inspirational articles.  I’d love to hear your stories!

30 Days of Kindness:

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

I don’t know his name, but his messy, shoulder-length hair hides a pair of hauntingly blue eyes. It’s a warm September day in New York, but he’s sitting under a mountain of ragged bits of clothing, towels and blankets. In one hand, he loosely holds a piece of string attached to the neck of a small, mangy-looking dog lying next to him. In the other hand, he clutches a nearly empty bottle of cheap vodka. His bright eyes briefly glance at me without recognition or focus. I don’t know what makes me pause.

My initial thought is to give him money, though I just avoided eye contact with the last 10 people, sputtering that I didn’t have any. And my mom’s words come to mind: “He’ll only spend it on drugs or alcohol.” So I turn to the closest Nathan’s stand and buy him a hot dog, chips and soda.

When I approach him, I feel awkward, my donation insignificant. As if I’m offering a glass of water to a man trapped in a burning building. Is he more of a ketchup or mustard guy? The absurd thought turns my face hot. What comfort will a nutritionally deficient meal with a side of dehydration be to a man who sleeps on cement and spends a life generally invisible to the world?

But when he sees my outstretched hands, he smiles, dropping the bottle and leash to accept the meal with shaky fingers. We don’t exchange any words, but his smile lingers with me.

Can random acts of kindness actually increase and sustain happiness?

It’s only the sixth day of my month-long challenge to find the joy in making someone’s day every day, and up until now, I had felt like a failure. It wasn’t for lack of trying, but rather questioning whether seemingly small gestures were actually accomplishing my goal. Can I really find joy by giving to those around me? Can random acts of kindness actually increase and sustain happiness?

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

Turns out they can, but there are exceptions. To find lasting happiness through generosity requires a suppression of our ego, an analysis of our motives and a reflection on how these acts alter our perception of the world.

How Generosity Benefits Us

As children, our parents tell us to make up for misbehaving by doing something nice for someone. As adults, we help friends move into a new house; we bring hot meals to new mothers; we might even donate time or money to local charities a few times a year. After all, it’s naturally uncomfortable to see a friend (or stranger) suffering or in need. Call it karma or mojo, but these acts are generally reciprocated. We receive tax breaks, returned meals and favors, thank-you notes. Tit for tat.

But what about pure, altruistic generosity, without the expectation of receiving something in return? Some researchers argue this type of generosity doesn’t exist. But I set out to see whether I could learn to give without the promise of getting. I made lists of various kind acts and placed reminders on my bathroom mirror, my work computer, my car dashboard: Make someone’s day today!

My first act of kindness was buying coffee for the woman behind me in the drive-thru lane at Starbucks. In fact, my first few acts were buying something for someone—lunch for an old friend, a copy of my favorite book to a stranger—but they didn’t make me feel much of anything. The recipients were grateful, but was I really making their day, and was that really boosting my happiness?

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

At the end of each day, I reflected how being kind made me feel. I dug for tangible proof of my growth. Some days felt more significant: buying cough syrup for the two coughing boys in pajamas at the pharmacy, for example. Their father, who had dark circles under his eyes, rubbed the bridge of his nose as his credit card was declined a second time. I couldn’t tell whether he was more embarrassed or grateful, but I like to think he slept a little easier that night, and I left the pharmacy feeling pretty good.

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

Countless studies tout the physical, mental and social benefits of receiving generosity. But until the 1980s, the effects on the giver were relatively unknown. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., a psychology professor at UC Riverside and a leading happiness researcher, conducted a study in 2004 to determine whether committing five random acts of kindness would increase positive emotions. The short-term study revealed promising results with heightened levels of positive emotions, particularly in the participants who carried out all five acts of kindness on the same day. Spreading the acts over a week, Lyubomirsky theorized, led to a repetitive and often unoriginal pattern that either didn’t change the level of positive emotions or, in some cases, even lowered it.

Admittedly I experienced some form of generosity fatigue around the second week of my challenge. It’s easy to float through the day wrapped up in our own heads, focusing only on what directly impacts us. Consciously searching for new and different ways to improve someone else’s day was more difficult than I had anticipated. We just don’t face that challenge often in society. But then when I did the nice deed, I nearly always felt a boost of happiness afterward. A 2009 study by social psychologist Jorge A. Barraza, Ph.D., and neuroscientist Paul J. Zak, Ph.D., attributes this to a release of oxytocin, the feel-good chemical in the brain.

According to the study, when people feel empathetic, they release 47 percent more oxytocin into their hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for emotion and memory. The participants felt the urge to act generously—particularly toward strangers. As Matthieu Ricard, Ph.D., a Buddhist monk and best-selling author, writes in Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill: “When we are happy, the feeling of self-importance is diminished and we are more open to others.” Studies show people who have experienced a positive event in the past hour are more likely to help strangers in need. This explains why we help people, even at a cost to ourselves.

In the late ’80s, the term “helper’s high” was used to describe the euphoria feeling associated with volunteering. Beyond happiness, generous people also experienced enhanced creativity, flexibility, resilience and being open to new information. They’re more collaborative at work; they’re able to solve complex problems more easily and they form solid, healthy relationships with others.

Generosity allows us to forget our own self-importance.

As Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., happiness researcher and founder of The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, writes, “It may be people who live generous lives soon become aware that in the giving of self lies the unsought discovery of self as the old selfish pursuit of happiness is subjectively revealed as futile and short-sighted.” Generosity allows us to forget our own self-importance, even temporarily, and look outward to uplift those around us who, in turn, often uplift those around them.

Shawn Achor, a Harvard-trained researcher and The Happiness Guy at SUCCESS, calls this the ripple effect. Our behavior, he discovered, is literally contagious. “Our habits, attitudes and actions spread through a complicated web of connections to infect those around us,” he writes. That’s why we sync up with our best friends, often finishing each other’s sentences and reading each other’s thoughts. It’s also why one negative attitude can spread like a disease across an office and infect everyone’s mood.

So are happier people more generous, or does generosity make us happier? Rather than thinking of it as a cause-and-effect relationship, consider happiness and generosity as intertwining entities. “Generating and expressing kindness quickly dispels suffering and replaces it with lasting fulfillment,” writes Ricard, the Buddhist monk. “In turn the gradual actualization of genuine happiness allows kindness to develop as the natural reflection of inner joy.” Helping behavior increases positive emotions, which increases our sense of purpose, regulates stress, and improves short- and long-term health. All of that contributes to a heightened level of happiness, causing us to feel more generous, creating a circle of happiness and generosity.

Why We Aren’t Generous All the Time

I failed twice during my month-long challenge. What began as a positive and energizing morning was quickly derailed—a negative social media post, a complaining text, an overwhelmed co-worker. I refocused my thoughts and tried to make this my kind act for the day. What if I can turn this person’s day around? What if I can help him see the positive side of his situation? I listened, nodded with concern, hyper-aware of my facial expressions, eager to exude empathy and understanding. I’m not sure what I exuded, but both of us left feeling worse than before.

What happened? According to Paul Bloom, professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University and author of Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion, I had confused empathy with compassion, resulting in empathetic distress and burnout. Empathy requires feeling what others feel, “to experience, as much as you can, the terrible sorrow and pain,” whereas compassion involves concern and a desire to help without the need to mirror someone else’s anguish.

It turns out, you can be too nice. Psychologists Vicki Helgeson and Heidi Fritz created a questionnaire revealing that women are more likely to put others’ needs before their own, often resulting in asymmetrical relationships as well as an increased risk of depression and anxiety. When we experience empathetic burnout, we often shy away from generosity altogether. Feeling taken advantage of, we retreat inward.

Researchers have also theorized that every kind act is ultimately done to benefit ourselves in some way, even subconsciously. This concept, coined “universal egoism,” offers explanations that are easier to accept than true altruism: a desire to help others void of selfish motives. For example, there are multiple situations that can be initially perceived as true altruism but at its core, the kind act is governed by selfish motives. Ben Dean, Ph.D., psychologist and founder of MentorCoach in Maryland, offers three such examples:

  • It’s a natural response to feel uncomfortable when we see someone suffering. But rather than help in order to ease their suffering, we help them to ease our own discomfort.
  • In an attempt to protect our fragile egos and reputations, we don’t want to be viewed as insensitive, heartless, mean, etc. So we help others even when we might not feel an urge to improve their well-being.
  • We perceive there to be some form of personal benefit from the act, either short- or long-term.

The question remains: Is there a truly selfless act of kindness?

The question remains: Is there a truly selfless act of kindness? And does it even matter where our motivations lie? The homeless man in New York still ate a hot meal, and the two little boys at the pharmacy didn’t stay up all night coughing. Isn’t that what matters?

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

We aren’t consistently generous for a multitude of reasons, but in the traditional corporate setting, the prevailing enemy of generosity is the fear of appearing naïve. (And the possibility of going broke.) After all, isn’t the nice guy the one who finishes last? So we become “Givers” as Adam Grant Ph.D., details in his best-seller Give and Take. In the modern workplace, we are no longer solely evaluated on our work performance, but rather on how we interact as a cohesive unit and how we contribute to the organization as a whole. In fact, Grant’s research reveals this new business landscape paves the way for Givers to succeed and Takers to be left behind. By helping others, we help ourselves.

The important thing to remember is that Givers—especially those predisposed to putting others’ needs before their own—need to know their boundaries. Grant says it begins with distinguishing generosity from its three other attributes: timidity, availability and empathy.

At the risk of sounding cliché, my month of generosity did make me happier. Something about waking up and consciously planning to act selflessly lightened my step and made the morning drag easier to bear. Something about a stranger flashing a smile (albeit a confused one) as I handed them a dog-eared copy of my favorite memoir gave me an energy boost that a triple-shot latte never could.

For a precious hour or so every day, the fear, anxiety, stress and doubt of daily life didn’t plague my thoughts. I briefly forgot about myself, and it was intoxicating. Friends responded to my seemingly arbitrary good mood with confused laughs. When did being happy without reason become a cause for concern? I wondered.

Maybe my heart was in the right place when I gave the blue-eyed man a hot meal. But maybe my ego was directing my actions that night in the pharmacy checkout lane. And maybe I avoided generosity toward my close friends and co-workers because it was more difficult. Buying coffee for a stranger is easy, detached and allows for a clean exit. Gently pushing a friend to divulge her source of anxiety after she says “I’m fine” is not. After all, altruism and honest self-reflection take time and practice.

Thirty days of generosity didn’t make me a different person, but I do feel different. I don’t actively look for ways to be generous, but I notice the opportunities anyway. Like the sticky note residue on my bathroom mirror, I can see gentle impressions of my growth where I least expect it: during rush hour, when I give the benefit of the doubt to the woman cutting into my lane; after a long day of work, when I make time for the struggling friend who needs to talk; and, most important, in the moments when I forget myself and realize the joy to be found in caring for the people around me.

 

Source:

How 30 Days of Kindness Made Me a Better Person

 

 

 

Top 7 Tips for How to Be Happy

Here are our top tips for how to find true and lasting happiness in daily life:

1. Let go of negativity.

  • Learn to forgive and forget.

  • See every challenge as an opportunity for further growth.

  • Express gratitude for what you have.

  • Be more optimistic about the future and your ability to accomplish life goals.

  • Open yourself up to success and embrace failures or mistakes that happen along the way.

  • Know that none of us are perfect, we are all here to entertain and be entertained.

  • Don’t worry about the little things. Take plenty of “worry vacations” where you train your mind not to worry for a certain lengths of time.

  • If you want to be more positive, surround yourself with positive energy and people. Nurture the positive relationships that you have, seeking out more of those relationships that help uplift you.

  • Accept and love yourself for the unique gifts and talents that you bring to life. Spend less time trying to please others and spend more time trying to please your higher self.

  • See the humor in life and in our experiences. Take life less seriously and learn to laugh at yourself.

2. Serve and be kind to others.

  • Treat everyone with kindness. Not only does it help others to feel better, but you will notice that you too feel good after having a positive interaction with others.

  • Speak well of others. When you speak negatively of others you will attract more negativity to yourself, but when you speak positively of others, you will attract more positivity.

  • Truly listen to others. Be present and mindful to what others are really saying when they speak. Support them without bringing yourself into it.

  • Be careful with your words. Speak gentler, kinder, and wiser.

  • Respect others and their free will.

  • Put your trust in others and be trusted in return. Enjoy the sense of community and friendship that comes from this openness and faith in one another.

  • Work as part of a whole. See others as partners in your efforts. Unite your efforts with them to create a synergy more powerful than anything you could do alone.

  • Practice generosity and giving without expecting anything in return. Get involved with service opportunities and offer what you can to a greater cause.

  • Smile more– to family, to co-workers, to neighbors, to strangers– and watch it not only change how you feel but also how they feel too.

3. Live in the present.

  • Don’t replay negative events or worry about the future.

  • Accept and celebrate impermanence. Be grateful for your life, for each moment of every day. Observe the constant and natural flow of change that surrounds us, and your small yet important part of the natural, divine flow of life.

  • Observe yourself in the moment. Work on your reactions to outer circumstances and learn how to approach life harmoniously.

4. Choose a healthy lifestyle.

  • Keep a daily routine. Wake up at the same time every morning, preferably early. Setting yourself to a natural biorhythm will make it easier to wake up and feel energized.

  • Get enough sleep. Proper sleep is linked to positive personality characteristics like optimism, improved self-esteem, and even problem-solving.

  • Expose yourself to cold temperatures (especially first thing in the morning with perhaps a cold shower). It increases your circulation, helps minimize inflammation in the body, enhances weight loss, and energizes and invigorates you to start your day.

  • Turn off the TV. For every hour of TV you watch, you reduce 22 minutes of your life expectancy.

  • Eat properly. What you eat has a direct effect on your mood and energy levels. Eat plenty of organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and dairy products that are both vitamin and mineral-infused. Don’t overeat and try to practice healthy self-control.

  • Exercise daily to the point of sweating. It not only helps to purify the body, but also releases endorphins which help to prevent stress, relieve depression, and positively improve your mood.

  • Laugh more. Laughter is the best medicine. Like exercise, it releases endorphins that battle the negative effects of stress and promote a sense of well-being and joy.

  • Practice deep breathing and yoga. The body and mind are connected. Emotions affect the physical systems in the body, and the state of the body also affects the mind. By relaxing and releasing tension through the breath or yoga practice you feel calmer and centered throughout the day.

5. Take care of your spirit.

  • Strive to always learn new things. Constantly expand your awareness and discover new ways of expressing your divine gifts.

  • Get creative. This will not only challenge you to learn new things but will also help to keep your mind in a positive place. Practice living in the present moment and being a channel for the divine flow of creativity.

  • Practice meditation. Research has proven that even as little as 10 minutes of meditation a day can lead to physical changes in the brain that improve concentration and focus, calm the nervous system, and help you to become more kind and compassionate, and even more humorous. Then bring the joy and peace you receive from meditation into your daily life and activity.

  • Be honest. Telling the truth keeps you free inside, builds trust in relationships, and improves your will power and the ability to attract success.

  • Surrender to the Universe Divine and allow it to take care of the littlest things in life to the greatest and most important.

6. Be inwardly free.

  • Live minimally and simply. Often extravagant living brings more stress, not more satisfaction.

  • De-clutter your home to de-clutter your mind. Clutter is an often unrecognized source of stress that promotes feelings of anxiety, frustration, distraction, and guilt. Feel good in your own home. Make it your sanctuary by keeping it clean, organized, and uplifting.

  • Go without certain things you think you need. Travel to new places where not everything is as easily accessible or readily available, and learn to appreciate what you have by expanding your world.

  • Take some time away from life’s complicated outer involvements to get to know your family, your neighbors, and your loved ones better; and to get to know yourself.

7.  Reconnect with Nature.

  • Take some time every week to recharge your body battery. On the weekend, escape to nature or a place where you can feel peace in time for a fresh start to the workweek.

  • Get outside whenever possible to breathe in the fresh air and feel the sunshine. Both of which studies have shown to have a positive effect on our health and our mood.

  • Take some time to be silent. Be silent and calm every night for at least 10 minutes (longer if possible) and again in the morning before rising. This will produce an unbreakable habit of inner happiness to help you meet challenges in life.

  • Observe the natural beauty that surrounds you and feel a sense of connection. Appreciate the details and miracles that can be found in nature.

Taking the Next Steps to Finding Happiness:

Ask yourself what makes you happy, and find ways to restructure your life so that you are able to do more of those things.

Then ask why you struggle to do the things that you know will make you happy. Why are you not yet happy? Why haven’t you taken the next steps to find your happiness? Why are you here? And what do you need to do to feel a sense of accomplishment in this life?

Visualize yourself happy, doing the things that will bring you inner and outer success in life and write down the things you need to do to create a Happiness Bucket List. Start with the little things you know you can do each day that will bring you joy. Then move on to accomplish greater and greater things on your happiness bucket list.

Source:

Top 7 Tips for How to Be Happy

Service dog helps 7-year-old boy prepare for his 10th surgery

When Indiana resident Gavin Swearingen was just 2 years old, he let go of a swing, hit his head and suffered a traumatic brain injury. The little boy lost about 75% of the left side of his brain, developed epilepsy and cerebral palsy, and has survived several strokes.

So last year, Gavin, who lives in Carmel, just north of Indianapolis, got his first service dog. Elmer, a Labrador-golden retriever mixed breed trained by the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence, helps with the boy’s physical challenges in myriad ways.

“It’s magic,” his mom, Amanda Swearingen, 36, told TODAY. “I jokingly say they’re both puppies — they love to play. Gavin is 7 and Elmer is 2. They run and chase each other and they’re silly.”

Gavin Swearingen and his service dog, Elmer
“Throwing the ball to me 10 times is therapy,” Amanda Swearingen said. “Throwing the ball for Elmer 20 times is fun.”Liz Kaye

Due to hemiplegic cerebral palsy, Gavin’s right side is not as strong as his left, so he holds Elmer’s leash in his right hand, which pulls his arm down and changes his gait to appear neurotypical.

Gavin lost peripheral vision on his right side after his accident, so Elmer walks on the boy’s right to act as a buffer in crowds. The friendly dog makes physical therapy seem like a game instead of a chore.

“Throwing the ball to me 10 times is therapy,” Swearingen said. “Throwing the ball for Elmer 20 times is fun.”

Before teaming up with Elmer, Gavin struggled with reading. But he now reads books to Elmer every single day. They particularly love the “Elephant and Piggy” books by Mo Willems.

“We were all kind of at our end of what to do next, and all it took was Elmer. Now Gavin’s reading almost to grade level. He’s reading for fun and enjoyment,” Swearingen said.

Gavin Swearingen and his service dog, Elmer
Before teaming up with Elmer, Gavin struggled with reading. But the 7-year-old now reads books to Elmer every single day. Liz Kaye Photography

It’s a remarkable turnaround since the accident, when doctors told the Swearingens that Gavin would never walk, talk or even know them. But thanks to neuroplasticity, Gavin’s brain has “remapped” onto the right side and he continues to improve with Elmer’s help.

The family – which includes Gavin’s father, Brad, and sisters Alyson, 12, and Makenna, 9 – faces everything in life together. Each night at the dinner table, they take turns sharing what they’re grateful for.

“I can’t say this is a path that I ever expected to be on, but we are definitely going to make the most of it and try and remain grateful for it because gratitude is the opposite of sadness,” Swearingen said. “We choose gratitude.”

Despite all of Gavin’s challenges, the word most people use to describe him is “joyful,” according to his mom.

“I think that’s actually why having a dog has worked really well because it’s the same personality,” she said. “They find the best, and every day it’s like they wake up and it’s a brand-new day and they’re both just excited to go play outside.”

Amanda Swearingen and her son, Gavin, and his service dog, Elmer
Amanda Swearingen’s son, Gavin, has shown tremendous improvement ever since his service dog, Elmer, joined the family. Doctors had previously told the Swearingens that Gavin would never walk, talk or even know them. Liz Kaye

But now Gavin is scared. He’s facing his 10th cranial surgery to repair a hole in his skull, which puts him at risk for another brain injury.

Amanda Swearingen’s son Gavin and his service dog “Elmer” at Holiday Park on Sunday June 2, 2019.Liz Kaye Photography

Shout out to Dad! Good times…

 

Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing Dads out there.

Here’s my dad in the 80’s (Mario Brothers Mustache and all- A trend I hope never comes back though LOL) taking me to Indian Princesses camp (dads and daughters).  Yeah I thought my 90’s rolled up jeans looked so rad!

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This was a time where you had fun as a kid just hanging from a stick because your dad can actually hold it up high enough.  This is how much fun dads can be and this is really what kids should experience with their dads.

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He’s always been there for me and I love him to death!

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Now that I’m all grown up (supposedly) He’s now my business logo designer.  My dad’s a crazy good artist so he actually hand drew this from scratch and designed my logo for Hairmingo:)

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My Mascot, Gretchen Mingo, was an original design by a local young artist in Bloomingdale, IL that is so creative and just kills it every time!

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He’s a rockstar at painting shoes too.   Yes, I am a big fan & client,  My converse Hairmingo shoes are so so cool. See below.  If you ever need an artist for logos, shoes, apparel, anything and want to support a super talented hard working young man, here’s where you find him:

Instagram: ImKrisBrown

Check it out!

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My parting quote for today:

fathersday

 

Free and simple ways to improve your well being

Life becomes hectic and gets in the way sometimes.  We are too busy and have too much on our plate. Life unexpectedly throws a curve ball here and there.  However, did you know that a simple act of kindness can bring you peace and joy into your life?

Research shows that random acts of kindness not only boosts your physical health but also helps you to maintain positive outlook on life.

What’s more, it doesn’t have to be grand or expensive. By nature, we are hard-wired for love and compassion. We genuinely feel good when we give, help or contribute without expectation of reciprocation of acknowledgement. It can create a powerful ripple effect that people continue to pay forward what they have received. Thus, kindness is a win-win which brightens our community as a whole.

So, why not start today? Make kindness a daily habit. Make a difference in your life and someone else’s. Besides, kindness is contagious. What goes around comes around. It is particularly true with kindness. Show your kindness in any given moment, at any place and with anyone. They will remember your generosity and they will turn around and spread kindness to others as well. It will also be an excellent opportunity to teach your children to do the same and grow up to be kind adults.

While there are plenty of simple things we can do without breaking a sweat, and yet are easy to forget to practice, start with these 15 simple acts of kindness you can do today, tomorrow and everyday. They will certainly make your day and someone else’s.

1. Put on a smile

One of most attractive trait in a person is a nice friendly smile. Saying hello with a smile makes you approachable and a good impression.  Smiles can open the door for you to make more friendly friends and expand your social circles.

2. Show your love

We value relationships more than material things in life. According to Maya Angelou, people will never forget how we made them feel. So make them feel loved, especially the ones who are dear to you.  Check out The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman if you want to learn more on how to express love.

3. Forgive

Forgiveness is not an easy task. It takes courage and sometimes a lot of time and practice. However, forgiving with empathy is part of being kind to someone, especially the one who wronged you and hurt you in some way. Also, be kind to yourself and forgive your mistakes. Self-love is to treat you with such kindness that you don’t allow anger, resentment or negativities in your life.

4. Open the door or hold an elevator

We live in a world where everything needs to be rushed through. Holding doors for others seems to be simply cultural practices in our society.  However, we do it not because it’s customarily expected but because it’s our intention to help others to minimize the collective effort that needs to be spent on daily tasks, which ultimately makes everyone’s life a bit easier.

5. Bring a cup of joe for a colleague

A simple gesture like bringing a cup of coffee for someone in the morning will make their day.  A little consideration like this will foster their productivity at work while promoting the relationship which in turn will make your workplace friendly and kinder place.

6. Give up your seat at the waiting room, on the train or bus

The next time you are traveling by bus or in a public place, offer your seat to an elderly person. This is a great way to show your respect for the elderly. Perhaps there is a pregnant woman or a child struggling to stay standing on a moving vehicle. Offer your seat to someone who needs it every time you have the opportunity.

7. Give a hand to someone who needs help with something heavy

When you see a woman struggling to walk up stairs with kids and heavy bags, help her. Even the smallest act of service is rewarding and joyful. You wouldn’t want your wife or sister struggling without anyone’s help, would you?

8. Let someone merge during traffic

We all get frustrated in traffic at one time or another. One additional car in front of you isn’t going to make you arrive any earlier or later than you already would have been. So the next time someone is waiting to merge, be the kind person and let him in.

9. Offer a babysitting to a friend

Parenting is the most rewarding job and at the same time overwhelming. Offer to babysit for a friend or neighbor, especially a single parent who doesn’t get much help. This simple support will give a parent a break to recharge and relax a bit which will also benefit the child.

10. Bake cookies for your new neighbour

Well, it doesn’t have to be baked-cookies. You can offer a cold glass of water to a neighbor who’s trimming a tree in a hot summer day. Paying a visit with a bright smile or inviting them over for a tea would make them feel safe and welcomed.

11. Bring a cup of chicken soup to a sick person

We remember how we’ve felt when someone took care of us when we were sick. Show them you care and offer help when needed. This will lift his spirit up.  In addition, it will make both his stomach and his heart warm and fuzzy.

12. Don’t interrupt when someone is talking

Pay attention to what the other person is saying. Active listening is not only an act of kindness but also a skill that we can benefit from improving. You will have more chance to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.

13. Fix Something for someone else

If someone needs to have something fixed or put together, and you are handy with these sorts of things, it’s the perfect opportunity to offer your skills. Surprisingly, you may enjoy some fun doing it together. The bonus is the more you put your skill into practice the better you will get at it.

14. Give compliments

As words have the power to both heal and destroy, a nice compliment can reinforce their value in the world. With genuine compliments, you let them know they are noticed. So, speak kindly and give them a little gift of appreciation.

15. Say yes to a donation request

Making a donation doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars or hard work at Habitat for humanity. It can be a $1 donation to a local shelter or a can of soup for your local food bank. It won’t break your wallet. Imagine there’s someone out there smiling when they receive what you gave.

So, what’s in your kindness jar today?

 

Source:

https://www.lifehack.org/356919/simple-acts-kindness-can-improve-our-well-being-research-says?fbclid=IwAR1okhb8ImD_VhKs-9ldOp7T92kNH4xIrkqMhZbZOT_jDcHFNZlO4HxeZRQ

Group home resident wanders into strangers’ house, who then make him feel at home

Here’s a story that warms my heart:)

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — An Ohio police department is praising a couple for their act of kindness toward a young group home resident who wandered into their house Thursday.

A woman contacted South Euclid police around 6:18 p.m. reporting that an intruder had entered her Parkside Boulevard home, authorities say.

The woman alerted her husband that an unknown man had entered their home. The couple quickly discovered that the intruder was non-verbal and notified police.

Meantime, while responding to the home intrusion call, police say they received a second call reporting that a juvenile had walked away from a group home in the area. Staff members were reportedly searching for him.  Police were informed that the missing teen might be combative.

When police arrived at the Parkside Boulevard home they found the homeowners sitting on the porch with the boy and learned that he had quickly developed a relationship with the couple.

“As I pulled up, the individual that resides at the group home walked toward the police car, you could tell this was a situation where he probably ran away before,” Officer Joe De Lillo said.

The homeowner wanted him to be comfortable and asked if he could accompany the boy on his drive home.  The two rode together in the back of the cruiser before the teen was reunited with staff at the group home.

“It was truly a special moment,” De Lillo said.

The teen and the homeowner shared a hug and a handshake before parting ways.

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Group home resident wanders into strangers’ house, who then make him feel at home

1 handshake changed my son’s life

I think we’ve all seen firsthand how incredibly unique we all are as people: personalities, interests & even our social skills.  I’m a pretty outgoing person, but my youngest son is very shy and gets uncomfortable around groups of people.  I saw him struggling with how to talk to people and interact with strangers.

I started a project with him to help him overcome his struggles.  I asked him to start by saying one kind comment to a stranger every time we went out that looked like they could use a smile.

His first day on the job, we were at the grocery store.  The man bagging our groceries was handicap.  My 7 year old looked at him and said, “Hi.  I just wanted to tell you that you’re doing a great job.  Thank you.”  He shook the gentlemen’s hand while saying thank you.  The man smiled at him and said, “I really appreciate you saying that.  I’ve had a really bad day, and I feel happier now.  Thank you”.

My son was beaming from ear to ear to see that his kind words made someone smile who really deserved a smile that day.

Since that day, he gets so excited to search for the person he thinks needs a smile to give them a word of kindness.  Not only does he feel more comfortable around strangers, but he feels like a million bucks when he sees someone positively affected by his words.

No matter your age, a small act of kindness can change your life and others.

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