Giving and Receiving Kindness Feels Good

Janick Hickman, MS, is a Mental Health Counselor with the Center for Hearing and Communication in Broward County, Florida.

Janick Hickman of CHC-FL is a mental heath counselor

Janick Hickman, Mental Health Counselor

February 14th through February 20th is Random Acts of Kindness Week. This week, I encourage you not only to show kindness to others, but to yourself as well.

The Science

Did you know that being kind and receiving a kind gesture can trigger chemical reactions in our brains. According to researchers at Cedars-Sinai, these processes are what give us those familiar warm and fuzzy feelings. Our brains are in a “feel-good” state. When that happens, our mood, anxieties, depression, physical health (e.g. blood pressure), and overall well-being are positively impacted.

Random Acts of Kindness for Others

Feel good about sharing these random acts of kindness:

  • Send a “Good morning, I hope you have a great day” text or email to someone on your phone or contact list.
  • Purchase a cup of coffee or bottle of water for the person behind you at the drive-through or in line.
  • Purchase a pack of hearing aid batteries and donate them to CHC-NY or CHC-FL for someone who cannot afford them.
  • Learn five new signs (American Sign Language) to surprise your deaf or hard of hearing family member, friend, or colleague.
  • Surprise your neighbor with some baked treats.
  • Try to make sure every person with hearing loss in a group conversation feels included (e.g., use transcription apps, closed captioning, a clear mask or an interpreter).

Random Acts of Kindness for Yourself

And don’t forget to be kind to yourself:

  • Tell yourself “Good morning, I’m going to have a great day!”
  • Treat yourself to a goodie (e.g., a baked good, a cup of coffee/tea, French fries, a dessert, a slice of pizza).
  • Give yourself permission not to do the dishes tonight.
  • Have a chat with a friend or family member you have not connected with in some time.
  • Watch a movie or read a book that is just for fun—not for work, not for learning life lessons, not for school.
  • Lay in bed an extra five minutes in the morning and just Breathe!

The positive boost that comes from giving and receiving kindness is reported as lasting between 3-4 minutes. By making kindness a practice rather than a one-time event, we can play an active role in our overall mental, physical, and emotional wellness.

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