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.
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.
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.