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, 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.
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.