“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Today, 17th February, is Random Act of Kindness day. Research has proven that showing kindness and consideration to others has multiple benefits for both giver and receiver. Being kind increases oxytocin, which strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system, and produces endorphins, which are our natural painkillers. Kindness is contagious, showing kindness produces a ripple through its recipients, leaving more than just one person happy.

There are so many ways of showcasing your kindness and helping other people, either today, or throughout the year. I’ve made 15 suggestions here detailing how you could practise kindness to those around you:

  1. Pay it backward and buy coffee at 53.3 Degrees for the person standing behind you in line.
  2. Send positive text messages to people you love throughout the day. Show them how much they mean to you.
  3. Let someone purchase their shopping before you if they only have a few items.
  4. Suggest a book recommendation using Edge Hill’s Library Services.
  5. Brighten your family member’s morning by leaving a kind or funny message on your mirror with a whiteboard marker.
  6. Smile at five strangers.
  7. Help someone loan a book at the Catalyst.
  8. Practice self-help and self-kindness by spending some time today doing something you love.
  9. Leave a generous tip for a helpful and kind server.
  10. Compliment a stranger.
  11. One for the year; on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day think of those friends who have lost a parent and check in with them. Those will be tough days.
  12. Why not join a bone marrow registry? Having yourself on the registry could be the difference between life or death for someone who needs bone marrow or stem cells. Anthony Nolan are a great charity that focus on finding stem cells and bone marrow for patients in need.
  13. Listen – don’t interrupt. Sometimes people just want someone to listen, not suggest a solution.
  14. If you’ve had great experiences from a business you like, why not write them a review online? These help a lot more than you realise.
  15. When you’re discouraged by your own voice, tell yourself something positive. You deserve kindness too!

The Random Acts of Kindness Organisation showcases different ways that you can exhibit kindness and offers resources to promote a kinder and more thoughtful world. Why not become a RAKtivist? RAKtivists are ambassadors of the Random Acts of kindness Organisation that share their knowledge and lead by example.

Video Credit: Random Acts Of Kindness, 2018

Make sure that, at least today, you offer kindness to those around you – strangers, family, colleagues, friends. People benefit from your generosity more than you can know.

Written by: DYLAN BOOTH

3rd Year Creative Writing Student

Student Advisor for Library & Learning Services