Sometimes it’s the little things that can have a big effect on other people. A random act of kindness shared between two strangers can create a ripple that not only affects each of these people’s lives but may also echo through them for generations to come. And that’s why Random Acts of Kindness Day is such a powerful holiday. On this day, people are encouraged to do an act of kindness for a complete stranger, a coworker, or a family member. A kind act that’s given without any thought of recognition or praise. It can be something as simple as giving a person a compliment out of the blue or paying for the person behind you while you’re waiting in a line at the grocery store. Anyone who wants to observe this holiday can do so by just offering a piece of kindness to another human being on the 17th of February. Maybe celebrating this holiday will set a pattern that you can follow for the rest of the year.
The History Of Random Acts Of Kindness Day
This holiday originated in New Zealand as a day celebrated on September 1st, but has since become an international holiday. It is also a part of Random Acts of Kindness week–started by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Several studies have shown that kindness is indeed contagious. When a person does an act of kindness for another person, it makes the person receiving it more likely to do an act of kindness for someone else. This can unfold exponentially—like a ripple on a pond, so don’t think your act of kindness doesn’t matter because it does. In fact, it can have farther reaching effects than even you might be able to imagine.
Amazing Facts About Kindness—Random Or Otherwise
While you’re observing Random Acts Of Kindness Day, you might want to think about all of the ways in which kindness not only benefits the person on the receiving end of the act but the person on the giving end of it as well. Hundreds of scientific studies have suggested that kindness might have far-reaching benefits—even if we can’t see them at the time. To prove this point, we’ve decided to list some of the facts that we’ve learned about kindness as we researched this holiday.
Kindness Is A Natural Painkiller
One study suggests that when a person performs an act of kindness, their brain releases endorphins. These endorphins not only produce a wave of euphoria, but they also are the brain’s natural painkiller. And this happens after just one instance of kindness.
Another study has suggested that if a person continues to do nice things for other people, then they will experience an almost 25% drop in cortisol. This drop in cortisol levels can not only reduce their blood pressure levels, but it can also slow the natural aging of their body by a small amount! Or, at least that what the study suggests.
Kindness Does More Than Just Decrease Blood Pressure
Although kindness can help lower a person’s blood pressure, it’s capable of doing other things as well. For example, people who are regularly kind to other people have lower rates of depression, report fewer instances of pain, and generally have less stress in their lives. People who are kind also have less anxiety in their lives. All of these are good reasons for people to observe Random Acts Of Kindness Day.
Kindness Increases Serotonin Levels
While kindness is lowering blood pressure and depression, it’s also capable of raising serotonin levels. What good does that do? Well, science has found that increased production of serotonin not only makes a person feel happy, but it also helps to calm them down and can even help wounds heal faster.
Kindness Is Something That People Can Learn
Even though it used to be thought that kindness was something a person was born with or wasn’t born with, that attitude has begun to change over the last few years. That’s because several scientific studies have shown that kindness is a skill that can be taught. Science has also shown that the more a person practices being kind, the more likely they are to do it, so it’s kind of like exercising a muscle. That’s why performing an act of kindness on Random Acts of Kindness Day might lead to more acts of kindness throughout the year.
Customs, Traditions, And Celebrations
The only real custom associated with Random Acts of Kindness Day is to do something good for someone else. This could be donating your used clothing, helping a friend find a job, pay someone’s parking meter for them, collect canned food for food banks and other charitable organizations, or just compliment a random person. Every little bit of kindness helps to make the world a better place.
When is Random Acts of Kindness Day?
|This year (2021)||February 17 (Wednesday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Next year (2022)||February 17 (Thursday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Last year (2020)||February 17 (Monday)||Multiple dates - more|