Want to be Happier? Try doing Random Acts of Kindness.
Updated: Jul 1, 2021
Did you know that giving and being kind to others can make you Happier? Positive Psychology says it's one of the best ways to keep you happy.
I hate to say it, but Singapore as a society isn't exactly the most giving or kindest of places to be in.
In fact according to the World Happiness Report 2021, we are actually ranked 57th in the world in terms of generosity and kindness.
Compare this to our ranking in Gross Domestic Production or GDP (2nd place) and average life expectancy (1st place in the world), we have quite a way to go in terms of learning to be kinder.
As some motivation for all of us, research in Positive Psychology suggests that being kind to someone not only benefits the other person, but can benefit you as well. It can make you happier.
We all know what kindness is - it's about doing something nice for someone else, without asking for anything in return.
When was the last time you did a kind deed for a total stranger? Research by the leading Positive Psychologist, Sonja Lyubomirsky, suggests that doing random kind deeds for others can boost your happiness up a few notches.
Dr. Lyubomirsky found that when people were asked to perform five random acts of kindness across a week, their levels of positive emotions dramatically improved. What's more, it becomes increasingly effective if all five acts are carried out in the same day. In the research setting, just doing one set of five random acts of kindness showed an increase in happiness that lasted up to three months. When done regularly, the results are phenomenal.
This findings have even stirred up movements in other parts of the world. People have started making it a commitment to do random acts of kindness, for the sake of others as well as their own wellbeing. If you're interested, do check out the RAKtivist (Random Acts of Kindness Activist) movement. Here's the exercise: One day each week, you are to perform five acts of kindness. The acts do not need to be for the same person and the person may or may not be aware of the act.
This acts can be large or small in nature, and some examples might include:
Helping a colleague at work.
Sending a thank you note.
Treating someone to a coffee.
Visiting an elderly relative.
Cooking a meal for your loved one.
Doing a chore you don't normally do.
Thanking the SMRT bus driver.
Say hi and smile to someone you don't normally greet.
Give someone a compliment.
Do something nice for a neighbour.
Leaving your Food Panda delivery man a tip.
Doing some volunteering work.
The list goes on and on. You can check out more ideas here.
We all could use a little bit more kindness in our lives.
Why not be the spark that makes someone else's day just a little bit better? Just imagine if a random stranger came along and did something nice for you after a really bad day. How would it make you feel?
So do try out the Five Random Acts of Kindness activity. Remember, research says it'll make you happier!
Thanks for reading Kaya Toast for the Soul. Do share this article to your friends who could use a bit more happiness in their lives!