Make your friends and family smile this October 5 on National Do Something Nice Day. This holiday encourages us to perform acts of kindness for strangers or loved ones — or both! It’s easy to become so caught up in our own stresses and struggles that we forget to show kindness to others. This holiday is a great reminder that doing good deeds makes the world better — and might even help you better manage your own troubles in the process. So celebrate with us!
Why We Love National Do Something Nice Day
A. It can brighten strangers’ days
A random act of kindness can make a much stronger impact than you might think. Your choice to hold a door open for a stranger or return a missing wallet may be the one positive thing to happen to the recipient that day. For all we know, that person may have been feeling lonelier than ever, or losing faith in the goodness of the world. A small positive act on your part may change that person’s worldview, and that’s pretty powerful.
B. Helping others make you feel happy too
Research has repeatedly found that helping others helps you, too. Giving back to your community or doing a good deed lights up your brain’s pleasure center and can prompt a rush of feel-good chemicals. Scientists aren’t sure why kindness feels so good, but it’s been theorized that the need to help others is something prehistoric humans developed to ensure the survival of their social group. Helping others is part of the very essence of who we are!
C. It reminds us how much good we can do
Doing a small good deed is a great way to remind ourselves that we can make a difference. It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of the world’s many troubles, but every single one of us can make at least a small impact on someone else’s life. That’s an incredible feeling.
How to Celebrate National Do Something Nice Day
Get involved in a local organization in your community. If you’re having trouble deciding how or where to volunteer, consider what your strongest skills are and how you can use them to help others. If you’re great at construction, lend a hand to Habitat For Humanity. If you’re a web developer by trade, offer your coding skills to a charitable organization that needs a website revamp or teach local kids some programming basics. In most communities, there are local soup kitchens or homeless shelters that can always use the help of kind, compassionate people.
2. Help a stranger
Extend a small gesture of kindness to let a stranger know you care. Pay the bill of person behind you in line at the coffee shop. If you see someone crying alone in public, offer them a tissue or—if the situation calls for it—some assistance. If someone thanks you for your good deed, ask them to pay it forward by helping someone else who needs it when the time is right. No matter what, keep spreading goodwill.
3. Call someone just to tell them you care
Call someone you care about out of the blue, just to let them know how much they mean to you. It just might make their day! If you know someone going through a hard time in life, gently check in with them and let them know you’re on their mind. If you can swing it, send them a bouquet or drop off a homemade meal. Just letting someone know that you care can make a world of difference.