Social Wellness: Random Acts of Kindness

Social Wellness: Random Acts of Kindness
Good for you and those around you!
February 14, 2023

Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17th! Are you looking for meaningful ways to brighten someone’s day? As a hospital team, you might consider some of these ways to spread kindness:

  • Share an uplifting song with everyone
  • Ask someone about their day
  • Share a healthy habit
  • Sign up to receive a Weekly Kindness Idea to your inbox

For more great ideas visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website.

Random acts of kindness not only improve the lives of others but can positively impact you as well! Engaging in a random act of kindness can increase oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is the hormone that produces warm, fuzzy feelings and has been shown in some research to lower stress and anxiety. Win-win!

Volunteering in your community is a great way to improve your mental and overall health. It can help reduce stress and boost self-confidence. Along with giving a sense of purpose and teaching valuable skills, research has shown that volunteering can decrease the risk for depression.  Certain volunteer tasks also provide an opportunity to remain physically and mentally active. According to the Mayo Clinic, volunteering may enhance your social networks to buffer stress and reduce the risk of disease. By savoring time spent in service to others, a sense of meaning and appreciation, both given and received, is developed and can have a stress-reducing effect. 

Aside from the potential to meet new people with similar interests, you can also live longer by volunteering! An analysis of data from the Longitudinal Study of Aging found that individuals who volunteer have lower mortality rates than those who do not, even when controlling for age, gender, and physical health. In addition, several studies have shown that volunteers with chronic or serious illness experience declines in pain intensity and depression when serving as peer volunteers for others also suffering from chronic pain.

Keep in mind that there are still virtual volunteer opportunities available, too! You can visit this Volunteer Match - Animals to learn more about various opportunities for causes you are passionate about. Many of the opportunities allow you to volunteer from the comfort of your own home and on your own schedule.  

Written by: Saajan Bhakta, PhD (Psychology), Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional, Director of Wellness & Transitions