Student Engagement Ambassador, Michaella, discusses what random acts of kindness are and how we can incorporate them into our daily lives.

‘How do we change the world? A random act of kindness at a time’ – Morgan Freeman

Random Acts of Kindness Day is 17 February. It’s a time to get out of your comfort zone and be vocal about your compassion.

Random acts of kindness are altruistic acts undertaken by a person who wants to either aid or positively impact another person’s emotional state. The different types of random acts of kindness you can do is limitless. For example, imagine how good you feel when someone compliments you in the street or when you hold the door open for a mum who’s holding her baby. Acts of kindness feel amazing and benefit everyone involved. Helping others has been shown in studies to improve our own mental health, help us relax, and even enhance our physical health. It is like having a little hope that our world can be better if we all try.

As our world becomes more and more digital, we need to remember the importance of being kind online too. While the internet is a world where you can have your opinion, leave comments and likes and ‘judge’ people, it is unnecessary to deliberately leave comments and post content that aims to hurt and attack others. We all know the saying ‘if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it at all’. If you don’t like someone’s post or opinion, scroll past it, unfollow them or ignore it.

It is important to also be kind to yourselves. Don’t forget to not be too harsh yourselves and treat yourselves as you would treat other people. This means that you should stop comparing yourselves to other and stop beating up yourself if something doesn’t come out the way you want. Make sure you take some time each day to learn how to show kindness to yourself. One way of doing this is by doing something you love, like reading, taking a bath or watching your favourite TV show.

Imagine a world in which each of us made a gesture of kindness each day. I know from personal experiences that a nice gesture can make my day. I remember when I was walking holding some flowers that I bought and the bus driver that was passing in front of me stopped and told me that my flowers are really beautiful.

Here are some other examples of random acts of kindness you can try:

  • Compliment someone
  • Help out your friend e.g. help them with their university work
  • Call your parents
  • Donate something you no longer need/use
  • Make a dinner for someone you love e.g. friends, family, your partner
  • Say thank you to 3 people

A more consistent method to demonstrating acts of kindness to others throughout the year is to have an empathic attitude toward everyone we meet. The goal is to develop empathy for others, to understand why others act the way they do, and to respond with empathy and compassion.

BE KIND. That is our conclusion today. People especially at these times are struggling and we can all make it easier for each other by practising kindness.

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