Have you heard of random acts of kindness? It’s the idea of doing something nice and kind for someone else without a lot of advanced planning or expecting anything in return. I’m sure you’re already doing random acts of kindness here and there. Think about the last time you’ve done something nice for a neighbor, friend, or even a total stranger. How did you feel after you did something kind? You felt pretty good about yourself, didn’t you? You’ve felt proud and accomplished. And most importantly, you started to feel better about yourself.

Doing random acts of kindness is a great way to boost your self-confidence. It makes you feel important. It makes you feel like you’re part of the community, no matter what that community may look like or consist of. We are social creatures who benefit from cooperation and working together for the common good. Feeling good about showing someone else a kindness is programmed into our DNA. Take advantage of this fact by being kinder and doing random things that benefit others. It’s a nice way to boost your self-esteem and benefit your community.

Start by keeping your eyes and ears open. Pay attention to the people around you and your environment. Offer to help bag and carry out the groceries for the elderly shopper in line with you at the grocery store. Help the young boy in your neighborhood study for his big math test. Offer to run an errand for a sick neighbor or stop by with some pre-made meals. Pick up the trash you come across on your daily walk. Offer to babysit for your friends with little kids who haven’t been out on a date in months.

When you start to pay attention to “kindness opportunities” throughout your day, you will start to notice them everywhere. They don’t have to be anything big. Something as simple as holding the door open for someone else, or handing a glass of ice tea to the mailman on a hot day won’t take you more than a minute, but they brighten the other person’s day and make you feel good about yourself.

My challenge for you today is to start paying attention to the random acts of kindness you can perform. Do your best to do something nice for someone else every single day. Send an email or text to a friend letting them know you’re thinking of them. Make a phone call to check on a friend or family member. Send out a fun card, or buy a coffee for a random stranger who looks like he could use it. Give it a try and see for yourself how good these kind acts make you feel and how they boost your self-esteem.

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