Is it time to take on a 30-day kindness challenge? If you have been feeling a bit unkind or disconnected from the world, then I would say YES! Some of us know that we have been a little less than kind lately. And, many of us may think we are being kind, but we are actually just acting more out of self-interest than kindness. That’s why taking a kindness challenge is so important. It can help you focus on real kindness and help you become more aware of how kind you are on a day to day basis.
5 Reasons To Take The Kindness Challenge
1. Kindness Spreads
Would you rather the world be a kinder place? Then start by taking the kindness challenge and practicing kindness yourself. When you are kind, other people will be affected by your kindness and be kind too.
How far will your kindness reach? Who knows! You could cause a reaction of kindness that spans the world with just one kind gesture, word, or action. And it may just be a small act of kindness too. You simply don’t know how far it can spread, but you always do know that it will spread.
2. Kindness Makes You Happier
Who doesn’t want to be happier? And, who doesn’t want to be happier without having to pay a ton of money to do so?
Kindness is free AND it makes you happier. It sounds like a good deal to me.
Will it make you completely happy and take away all your problems? No. Some researchers have found that it can cause a small but significant improvement in happiness. And, most people I know find that being kind helps them be more reflective in their own life, which helps them do other things along with kindness that boosts happiness. So when you combine it with other positive habits and behaviors, you will find yourself moving up on the happiness scale. And that’s the direction you want to be going!
Her’es the way I see it: kindness is not just an act, it’s a lifestyle. You can’t just be kind today and then be an ass tomorrow. When you practice kindness, your lifestyle has things like kindness and compassion in it. And that makes you a happier person. It feels much better to react with kindness or compassion than anger. You feel like a better human being!
Anger equals unhappy, while emotions felt from kindness equal happy.
3. Get Along With People Better
When you are focused on being kind, as you will be in the kindness challenge, you are going to interact with people better. Your family, friends, co-workers and even strangers will have an easier time interacting with you because you are focused on being kind and your nature or disposition is more loving and caring.
As I said in the beginning, I remember every kind person in my life fondly. We got along because there was no reason not to get along. They were friendly and thoughtful and that just made them more attractive.
In fact, I was drawn to and fell in love with my husband because he was kind. He still is the kindest person I know, and it’s one of the things I love most about him.
And speaking of love…
4. Produce The Love Hormone (And Others) By Being Kind
Perhaps this is why I fell in love with him. When we witness an act of kindness, we produce oxytocin according to these kindness health facts from Dartmouth College. The benefits of producing more of this hormone includes reduced blood pressure, as well as increased:
Those things also make us more attractive and likable to other people, so there really is no losing here.
We also produce more serotonin when we are kind, which is a chemical that has a ton of benefits for our brain health, skin, reduced stress levels, increased good mood, and much more.
5. Make A Big Impact On The World
Kindness can make a big impact on the world. When you are happier and making other people happier, when you are building relationships, when you are doing good things in this world, you are creating a better world.
Often people think that they can’t do anything to make this world a better place, but that’s wrong. You can start with you. In reality, that’s all you can do. You have a powerful influence over the world through the people you meet, the words you say, and the actions you take, and by being kind, you can impact this world in a more positive way.
This little girl from the T.D. Jakes Show said it really well.
Little Alex is 10 years old, & has already completed over 6,000 acts of kindness, and her reason for doing so will leave tears in your eyes. pic.twitter.com/fPV0nRSukg
— T.D. Jakes Show (@TDJakesShow) April 17, 2017
Not Everyone Will Value Your Kindness: 4 People Who May Not React Positively
Before you take on a kindness challenge, it’s important to understand that some people won’t find your kindness valuable.
1. Miserable People
Some people are miserable no matter what you do, and they could react poorly when you try to help them. They live in a victim mentality and think life is out to get them.
Please don’t take that personally. If they say something rude, give you a dirty look, or ignore you, that has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you. Don’t let it affect your stamina in the kindness challenge. They are a drop in the bucket, and you are doing much better by being kind than by being like them.
2. People Who Feel Entitled
Also, some people think they are entitled, and that can make you feel less-than-kind very quickly. For instance, if you let someone go in front of you in line and they don’t say thank you or barely acknowledge you, they probably feel like they are entitled to be in front of you for whatever reason.
This type of person is lacking awareness. They are focused on themselves and their world and forget that other people are around them living their own lives. It’s all about them. So, since you are not a part of their focus – you are just a player in their world and they don’t need to thank you. It’s their world according to them!
Don’t let them bother you. Feel good that you are able to comprehend that this world is not just about you. It’s about all of us, and being kind helps all of us live in a better place.
3. Socially Awkward People
Some people just don’t know how to express gratitude. If you let someone in front of you while driving, people who are grateful will usually wave as a way to say thank you. But, some people may feel grateful you let them in, but don’t know how to express it or want to express it.
Remember, you don’t need validation for being kind. It’s something you are doing out of the goodness of your heart, and expecting people to acknowledge your kindness will leave you feeling unhappy when they don’t acknowledge it.
4. People Having A Tough Time In Life
Lastly, some people are having a really shitty time.
They have lost their loved ones.
They are depressed.
They lost their job.
They are on the verge of losing their homes.
They are fighting with their spouse.
They are being abused.
The list goes on and on. Your kindness may make these people feel good, but feeling good may not be reachable for them right now. They may react very poorly to your kindness. They may think you are trying to trick them or use them in some way. They may, in other words, be suspicious of you. Or they just may not be able to muster up enough energy to care about your kindness. We’ve all been in this state, and it’s important to respect that sometimes it’s just hard to crack a smile.
Two Kindness Challenge Ideas
As with most challenges, 30 days is a great timeline to set out for yourself. It gives you a full month of practicing something, and it will be much more likely that you will continue on doing acts of kindness each day after you get into the habit of doing it for a full month. Set out to take on one of the three following kindness challenges.
1. Do Acts That People Observe Firsthand
This is a great kindness challenge. Challenge yourself to do 1 or more acts of kindness per day that people witness. This will help you see the smiles, the relief, and the gratitude from people firsthand. It will help you understand how powerful your acts of kindness are. In many cases, you will be able to see exactly how your kindness affected someone and made their day better. But, remember, they will still receive benefits and pay it forward when you are not around.
Examples of kindness include:
- Pick up garbage in your neighborhood.
- Donate to someone collecting for a cause.
- Give a homeless person some money or food.
- Hold the door open for the people behind you.
- Help someone carry something heavy.
- Let someone who is in a hurry go first in the grocery line.
- Help a coworker finish some tasks.
- Share someone’s post with your social accounts.
- Give someone a compliment.
- Say thank you to the cashier – and mean it!
- Tip a little bit higher.
- Donate to the food bank.
- Volunteer for something.
- Write someone a positive message online.
- Pay for someone behind you in the drive-thru.
- Give your bottles to someone collecting bottles.
On and on it goes. If your act has the potential to make someone else feel better than that is being kind.
2. Do Acts Of Kindness That People Don’t See
This is a little more challenging. I find that we often do things so that other people can witness our kindness. And, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I think it’s good for us and good for people who witness it, so it’s a win-win.
But, I have found that doing acts of kindness without recognition can be very rewarding to your inner well-being and self-esteem. When you do something kind, and nobody is around to see it, you congratulate yourself. It’s like you are giving yourself a big old pat on the back. And, you secretly know that you are an amazing person, even if nobody else knows why just yet.
In short, your self-esteem starts with you, not with other people. Your value becomes more determined by how you see yourself than how other people see you. And, when you are capable of seeing yourself as awesome, it doesn’t matter what other people do or say, you are going to feel good and act in a way that feels good to you.
- Donate anonymously online.
- Leave a kind note on someone’s car windshield.
- Leave an anonymous gift on someone’s desk.
- Do something for your loved one that they may not notice but will benefit them in some way.
- Donate some of your clothes to a clothing collection.
- Pick up after someone who doesn’t pick up after themselves.
- Leave a bunch of bags for dog owners to use at your local dog park.
- Move an obstacle from a sidewalk so that people with disabilities can get by easier.
- Leave a note for someone to let them know you understand what they are going through.
- Put toilet paper on the toilet paper roll after you use the last bit of toilet paper.
Again, you will find many different ways you can do something kind, even when no one will know that it’s you. Think about making other people’s lives easier or better, and then when the inspiration strikes, roll with it.
3. A Mixture Of Both
You can mix up your kindness challenge with both obvious acts of kindness and not-so-obvious acts of kindness. Doing that will help you experience all the benefits being kind has to offer.
Because doing acts of kindness that people don’t see can be harder, schedule it in for yourself. For instance, alternate days with obvious kindness to secret kindness. Or alternative weeks, focusing on obvious kindness one week and secret kindness the next. Whatever feels most challenging to you is the choice you should pick. You want to push yourself out of your comfort zone and
Whatever feels most challenging to you is the choice you should pick. You want to push yourself out of your comfort zone and get into the spirit of being intentionally kind on a daily basis.
Soon, you will be kind without much thought.