How to have good luck - the power of kindness
Today, 13th November, the UK celebrates Kindness Day. It's a day to celebrate and promote thoughtfulness in all its forms, uniting us all in acts of kindness.
Founder David Jamily, believes that everything we do in life can incorporate kindness in some way.
One of his messages is that kindness is not only relevant to human beings, but it's relevant to the planet and animal kingdom as well. We’ve been thinking about the impact of kindness on both the recipient and the giver; and how to have good luck, whatever life brings.
And the research has been fascinating.
In short, you can benefit your heart, reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, and simply be a happier human being by being kind to others. What's not to love?
It's pretty easy to imagine how the recipient gains from a random act of kindness, but what about the giver?
You've heard of 'helpers high' and that's exactly what you can expect when reaching out to others. According to Dr David Hamilton this 'high' is believed to be due to an elevation of the brain’s natural versions of morphine and heroin - known as endogenous opioids.
Oxytocin is also released - otherwise known as the 'love hormone'; mothers get a rush of it when they hold their newborn, you feel it in those first flushes of meeting Mr or Mrs Right or when cuddling a pet. Not only does it feel great, but this hormone helps protect the heart too.
But it goes even further than that.
Steve Taylor Ph.D. in his article for Psychology Today says that there are amazing effects to be had just by witnessing an act of kindness. The simple act of observing a kind act leads to a desire to be altruistic ourselves, an increased sense of connectivity with others and our faith restored in humanity.
Random acts of kindness don't have to be huge - a simple smile or acknowledgement can make a massive difference to someone's day. Remember, it's not just the person on the receiving end of your Random Act of Kindness who benefits - the biggest impact could be on the passer-by who just happens to witness it! But if you're stuck for ideas, here are a few to get you started
- Give up your seat on the bus or train
- Put a note in your partners / kids lunchbox telling them how much you love them
- Pay for a cup of coffee for the person behind you
- Pick up litter - the earth needs our kindness too!
- Take time to listen to an at-risk teen
- Adopt an animal from a shelter or offer to dog walk if you can’t home one yourself
- Buy a copy of the Big Issue, then give it back to the seller - so they get double the profit
- Offer to help carry someone's luggage
- Make a cuppa for a colleague under pressure
- Share a conversation and cup of tea with an elder in your community
- Volunteer to work in a community project, charity shop or animal shelter
- Make eye contact and smile at the first stressed looking person you see
- Hold open a door for someone
- Have a conversation with a homeless person
- Leave some spare money in a laundrette, on top of a parking ticket machine or telephone box for the next person to use
- Buy a gift for a friend - just because
If you have a friend who is going through a hard time and wondering how to have good luck, we have the perfect 'just because' gift with our lucky clover pendant. Lucky Day clover is a simple way to say 'I wish you the very best of luck' and reminds the wearer that luck happens all the time; it's just that we don't always notice it.
We've designed an inspiring ritual to help the recipient rewire the brain to look for and focus on 'good luck'. Done on a regular basis this practise will soon create a more positive outlook in life.
We'd love to hear some of the Random Acts of Kindness you've done, received or witnessed.