While the holidays are meant to be a season of joy and happiness spent with friends and family, they can often become busy and stressful. During the craziness, we can forget what this season is all about- it is a time to reflect on all of that we must be thankful for. If you are feeling like a Scrooge this year, then try giving back to your community and those around you. Even seemingly insignificant random acts of kindness can have a great impact, and studies show that kindness can increase one’s own personal happiness.
Having the ability to recognize that others need help, and that you are able to offer it, creates an awareness of your own good fortune. Showing kindness and love moves us away from a selfish mindset. It can reduce stress and negative emotions like anger, anxiety and depression – it can even boost the immune system! Truly there is no reason we should not be celebrating this holiday season by giving back, because it is a strong reminder of all that we have to be grateful for.
Show Gratitude In Small Ways
Rather than stressing yourself out trying to orchestrate grand gestures of appreciation, look for small ways to show gratitude. The following is a short list of ways you can show random acts of kindness:
Surprise a coworker or neighbor with freshly baked cookies
Leave kind messages on a sticky note for a family member or a loved one
Leave a nice server the biggest tip you can afford
Offer help to a coworker who is struggling with a project, even if that means staying late
Donate some old clothes to the Salvation Army
Let another car merge into your lane while driving
Purchase a whole stack of reusable bags and have the checkout clerk give one to each customer after you
Fill paper bags with snacks like granola bars, bottled water, and cans of tuna and keep them in your car to hand out to homeless people you may see at a stoplight or while walking around
As you can see from this short list, it doesn’t take much to show kindness to others; and it is well worth it! It will hold intrinsic value to you and bring joy to others. This holiday season, when you feel yourself getting bogged down with holiday stress, think of some ways you can show a little love to your family, friends, and community.