Payment in Kind

Written By Chiropractic Health and Wellness on July 29, 2013

Pay it forward. Random acts of kindness. These are two phrases that we often hear, but what do they mean? Both fall under the umbrella of altruism. Altruism is defined as an unselfish principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. Whether we call it altruism, paying it forward, or random acts of kindness, they not only help others but have a positive effect on our health.

Studies show that doing acts of kindness not only increases happiness levels but improves heart function and immune strength, reduces inflammation, creates and strengthens social connections, and protects against mental illness. Plus, kindness is free.

Reaping the benefits of kindness is easy. You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money. Simply keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to do a good deed. Here are some ideas:

•    Hold the door open for someone.
•    Offer your seat.
•    Drive courteously.
•    Smile at others.
•    Celebrate the success of others.
•    Give someone a compliment.
•    Volunteer in your community.
•    Clean up a mess, even if it’s not yours.
•    Share your resources, time, talent, or experience.
•    Mentor someone.
•    Give thanks.
•    Tell someone how much you appreciate them.
•    Acknowledge when someone does something right.
•    Help others.
•    Encourage others.
•    Speak kindly to others.

These may sound like little things, but they add up. Challenge yourself to find one way to be kind today, then take notice of how good you feel afterward. Then, continue to be kind, making it a part of who you are. Your health will benefit along with those impacted by your kindness.

No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.  ~Aesop