While your New Years resolutions of doing more for others may seem a bit stale, there’s another reason to bust out the good deeds: Random Acts of Kindness Week! We love initiatives that remind us to be kind to others (and ourselves!). #RAKWeek is a great time to practice impromptu gestures of kindness, from helping a neighbor shovel out a car, to holding the door open for a stranger, to sending someone a positive note just because.
And why not keep the kindness up throughout the year? All it takes is a simple mindset: choose to be nice!
In fact, Choose To Be Nice (CTBN) is a social movement that started here in Boston and has become a global call to action. It is dedicated to encouraging and inspiring kindness wherever and whenever possible. CTBN seeks to empower people to realize that they have a choice in how they treat others. Compelled by the cruelty and hatred displayed at the Boston Marathon Bombings, Dina Creiger founded CTBN as a way to spread a different kind of message–one of kindness and love. CTBN begins with a mantra: “I promise to help spread kindness wherever and whenever possible. And to the very best of my ability, I’ll be nice to those with whom I come into contact on a daily basis.” CTBN aims to have 1 million promises made from around the world by 2020.
This simple re-frame of mind could make a world of difference. Choosing to be nice means doing random acts of kindness, paying it forward, complimenting instead of criticizing, or smiling at a stranger for no reason.
Choosing to be nice not only benefits the person receiving the act of kindness, but it also benefits you, the nice doer! Research shows that the pleasure centers in the human brain light up when we do good for others. It also shows that those who do good deeds are healthier, more successful, and more likeable. A win-win!
The first step? Make the promise. Start with a small act of kindness. If you’re here in the Northeast, you may not need to look any farther than your own sidewalk!
What are some ways you can choose to be nice this year?