Random Acts of Kindness

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: Variable
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Time Required

Varies depending on your acts of kindness. Could be anywhere from several minutes to several hours.

How to Do It

One day this week, perform five acts of kindness—all five in one day. It doesn’t matter if the acts are big or small, but it is more effective if you perform a variety of acts.

The acts do not need to be for the same person—the person doesn’t even have to be aware of them. Examples include feeding a stranger's parking meter, donating blood, helping a friend with a chore, or providing a meal to a person in need.

After each act, write down what you did in at least one or two sentences; for more of a happiness boost, also write down how it made you feel.

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: Variable
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Why You Should Try It

We all perform acts of kindness at one time or another. These acts may be large or small, and their beneficiaries may not even be aware of them. Yet their effects can be profound—not only on the recipient but on the giver as well. This exercise asks you to perform five acts of kindness in one day as a way of both promoting kindness in the world and cultivating happiness in yourself and others.

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: Variable
(1 member rating)

Evidence That It Works

Lyubomirsky, S., Sheldon, K., & Schkade, D. (2005) Pursuing happiness: The architecture of sustainable changeReview of General Psychology9(2), 111-131.

Study participants who performed five acts of kindness every week for six weeks saw a significant boost in happiness, but only if they performed their five acts in a single day rather than spread out over each week. This may be because many acts of kindness are small, so spreading them out might make them harder to remember and savor.

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: Variable
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Why It Works

Researchers believe this practice makes you feel happier because it makes you think more highly of yourself and become more aware of positive social interactions. It may also increase your kind, helpful—or “pro-social”—attitudes and tendencies toward others. Evidence suggests that variety is key: People who perform the same acts over and over show a downward trajectory in happiness, perhaps because any act starts to feel less special the more it becomes routine.

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: Variable
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Sources

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ph.D., University of California, Riverside

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: Variable
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For More

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: Variable
(1 member rating)

Performing Random Acts of Kindness not only helps others but can boost your happiness as well. How kind and generous are you? Take the Altruism quiz to find out:

Completion Status

Comments & Reviews

  1. Candyce Baptiste
    Candyce Baptiste
    November 3, 2016

    The act of random kindness is the first one, i lent my friend my adobe creative cloud account when his account got expire and he was having trouble getting on , while he had an assignment due in a couple of days. The second one was opening the doors for anyone who was behind me, the third one was giving up my sit for seniors or for people in need, the fourth thing was when my friend forgot her lunch at home, i bought her lunch for her and told her she doesn't have to pay me back and the last act of random kindness is helped my mom make halloween loot bags for everyone at her work, when she was tired.

  2. Jenny zegarra
    Jenny zegarra
    September 28, 2015

    Feeding homeless people make me feel very happy for them, thinking that they have something in their stomag before they sleep in the cold weather. I did talk to my kids that this winter we are going to feed homeless people with bread and hot chocolate, they are happy to know that we can help as litle it is but for them is something.

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