Research tells us that when we do something kind for someone else, we feel more compassionate, energetic, and happier overall. Typically, when we think of an act of kindness, we think of things like holding the door for someone or donating money to charity. But there are so many little acts of kindness we can do every day that truly matters—both for people and the environment.
Here are some random, yet simple acts of kindness you can do tomorrow.
BYOM: Bring your own mug
Think about how many coffee shops are on the planet and how much waste they’re creating because of these single-use cups, lids, and sleeves. Now, consider what might happen if you brought your own to-go mugs or ask for the coffee in a mug. How might that impact the amount of waste you’re sending to the landfill? Just by bringing your own mug, you start your day with a simple act of kindness and become a more conscientious coffee consumer.
Don’t buy plastic water bottles
Do the planet a favor and stop purchasing single-use plastic water bottles. With a little more thought and preparation, you can create a habit of bringing a reusable water bottle out with you to avoid unnecessary waste.
Offer the benefit of the doubt
It’s easy to jump to conclusions, isn’t it? But instead of judging someone prematurely, consider other scenarios and give them time to explain. You’ll keep your own space even-keeled in the process.
Give someone your full attention
Consider this quote by the French philosopher and activist Simone Weil: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” How true is that! Ignore your phone and give someone your full attention—they will surely appreciate it.
Wear secondhand clothes
Purchasing your clothes from a thrift store or having a clothing swap with your friends is both kind to the planet and your wallet.
Say “Hi” to someone new
It can be awkward for many people to make eye contact and say “hi” to strangers, but it’s one of many kind acts that could make someone’s day. View it as a personal experiment, and be curious about what happens when you do.
Consider what it feels like to be left out, and think about inviting that person who may seem on the fringe. It might mean a heck of a lot to that person and will most likely make you feel great.
Have a kind commute
Don’t be a jerk on the roads—it will only make your anger boil.
Give yourself a break
After all, kindness should include you too! A self-compassion letter is a great way to be kinder to yourself and boost your happiness while doing so.