Summer of Kindness

Recently there was a story that gained viral attention about a young grocery store clerk that took it upon himself to escort an elderly woman across the parking lot so she would have a steady arm to lean on. A bystander was so moved by what he witnessed, he took a picture and shared it on social media expressing how touching it was to see such kindness.

There are a growing number of people that are taking it upon themselves to be ambassadors of kindness. They’re helping to create a heart-based world through their choices and actions. The only requirement to be an ambassador of kindness is to reside on planet earth.

These ambassadors know that kindness matters – every act of it, every kind word spoken and every compassionate and caring thought adds to a world that desperately needs more love.

When we act on behalf of other people, research shows we feel better and experience less stress. This is not just a psychological effect, for example, levels of oxytocin, the so-called love or bonding hormone in the human body, have been found to increase with sincere acts of generosity or altruism. This increase in oxytocin not only makes us feel good, it has also been shown to reduce stress.

Volunteerism, a wonderful way to share your kindness, has received a great deal of focus by researchers, especially in the last decade. The result of volunteerism research has been fairly universal: People who volunteer are more often healthier, happier and live longer than those who don’t.

While anytime is a good time, during these warmer months and longer days, let’s choose to make it a summer of kindness.

Many families have their kids home for several weeks while school is on break. This is an opportune time to plan your own Summer of Kindness. It’s a great theme for the whole family to participate in. Invite the kids to be part of creating a list of kindness activities that they can personally do and some that the whole family can take part in.

If you live alone, invite a few friends to join you in creating a Summer of Kindness. It can be a fun way to spend an evening coming up with ways your group can add more kindness to your local community.

Be creative! Reach out to a senior home and ask how you can help out. Maybe it’s reading to their residents, or if you play an instrument, arranging for a mini concert one afternoon. Consider offering your time to pull weeds for a neighbor that has trouble with this type of physical task. Create a clothing drive for families that have been evacuated from their homes due to natural disasters. Bake up some cookies and drop them by your neighborhood fire station to show your appreciation for your local fire fighters.

There are a million plus ways we can step up and be an ambassador of kindness – it’s all in the doing. Tune into your heart, get inspired and make it a summer of kindness.

With Care, Your Friends at HeartMath

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