Pay it forward for some extra holiday cheer

I’ve come to realize that there are many times when we consider paying it forward, maybe even had full intention of following through with it, but for some reason or another it just doesn’t happen.  That is precisely why I’m asking that you take the next step today and not only think about it but do it and pay it forward.  Believe me, the benefits to this selfless act are endless.

Showing someone how much they mean to you by displaying random acts of kindness will create a feeling that is indescribable.  From my own experience, I have learned that when we display an act of kindness for others – which include strangers as well – it’s only a matter of time before that kindness somehow finds its way back to us.  Being kind is truly a gift that essentially gives both to the giver and to the receiver and lasts, in some cases for a lifetime.

Being kind to others benefits your health too because it creates a sense of well-being and has been shown to actually lower depression levels.  Self-esteem and life satisfaction increases when you are kind to others; and for those that volunteer it allows them to feel less lonely.  Chronic pain lessons when the volunteer has a sense of purpose and connection as well.

So why not “pay it forward” today?   As we all realize, now is truly the perfect time to do so – it is time.

Some suggestions for you to “pay it forward” today:

  • pay for a table’s lunch or dinner anonymously at a local restaurant
  • find people that are making a difference in your community and in turn, do something nice for them
  • pay a highway toll for the person behind you
  • pay for someone’s groceries
  • send money to someone who is experiencing some  financial difficulties
  • put a quarter in a parking meter that’s about to expire
  • buy a gift card for a grocery store, gas station or coffee house and leave on a random park bench
  • leave a $20 tip for a $10 meal
  • leave a copy of a good book that you’ve read in a cafe for someone else to enjoy
  • thank the cooks, wait-staff and bussers personally
  • give a warm coat to a homeless person
  • make a donation
  • compliment a stranger
  • put a tip in a musician’s jar
  • let someone cut in front of you at the grocery store
  • encourage someone to pursue their dream
  • smile at strangers
  • offer sincere, kind words to someone who’s hurting
  • spend some time with a senior citizen living alone
  • donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • donate to the Michigan Humane Society and save an animals life
  • give an anonymous thank you note to your child’s teachers
  • place some change in a vending machine
  • purchase a movie ticket for the person behind you in line
  • write an inspirational note to someone who needs some inspiring
  • write a kind hand-written note (not text or email) to someone that inspired you and changed your life
  • place an item that you no longer need on craigslist.org  for FREE
  • purchase a phone card and give to a homeless shelter for them to give to someone
  • take flowers to a hospital ward and give them to someone who hasn’t had any visitors
  • volunteer your time at a non-profit organization
  • acknowledge the cashier who’s helping you and genuinely ask them how they’re doing
  • offer to help an elderly neighbor with their household chores

I can almost guarantee that doing one or more of the above will make a difference in your life, possibly improving your life (and someone else’s) more than you have ever dreamed.  Let me know how it goes!

Photo credit: Huron Pines

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