Why Every Day Should Be Random Acts of Kindness Day. 

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Random Acts of Kindness Day, officially celebrated on February 17th, is not just a feel-good Hallmark holiday. The science behind its positive impact paints a compelling picture as to why we should embrace it more often than once a year.  

8 benefits of kindness: 

1. Transferrable: It creates a ripple effect, amplifying its impact far beyond the initial gesture. 

Witnessing kindness increases the likelihood of someone performing a kind act themselves by 70%1.  Similar to US studies, a University of Sussex experiment found witnessing kindness increased the likelihood of Brits performing a kind act by 68%. Kindness truly is contagious.  

2. Boosts happiness: 

Studies found acts of kindness activate the brain’s reward centre, releasing dopamine and oxytocin, chemicals associated with pleasure and connection2.  The Mental Health Foundation revealed that 92% of UK adults felt happier after performing an act of kindness for someone else3

3. Reduces stress: 

In a world brimming with anxiety, kindness offers a powerful antidote. Studies revealed that performing acts of kindness lowered cortisol, the stress hormone, by 23%4

4. Strengthens communities:  

Kindness fosters trust and cooperation, essential ingredients for strong communities. Studies linked increased kindness to lower crime rates and higher civic engagement5

5. Improves physical health: 

Acts of kindness can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and even strengthen the immune system. Kindness literally benefits our well-being6

6. Enhances engagement and employee satisfaction:  

A study of over 22,000 employees across 12 countries found that employees in high-stress workplaces with low kindness were twice as likely to be disengaged 7. Those experiencing workplace kindness had 50% higher job satisfaction 8

8. Reinforces teamwork, collaboration and innovation 

84% of employees felt appreciated when a colleague helped them with a task or workload, 75% appreciated receiving recognition for their contributions, and 63% valued receiving positive feedback 9. Studies found that those scoring higher on “collective kindness” behaviours (supporting colleagues, expressing gratitude, etc.) demonstrated 26% better collaboration through effective communication, information sharing, and conflict resolution. This translates to tangible results: teams with higher kindness scores had a 16% increase in revenue growth compared to those with lower scores 10

A final thought from a Seth Godin article 11  

“For every person who has a reputation as a bully, a deal breaker, an intimidator—someone who fights for every scrap—there are many people who succeeded by weaving together disparate communities, by keeping their word, by quietly creating value.” 

The statistics are clear: random acts of kindness aren’t just sentimental – they have tangible benefits for individuals, communities, teams and organisations. While February 17th serves as a dedicated reminder, let’s make kindness the norm, not just a yearly event. 

Author Openside Group

Sources: 1 Berkeley University US, Sussex University UK 2 Harvard University 3 The Mental Health Foundation 4Carnegie Mellon University  5 University of Chicago 6 UCLA, Queens University Belfast 7 Forbes, O.C Tanner 8 The Ripple Effect of Kindness study by Christine Porath 9 PricewaterhouseCoopers 10 MIT Sloan Management 11  https://seths.blog/2018/06/the-jerk-fallacy/ 

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