By Melissa Chapman
WARSAW — It can be easy to focus on the negative parts of your day or fixate on a rude comment somebody made to you.
But on Oct. 5, National Do Something Nice Day is here to remind you it’s not all dreadful. Of course, we should be doing nice things for others every day without having to think about it. With busy and difficult lives, we often forget to slow down and show kindness and appreciation to others. This is certainly the case for many people in their daily interactions with strangers. For example, think about the last time you were at the store. Did you think the clerk that rang up your groceries? If you did thank them, did you address them by name? It might not seem like much, but small gestures of genuine appreciation can really make someone else’s day.
What can you do to celebrate on this day? Volunteer or get involved in a local organization in your community. If you’re having trouble deciding how or where to volunteer, consider what your strongest skills are and how you can use them to help others. Assist a stranger or extend a small gesture of kindness to let a stranger know you care. Pay the bill of the person behind you in line at the coffee shop.
If you see someone crying alone in public, offer them a tissue or, if the situation calls for it, some other kind of support. Call someone to tell them you care. If you know someone who is going through a hard time in life, gently check in with them and let them know they’re on your mind. If you can swing it, send them a bouquet or drop off a homemade meal. Your personalized attention can make a world of difference.
National Do Something Nice Day can also help you as a person. Research has repeatedly found that helping others helps you, too. Giving back to your community or doing a good deed lights up your brain’s pleasure center and can prompt a rush of feel-good chemicals. Also doing a small good deed is a great way to remind ourselves that we can make a difference. It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of the world’s many troubles, but every single one of us can make at least a small impact on someone else’s life. That is an incredible feeling.