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Practice Kindness

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness. − Seneca

Why Practice Kindness?
Researchers tested this question in an experiment with working adults, half of which were randomly-assigned to begin practicing a loving-kindness meditation.  Results showed that this meditation practice increased participants’ daily experiences of positive emotions. Their symptoms of illness also decreased. The participants rated their overall life satisfaction to be higher by the end of the experiment.
Biochemically, this is not surprising. Kindness raises our levels of dopamine, the ‘happiness hormone’ of the brain. Kindness also produces oxytocin, a hormone protective to the heart. It slows aging through reducing inflammation and free radicals in the body. The most important quality of kindness, however, may be how contagious it is. In practicing kindness daily, you can reap these benefits while passing the kindness bug along to others.
 
Grow Kinder Each Day
  • Be grateful. An appreciation for what we already have makes us more eager to give back to others. There are many ways to practice gratitude. It is as simple as noticing the small joys in life. 
  • Be in good company. Kindness has a positive effect on the good-doer, the recipient and any observers. Surround yourself with kind, positive people. Service opportunities, such as those listed below, are a great way to connect with others.
  • Be involved. Get involved with volunteerism in your community. Hospitals, food banks and other human service agencies often have volunteer information readily available online. Oakland University has many altruistic opportunities and organizations.  Explore GrizzOrgs and find a service group that sparks your interest! For campus-wide events, check out the Center for Student Activities’ Seasons of Service flyer. Oakland University’s Volunteer, Involvement and Partnership (VIP) Program recognizes and rewards Oakland students who actively volunteer. You can register here
The Takeaway
Practicing kindness has an immediate effect on our mental state, along with various long-term health benefits. Gratitude, self-love, and a connectedness to the world around you all contribute to your ability to be an everyday hero. Through small daily kindnesses, you can quickly turn compassion into habit and influence others to do the same. Kindness truly is its own reward.
Become an everyday hero through small acts of kindness. Be part of the Wake Up OU! Kindness Project. Small Acts of Kindness, when multiplied by hundreds of people can change a community. 

Pick up kindness cards at Graham Health Center, OU Counseling Center, and various locations around campus. Please contact GHC at health@oakland.edu if you want Kindness Cards for your group. Share your experiences with #WakeUpOU.

Be the Change

  • Say Hello 
  • Listen To A Friend. Really Listen.
  • Include An Acquaintance In Your Group.
  • Smile 
  • Hold The Door Open For Someone
  • Write A Positive Message On A Post-It And Place It Somewhere
  • Say "Please" And "Thank You"—And Really Mean It.
  • Surprise A Friend With A Small Gift
  • Greet People By Name
  • Invite Someone To Lunch Or Dinner
  • Give Someone Your Parking Place
  • Let A Fellow Driver Merge In Front Of You
  • Buy A Single Flower And Leave One On Someone's Windshield With A Note That Says, 'Have A Nice Day.'
  • Put A Coin In An Expired Meter.
  • Let Someone Go In Line In Front Of You
  • Pay The Tab For The Person Behind You
  • Return A Shopping Cart
  • Study With A Classmate
  • Pick Up Trash
  • Be A Designated Driver
  • Encourage Someone Who Needs It
  • Thank The Bear Bus Driver
  • Give Someone A Compliment
  • Be Polite To Other Drivers
  • Forgive Someone
  • More Kindness Ideas