From helping an elderly up a flight of stairs to cutting the plastic pack rings around the soda pack so that it doesn’t harm animals, small acts of empathy and kindness are often more meaningful than the big ones. Being empathetic doesn’t cost anything. It in fact brings a sense of self-satisfaction. A random act of empathy often creates happy memories.
Here’s what you can do to share empathy with others in your life.
Surprise your parents by cooking dinner for them or doing some extra chores before they get home.
Take your grandparents for an outing, maybe a lunch or a picnic. They always love to see you.
A simple yet sincere word of thanks often brings a smile on the face of the younger members in your family.
Extend assistance to classmates who may be struggling in a particular subject.
Thank your teachers. Let them know that you appreciate their hard work.
Help to keep your classroom clean. Ask your teachers whether they need help with anything.
Buy a treat for a co-worker.
Once in a while drop a colleague at their home.
Take you team out for dinner or have an office party.
Adopt a pet. They bring a whole world of love with them.
Visit an animal shelter. Spend time with the animals there.
Care for stray animals. Feed them if you can.
Plant a tree and nurture it.
Use reusable shopping bags instead of the plastic ones at the store.
Keep your neighborhood clean. Pick up litter and put it in designated bins.
Build a small tank to collect and use rainwater.
Pay for the person next in line. A $2 morning coffee can forge a lifelong friendship.
Volunteer for a community kitchen that feeds homeless people.
Teach in a school for less-privileged children.
Babysit for free.
Empathy and yourself
Empathy is a behavioral response where actions are selfless. While awareness has grown in recent years, many people still consider empathetic people as ‘enablers.’
Empathy is inextricably linked to contentment. Japanese researcher Keiko Otake, in a2006 study, found that happy people were more empathetic than others. The study revealed that a person’s sense of happiness can increase even by counting the number of acts of kindness they have shown.
Why do random acts of empathy increase a person’s sense of happiness? The answer is simple. It promotes gratitude. When you’re empathetic to others, having the awareness itself bolsters the sense of your own good fortune. It in turn leads to being interconnected with others. Empathy strengthens the will to live among people who feel isolated or depressed. Connecting with others reduces alienation and forges a feeling that we are all experiencing life’s challenges together.