Nicely Done

Did you know that there’s a dedicated day every year for people to be nice to each other? It’s true! October 5th is ‘Do Something Nice Day.’ Granted, we should be nice every day, but let’s face it—doing nice things doesn’t always come naturally. Sometimes you blow through your alarm clock, run late for work and get cut off in traffic and all of your ‘nice’ intentions are gone in minutes.

But, for better or worse, today is the day we go for more ‘better’ than ‘worse.’ Perhaps it’s as simple as holding open the door, or as big as buying a stranger’s groceries (now that’s nice). And while it’s worth noting that the day only obligates you to do something nice, you could raise the stakes and find ways to spend the whole day doing nice things.

Okay, okay—if it sounds like we’re going a tad on the Mister Rogers side of things, it turns out, there are a handful of good reasons to do nice things, and they extend beyond altruism. In fact, studies show that not only does the person you’re being nice to or doing something nice for benefit from your act, but you’ll feel better too.

Looks like being the nice person creates positive effects on your brain, such as giving you those feel good fuzzies from hormones such as endorphins and those joyful neurotransmitters we call serotonin. When you do something kind for another awesome (and surely deserving) person, clinical psychologists say your brain releases those “runner’s high” endorphins as well as gives your noggin a boost of serotonin. Everyone wins!

And so it seems, there was always something to that ‘pay it forward’ lifestyle people have spoken of; this notion that one good deed then passed on to another has the power to change the world. Or at least someone’s day.

Try out volunteering, our partners at Feeding America have food banks all over the country and make ‘doing something nice’ super easy. Sign up to join them for an afternoon and you could help package food to create over 17,00 meals. Plenty of feel good for everyone right there!

When was the last time someone did something nice for you? Told you that your new shirt was fantastic, held the elevator for you, or admired you for the progress you’ve made at the gym? If it made your day, it can make someone else’s day – and apparently that makes your brain’s day too.

So go on and celebrate ‘Do Something Nice Day.’ And as we send you off into the world to do your good deeds, we leave you with this quote:

“The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.” – Anonymous