Kindness Idea

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Ask if You Can Help

Many people find it quite difficult to ask someone for help. They feel that they are inconveniencing the other person or "unloading" on them. The next time you see someone who looks down or frustrated, offer to help them. Simply ask how you could help make a situation better.

Are there things you could teach them? Is there a task you could do for them? Offer to help, and then find out specifically how you can help. They will be so glad you did! And you will be, too.


When we help others we develop a deep sense of satisfaction. Helping others adds a sense of purpose and meaning to our lives, and it helps us recognize we aren't alone in this world. When you are helping other people you take your focus off of yourself and have a bigger perspective. Sometimes it is refreshing to stop worrying about your own problems and help someone else tackle theirs. And when you return to your own problems later, they often don't seem nearly as daunting!

Step It Up:

Make helping others your lifestyle. Commit to volunteer weekly or monthly at a local youth shelter or soup kitchen. Do one thing everyday that helps another person: hold the door open for someone; drop someone's mail off at the post office; take your neighbor's dog for a walk; fold your sister's laundry; make dinner for your spouse. Include your friends and family in this life style and invite them to help people each day as well. At the dinner table encourage your family to share what they did to help others that day. Or keep a journal of all the things you did to help others in a day and record how those helpful acts made you feel.

Keep It Simple:

Start with those closest to you. Ask you sibling, spouse or best friend what you could do for them to help them out. Pick one person and do one helpful thing for them a week. Sometimes they will say there is nothing you can do, but don't let that stop you! You can bake them cookies or help them with their homework or chores. Be creative and find a way to help even if they don't give you a straight answer. Sometimes it can be awkward to ask someone face to face if you can help them, so try giving them a call or sending them an email asking how you can help.

Related Resources:

Read some more information on the health benefits of helping others.

25 ways to help others today!

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