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20 Acts of Kindness That Will Help You Live Longer

Wanna live longer? I hope the answer is “yes” and if so, do you want to know what the secret is? It’s really simple, actually. The secret to living a longer life is doing something kind for someone else on a regular basis with no expectation of anything in return.

The American Journal of Public Health tracked more than 800 people who’d gone through all sorts of tough times from loss of a job to loss of a spouse. And the really cool thing the study discovered is that the people who stepped out of their comfort zone and did something kind for someone else were less likely to die from any cause within five years of a stressful event. Now on the other hand, for the people who did virtually nothing nice for anybody else, each stressful thing that popped up in their life raised their of chances of dying by up to 30 percent!

So maybe you’re wondering what you can do to show kindness to someone. Well, thanks to Good Housekeeping, here are a couple ideas to get you started:

1. Hold the door open for a stranger at a store
2. Leave a bouquet at the hospital — the nurses will know who needs it the most.
3. If you are in a long line, invite the person behind you to go first.
4. Shower the pediatric wing of one of our local hospitals with $1 coloring books and $2 boxes of new crayons.
5. Bring courtesy back in an instant: Hold the door open for a stranger
6. Curb road rage: Let other cars merge onto the highway.
7. Leave your neighbors a note that tells them how much joy you find in admiring their garden.
8. Put sticky notes with positive messages (e.g., “You look gorgeous!”) on a restroom mirror.
9. Send a thank-you note to the brave officers at your local police station. (Given how we carry on about parking tickets, it’s important to acknowledge the daily risks taken by the men and women on the force.)
10. Share the wealth: Ask the grocery clerk to apply your unused coupons to another customer’s items.
11. Arrange to pay anonymously for a soldier’s breakfast when you see him or her dining alone.
12. Carry someone’s groceries.
13. Bake bread or cookies and deliver the food to a nearby fire station or group home.
14. Be the bigger person: Cede the parking space.
15. Load extra change into the vending machine to buy the next person a Coke.
16. Pause and give people the benefit of the doubt. E-mail, especially, can cause unintentional feather-ruffling.
17. Take kindness on the road: Pay the toll for the car behind you.
18. Slow way down when you drive past a pedestrian — 35 mph can seem like the Indy 500 to a woman walking her dog.
19. Rescue a wallflower! Strike up a conversation with someone who’s standing alone at a party.
20. Leave extra umbrellas in vestibules with notes that say “Use this to stay dry!”

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