Do Something Nice Day: the power of positive connections and thinking on your health

Connecting to people around you each day, whether they are strangers or your loved ones is inevitable. But, are your connections meaningful? Are they making a positive impact on your life? National Do Something Nice Day is a day to encourage the power of positive thinking and connections. Dedicating your time to doing something nice for others clearly makes your community a better place. It causes a chain reaction of other positive events around you. Along with health benefits, doing nice things for others can also help you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills. Volunteering or committing random acts of kindness changes your life for the better and possibly the lives of others. 

Why is doing nice things for others good for you?

Doing nice things for others such as volunteering isn’t just nice for other people. There are actually benefits you receive when doing good for others. Western Connecticut State University reported that, “Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not, even when considering factors like the health of the participants. Volunteering has also been shown to lessen symptoms of chronic pain or heart disease.” There are physical and mental health benefits to doing nice things for others!

The day-to-day choices you make are what influence our quality of life, and health while living with type 2. The likelihood of developing chronic life-shortening illnesses and disabling conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke can be reduced by the daily choices you make for yourself.  Doing positive things and having positive thinking is something small you can do daily, with very little effort to impact your own health! 

“People with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook”, says Johns Hopkins expert Lisa R. Yanek, M.P.H. Johns Hopkins medical reports that there is definitely a strong link between “positivity” and health. Additional studies have found that a positive attitude improves outcomes and life satisfaction across a spectrum of conditions—including traumatic brain injury, stroke and brain tumors.

Positive Thinking and Connections

Adopt positive thinking for the day

Start with one day, you can do anything for one day. Take this day to try to only spread kind thoughts or words to others. That doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to have negative feelings or discomfort. Negative things are part of our daily life! As negative thoughts and experiences arise during the day, take a minute to acknowledge it, give your thought or feeling a name, and find a way to let it go. When you speak about others, try to just share the positives. 

3 Positivity Spreaders

  • Smile - A University of Kansas study found that smiling—even fake smiling—reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations. So try a few minutes of YouTube humor therapy when you’re stomping your feet waiting in line or fuming over a work or family situation. It’s difficult not to smile while watching a favorite funny video.
  • Fill others buckets - The idea of “filling others buckets” is a metaphor for actions or words that show that you care about someone. Saying or doing something kind. When you see something great, call it out! Don’t be afraid to share a compliment about someone.
  • Anticipate the needs of others - Take the opportunity to help someone by opening the door for them, offer to help them carry something, or hold the elevator. If you see people taking a photo of themselves ask if they want you to photograph them instead. Do a little something extra to make someone else’s life easier. 


...with that neighbor, stranger, friend or family member. We all have that one stranger we seem to run into at the grocery store or on the walking path that we just keep meaning to say hi to.  There is that one friend we keep meaning to call and that one family member who you haven’t connected with in awhile. Whether you are able to connect safely in person or virtually, having this positive connection is good for both of you! Make that phone call, send that package or letter or finally introduce yourself to that stranger you have bumped into. 

Donate Time or Money

Look around for the resources, natural gifts and hobbies you already have to see what you can contribute. This change of seasons is a great time to take stock and clean out all your old clothes to donate them to someone in need. Volunteer at a local organization or a larger scale non-profit that you love. Bring it full circle and invite your family to join with you as you spread positivity by making a volunteer project a family affair or social activity with friends! 


Evidence of volunteerism’s physical effects can be found in a recent study from Carnegie Mellon University, published this month in Psychology and Aging. Adults over age 50 who volunteered on a regular basis were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. Positive thinking helps with stress management and can even improve your health. The day-to-day choices you make are what influence our quality of life, and health while living with type 2. For more information on how to live a healthy life by making daily choices, join our community Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together