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35 Simple Acts of Kindness You Can Do in 2 Minutes or Less

Here are inspiring ideas to brighten someone's day in 120 seconds or less. Pass it on!

Random Act of KindnessKaisha Morse/Shutterstock

Acts of kindness

An act of kindness, no matter how small, can go a long way. Take a tiny portion of your day to put a smile on someone’s face or give someone an unexpected surprise with these kind gestures. If you’re on a budget, these random acts of kindness don’t cost a cent.

Modern cafe businessDmytro Zinkevych/Shutterstock

Pay it forward

If you’re not in a rush while grabbing your morning coffee, offer to pay for the person behind you as well. This simple act of kindness might inspire them to pass along some good in the world as well. These 21 people reveal the acts of kindness that changed their lives.

Sticky note on a windshieldtrendobjects/Shutterstock

Leave a letter

Carry around a stack of sticky notes with you, and if you’re feeling inspired write an encouraging note and leave it on the mirror in a public bathroom or on the window of someone’s car. You never know who might need some inspiring words to put a smile on their face. Take a look at the most heartwarming acts of kindness from last year.

People Hands Cupping Plant Nurture EnvironmentalRawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Plant a tree

Say thank you to the earth by planting a few saplings in your local park or in your yard. If everyone took the time to do this think of all the greenery we could enjoy.

helping elderlyLighthunter/Shutterstock

Help an elderly neighbor

If you notice an elderly person struggling with their groceries or to bring their trash can in from the curb, offer to help them. Chances are, they will be very appreciative, and this act of kindness will take less than two minutes. These photos will remind you that there is still good in the world.

Hungry workers grabbing muffins in the officewavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Bring in treats for your co-workers

Pick up a few extra goodies with your morning bagel and bring them in for your co-workers to enjoy. This can be a great mood booster during a stressful time a work. Take a few minutes to chat about your day and eat with them to take some of the pressure off. These true stories prove that good karma is real.

loose change on wood tableBret Skagerberg/Shutterstock

Help someone find loose change

Leave a stack of quarters on a laundromat washing machine with a note saying they’re free for the taking. It is super frustrating to arrive at the laundromat and realize that you’ve forgotten your bag of change. This super simple act of kindness will prevent tired moms and dads from having a breakdown. Don’t miss these life-changing acts of kindness.

WROCLAW, POLAND - MARCH 28th, 2017: Man scratches Polish lottery scratchcard. Scratchcard is a small card, where areas contain concealed information which can be revealed by scratching off.Daniel Krason/Shutterstock

Pass on some luck

Give a lottery ticket to a stranger on the street. Win or lose, just receiving the ticket will surely brighten someone’s day. And who knows, your kind action may have just created a new millionaire!

Transportation, winter, weather, people and vehicle concept - man cleaning snow from car with brushSunKids/Shutterstock

Help clear off a car

When you’re cleaning snow and ice off your car in a parking lot, clean off the next car as well. Not only are you helping out another driver, but you’re also making the roads safer for everyone. A lot of kindness is spread in the 50 nicest places in America.

A woman is drinking tea and reading a book, female hands are holding a glass beaker with a drink. Lifestyle, relaxationggala/Shutterstock

Help a friend practice self-care

Slip an envelope containing a tea bag into a friend’s purse with a note inviting her to take some relaxing time for herself. Your kind action is now causing another—your friend can now be kind to herself.

Girl hand drawing, blank paper and colorful pencils on old wooden tablesuriya yapin/Shutterstock

Help a child in a time of stress

Buy coloring books and crayons and donate them to your local police department. When the police are called to a home where there are children, one officer can engage the kids while the other handles the situation. This is a great way to calm and distract children during what can be a very frightening experience. To spread more kindness, make sure to say these nice compliments every day.

Close Up Of Mother Cuddling Sleeping Baby Daughter At HomeMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Praise a parent

Tell a parent they’re doing a good job. (They probably rarely hear that!) You are almost guaranteed to be rewarded with a shy but bright smile in return. Read these 19 powerful quotes about compassion for more inspiration.

Happy beautiful smiley girlfriends being photographed by a man.Lighthunter/Shutterstock

Offer to take a photo

Whenever you see someone taking a family photo, offer to snap the shot so everyone can be included in the moment. You never know—that photo could be featured on their holiday card that year or become a treasured memento. And folks almost always offer to return the favor!

Close-up Of Person's Hand Putting Letters In MailboxAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Leave a welcome note

When a new family moves into the neighborhood, use chalk to leave welcome messages on the sidewalk in front of their home. It can be hard to settle into a new area. Chalk messages are great ways to show how warm and friendly the neighborhood is and how excited everyone is to meet the new residents. Learn the etiquette rules for being a good neighbor.

rain drops falling from a orange umbrellaKatjabakurova/Shutterstock

Make someone’s rainy day

Buy extra umbrellas and keep them in your car. When you see someone caught in a downpour, hand one over. You could be saving someone from walking into an interview or important meeting drenched.

A teenage girl holding a recycling containerAir Images/Shutterstock

Put the earth first

Be kind to the earth! Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth, switch to paperless billing, recycle, use energy-efficient light bulbs, use a refillable water bottle, and bring cloth bags to the supermarket. We only have one planet, we need to keep it clean and protected! To make this easier, here’s how you can recycle just about anything.

Selective focus on handwriting in spiral notebook creating to do list with targets on white page, cropped image of afro american female designer drawing sketches for project in diary with penGaudiLab/Shutterstock

Help a new homeowner

Moving? Tape a list with the names and numbers of local plumbers, electricians, and dry cleaners, along with other helpful information, on a kitchen cabinet for the new owners. The last thing a new homeowner has time for is researching reputable repair companies. Your list will eliminate a lot of hassle and stress.

Business deal handshake from above. Straight focus on the handsoneinchpunch/Shutterstock

Introduce yourself

Take the time to learn the name of someone who regularly helps you out— whether it’s a security guard, a doorman, or a cashier at your grocery store. Greet them by name. This seemingly small gesture will demonstrate how greatly you value your local service people and your interactions with them. Here are some of the things polite people always say.

home and leasure concept - smiling woman reading magazine at homefile404/Shutterstock

Leave reading material behind

Read magazines on a plane? Don’t dump them when you’re done—offer them to the flight attendants for their reading pleasure. These magazines can be great distractions for travel workers when they’re off far away from their loved ones.

Close up portrait of smiling young couple having fun outdoors. Man and woman enjoying themselves on a winter day at the beach.Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Make someone laugh

If you know someone who is having a hard time, text them a pun or a joke. You’ll brighten up their day and take their mind off difficult thoughts, even if it’s just for a moment. You can also text suggestions of funny podcasts for an added dose of comedy medicine. Don’t miss these 24 touching tales about the kindness of strangers.

Concept of support - man and woman holding hands in the roomAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Forgive a debt

Money is so often the root of stress and shame. Canceling a debt can easily eliminate these feelings from a friendship and create a kinder, more loving relationship.

Zero waste, plastic free recycled textile produce bag for carrying fruit (apple, orange, pear and a banana) or vegetables, a wooden surface. Bags are made with a sewing machine out of old curtains.SpelaG91/Shutterstock

Bring extra bags

Besides remembering everything on your grocery list make it your mission to bring extra bags to the supermarket to share with people who’ve forgotten to bring their own. Shoppers, as well as Mother Earth, will thank you! Learn more simple ways to reduce waste.

Female hands holding gift box with red ribbon. Woman opening her present. Casual style. Kate Aedon/Shutterstock

Invent your own holiday

You don’t have to wait until December to have fun! If you notice a pal is feeling down or your sister is stressed, create your own special occasion, like National Big Sister Day. Shower her with flowers and small gifts. Invite family and friends to get in on it too.

Soap Bubbles in front of the forest Cuson/Shutterstock

Bubbles for all

The next time the kids want to go to the playground bring bottles of bubbles, large pieces of chalk, and stickers, and leave them in a central location for kids to help themselves. The kids will have a blast, you will get some well-needed rest and relaxation and other mothers and fathers on the playground will appreciate the kind gesture. Read these children’s books to your kids that encourage them to be nice.

Pile of newspapers on a wooden table.Jne Valokuvaus/Shutterstock

Leave it behind

Do you want an easy way to pay it forward? When you’re finished reading a newspaper or magazine on a bus or train, leave it in the seat pocket so the next person who boards can read it for free. What an easy way to put a smile on someone’s face and cure commuter boredom with free entertainment!

Cup of coffee with beautiful Latte artbehindlens/Shutterstock

Treat a long-distance friend

If you know someone special who is celebrating a birthday or promotion, send them money via Venmo to buy coffee or lunch for themselves. This small act will demonstrate that you are thinking of them from afar and as the old saying goes, “the best ship of all is friendship.” If your BFF is closer, treat them to watching these best movies about friends.

roll of toilet paperimages72/Shutterstock

Help a class stay healthy

On the first day of school, send your kid in with a bag of tissues, antibacterial wipes, and paper towels, which will help keep everyone healthy, safe, and clean. Here are 12 more heartwarming stories that will restore your faith in humanity.

African american person holding a tactile mobile smartphone - Black peopleSamuel Borges Photography/Shutterstock

Call your parents and grandparents regularly

The days are slow but the years are fast, which means you should check in with the people who matter to you most. Picking up the phone for a check-in is a nice departure from a quick text message.

Pizza in cardboard box on wooden tableLeszek Czerwonka/Shutterstock

Send a pizza from far away

Order a pizza and have it delivered to out-of-town friends dealing with a birth, death, or another major life event. A heartfelt and delicious food delivery will put a smile on the faces of people dealing with a major life event who often don’t have time to sit down for a nice meal during the hectic period in their lives. Here are the things you should say to someone who is grieving.

Art Supplies and Blank Sketch PadOneSmallSquare/Shutterstock

Donate extras

Is your household the home to more arts and crafts tools than it can hold? Donate arts and crafts supplies to your local library for after-school fun. After a whole day spent at school, there is nothing more relaxing for some children than drawing away the afternoon!

Preparing healthy vegetarian snacks on white rustic wood. Female hands making sandwiches and putting into take away plastic lunch box, top view. Eating right, picnic and food storage conceptProstock-studio/Shutterstock

Pay for a student’s lunch

Call your local school’s social worker and offer to anonymously cover the cost of a needy student’s school breakfast or lunch, or their books for the year. Besides taking the burden off of a family in need just thinking about the smile on this child’s face is sure to brighten your day.

The gesture of the hands mean the promisesebra/Shutterstock

Keep your word

It’s simple: if you say you’re going to do something, do it. Although this sounds straightforward many people simply forget to keep their word. Keeping a promise shows that you took the time to think about someone. Don’t miss these 17 stories about ordinary people showing extraordinary generosity.

Business people shaking hands.Gutesa/Shutterstock

Be the best boss you can be

If you run a business, go the extra mile for your employees by giving everyone the day off on their birthday. By leading by example, you will foster an environment of both generosity and kindness. Here are some golden rules to being a great boss. 

Savings coupons and scissors shot on shopping bags with soft drop shadowJim Barber/Shutterstock

Be a coupon fairy

The next time you are at the supermarket, leave a coupon on a grocery store item. The person finding it won’t expect it and it is a quick and delicious way to brighten their day.

Colorful set of baby romper on brick wallAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Donate baby clothes

You know those infant clothes that your baby outgrew in weeks? Pass them along to a new mom who will be grateful for the worn-in and heartfelt present. She can then pass it along to another new mother who can continue to pay it forward within the mom circle. Here’s what else a new mom could really use.

Four hands with smart phones holding glasses with red wine, on wooden table backgroundAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Be a professional matchmaker

Think about two people whose professional skills complement each other and introduce them over dinner at your house. This is a nice way to introduce people who may not have met otherwise. And who knows, maybe the next best-selling business will be born right under your nose! Read on for 10 random acts of kindness you can do today.