Kindness - the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.

Gratitude - the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. 

Research shows that helping others can be beneficial to our mental health.  Science has shown that devoting resources to others, rather than having more and more for yourself, brings about lasting well-being. A sense of community is created when people are kind to those who need help. Recently our research has shown that the quality of ones' social connections most strongly predicts ones' mood and sense of well-being. Unfortunately, education around acts of kindness and gratitude has diminished in our culture. One goal of the Vermont Family Based Approach is to create positive social connections built around being kind and expressing gratitude between parents, children, family, friends, and your community. There are many ways to be kind and many opportunities to practice. See our list of ideas below. 

For additional resources around Kindness & Gratitude check out the links below






Ideas for Kindness & Gratitude


  • Smile broadly to 3 or more people.
  • Draw a picture and send it to a loved one in the mail or via email.
  • Offer to help a neighbor with outdoor chores, such as raking leaves or watering their garden.
  • Share a song you like with a friend.
  • Do a puzzle or play a game with a family member.
  • Pay it forward - buy coffee for the stranger in line behind you.
  • Go for a socially distanced walk with a family member or friend.
  • Call a close family member or friend to check in.
  • Thank someone who does a hard job that not many people would want to do.
  • Write down 3 good things that have happened to you this week.
  • Make time to connect with friends.
  • Send a gratitude letter to a friend or family member.
  • Pick up a piece of waste from the ground and properly dispose of it.
  • Donate unwanted books, clothing, and/or food items.
  • Hold the door for someone.
  • Give 3 honest compliments.
  • Actively listen to someone you are sharing a conversation with.
  • Surprise a friend with a small gift.
  • Tell a friend what you appreciate most about them.
  • Go the whole day without saying something negative.
  • Send a Thank You to a medical responder, grocery store worker, or one of the many people helping your community.
  • Send a note to your teacher or mentor.