Do you remember the last time you were kind to someone? Recall the response you got and the feelings you had.
If you are successful in recalling the positive thoughts and leaving a lasting impression on someone, you can realize the importance of kindness. In this self-centered world, people are running for wealth and fame. When they attain their desired position, most people become materialistic.
This small planet, therefore, needs more empathetic and kind people. We all agree that kindness is essential, but only a few practices it. I have seen many people preaching about being kind while being loud, rude, unfair and short-tempered with their immediate friends and family members.
In my culture, it said that one act of kindness is akin to giving charity for a lifetime. The smile, encouragement, positivity and the peace that you bring to another’s face is priceless. In my life, I have met many people from all walks of life who practice kindness. Their actions impact the lives of others around them.
Here are a few examples:
1. Kindness Makes You Happy
Some people have everything in life but still are unhappy. Experts claim that helping others, buying gifts and showing empathy to others makes a person happy. Scientists have even found that kind acts trigger the production of happy hormones such as dopamine in the body. People who help others through their word, actions or money experience a deep satisfaction that brings a positive change in their lives, as well as the lives of the people they help.
Imagine you were walking down the road and saw an old man struggling with grocery bags. In the act of kindness, you took the bags from him and walked alongside while having a pleasant conversation. You will bring a smile to his face and that will make you feel positive as well. When you start your day with a positive act you are in a more positive mind-frame throughout the day and are likely to be happier.
2. Kindness Lowers Anxiety
Most of us experience anxiety at some point in our life. Whether it is about a new job or a new relationship, a financial crisis or a work-related issue, treating anxiety can be tricky. Another benefit of kindness is that it lowers anxiety levels. Kindness is therapeutic – it lowers anxiety and increases happiness.
3. Kindness is Good for Your Health
You may have heard that kindness is like chicken soup for the soul and the heart. What you may not know is that it can actually strengthen your physical heart.
According to medical health experts kindness causes the brain to instruct the pituitary gland to release the hormone oxytocin. This is called the love hormone or the cuddle hormone. It not only plays a role in strengthening social bonds and maintaining relationships, but it also improves the health of your heart.
Oxytocin decreases inflammation and produces nitric oxide which expands blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. It helps in regulating healthy blood flow to the heart which protects you from the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.
4. Kindness Reduces Stress
Another big disruptive thing in our lives is stress. This can be triggered at any point in our life, irrespective of age, gender or socioeconomic status. Stress affects our mental well-being as well as our overall health.
Studies show that kind behavior can successfully combat stress. Kindness promotes affiliate behavior which helps us build relationships with others. When we have strong social bonds it’s easier to cope with and manage stress.
When we show or receive kindness, we develop a strong bond with that person. Psychologists and psychotherapists advise developing loving relations, making friends and staying in a positive environment for reducing stress levels. All these bonds are created with the help of kindness, love and affinity.
5. Kindness is a Harbinger of Hope
Your one small act of kindness can be life-changing for another person. Kindness brings hope to people’s lives and can motivate them to live on and succeed.
A mother was at the edge of hopelessness because her child was sick with cancer and she did not have enough money to get treatment. A kind family not only gave them the money, but they also took responsibility for securing appointments with doctors (asking them to do the case pro bono) and counseling the family on how to make better financial decisions.
This family not only saved the girl’s life, they also equipped the mother to deal with finances and take care of herself in the future. This act transformed the mother from a helpless person to a confident person who knew she could take care of herself and her children.
When I was working with a carpet cleaning business, the company had a “bring a smile” social responsibility project. Each month the company collected money and gave it to a deserving person in the community. This fund made it possible for people to attend school, receive medical treatment and more.
People feel hopeless due to many reasons – failure in getting the desired job, relationship problems, career development issues, etc. But, how can these people cope with hopelessness? If their friends and family show them love, affection and kindness it can motivate them and help them overcome the thoughts of hopelessness.
6. Kindness is Contagious
Did you know that kindness has a contagious nature? When you smile at an individual, you get a smile back; when you help your mate, you get help back in the future; and when you show love, you get back a loving connection. All of these scenarios show that kindness is highly contagious.
Though this world is full of greedy and selfish people, many others love to spread love and show kindness. If you are feeling lonely, combating stress or having sparks of demotivation, it is not the end of the world. Changing your life is still possible.
Start today and aim to help others. The positivity that you receive in response will help you overcome your problems. Have firm faith in the fact that spreading smiles can give you more smiles. Make an effort to change other’s lives by little acts of kindness. You will then see the magical impact of kindness in your own life. Start a chain of kindness today.