Kindness – Easy as Breathing
Have you ever experienced someone perform an act of kindness towards you or others around you? Notice how it instantly brightens your day up, reminds you of a time someone else was kind to you and makes you want to pay it forward? Why is it that a simple act of kindness can have such a profound effect on us?
‘Kindness = Happiness, Happiness = Kindness”
Research suggests that regularly being kind to others, with or without reason is a great way to increase general happiness, contentment, and well-being. Random acts of kindness are the simplest way to lift not only your mood but also that of everyone around you. There is no loser; everyone wins! Performing an act of kindness can have many positive effects on you, including:
- A boost to your mental and physical health, your stress can simply melt away.
- Feeling a “helper’s high”, a distinct physical sensation of feeling stronger, more energetic, calmer, and less depressed.
- Activation of your brain’s “reward centre” releases pain-relieving chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and endogenous opioids. Simply witnessing an act of kindness has the power to release these feel-good chemicals.
Kindness promotes gratitude, empathy, and compassion which in turn leads to a sense of interconnectedness with others. Connectedness with others in turn lessens alienation and enhances the sense that we are more similar than dissimilar in our experiences. Kindness is potent in strengthening our sense of community and belonging, and feeling connected brings us closer together and helps us find common ground.
We can change the world one positive reaction at a time, with simple acts of kindness. With so much to gain, what exactly can we do to practice kindness in our day-to-day lives? Below is some inspiration to help you start today:
- Give someone a compliment.
- Make someone laugh.
- Send a sweet unexpected text/email.
- Reach out to someone who may be lonely.
- Use social media intentionally.
- Pay for someone’s coffee.
- Hold the elevator.
- Help an elderly person with their groceries.
- Volunteer for a cause.
- Send flowers to your mom/friend.
A simple act of kindness can elevate your mood and help you see a brighter side of life. Make these a part of your everyday life, commit to doing them as regularly as you can, and eventually, it will become as easy as breathing.