Practice Random Acts of Kindness
We can do no great things - only small things with great love.
- Mother Teresa
In our agitated world, small acts of kindness don’t make headlines and yet, they happen all the time. In fact, they’re more common than acts of violence. From an evolutionary perspective, we’re wired to help each other and work together to survive.
WHY IS IT GOOD?
There’s plenty of research into the power of performing acts of kindness. These are just a few of its positive effects:
You’ll make other people happy. Simple as that.
Reduces stress and anxiety: People who perform more acts of kindness and selfless acts produce 23% less cortisol (the stress hormone).
Slows down ageing: Oxytocin and serotonin are released reducing free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system, slowing down the ageing process.
Reduces physical pain and increases energy levels: Endorphins (brain’s natural painkiller) are released when you engage in an act of kindness.
Reduces blood pressure: Oxytocin causes the release of nitric oxide, a chemical that dilates the blood vessels.
Increases happiness and wellbeing: No surprise, with so much release of feel-good hormones!
It improves your self-esteem and it helps you regain faith in humankind. Being kind towards others is our true nature, we just need to remember to tap into it.
It’s important to understand that kindness can be learnt and taught (info for educators). Not only that, your acts of kindness will have a positive effect beyond the receiver: on the people who witness it, on those who hear about it or who are indirectly affected by it. You’ll be an inspiration for others to follow your lead.
The possibilities in this case are limitless, from giving up your seat on the bus to volunteering or complimenting someone for how well they parked their car. You can do a search for videos about kindness on the internet, you’ll be amazed at how many there are. You can also check out one of the many communities of kindness: Random Acts of Kindness, Kindness Counts, Kindspring, Think Kindness, … Or watch Pay It Forward for inspiration.