The Power of Kindness
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. —Dalai Lama
You have a superpower! The power of kindness.
Remember the feelings you had when someone showed you a special kindness? Or perhaps how you felt when you helped another person?
We have all heard the saying “it’s better to give than to receive.” Studies have shown that acts of kindness not only help the recipient, but also increase the health and happiness of the giver.
Acts of Kindness Can Have Extraordinary Benefits
-Protects memory and cognitive function
Volunteering has been associated with reduced age-related cognitive decline.
-Decreases depression and stress and makes us happier
Volunteering has also been shown to decrease stress and depression. Performing acts of kindness can increase social connections and decrease loneliness. Simple acts of kindness, such as opening doors for strangers, can reward our bodies and brains with the production of serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel good. According to Dr. David Hamilton, author of two books on kindness, oxytocin -a hormone associated with kindness –decreases activity in the amygdala –an area of the brain involved with fear, depression and stress.
-Lowers blood pressure
A research study asked one group with high blood pressure to spend $40 on themselves while another group with high blood pressure was told to spend the money on others. At the end of the six-week study, those who spent money on others had lower blood pressure.
Research has shown when someone witnesses another person helping others, it makes them feel good and inspires them to be kind too.
Don’t Leave Yourself Out When It Comes to Kindness
Being kind to yourself is essential. If you have negative thoughts about yourself or become self-critical take a moment to reflect and see your situation in a different way. Talk to yourself with the same kindness as you would to a good friend in a similar situation.
Here are a few examples of simple acts of kindness that you can do:
- While driving make room to allow another driver to enter your lane.
- Hold the elevator for someone.
- Start your day by asking, “How can I practice being kind today?”
- Plan time each day to do something you enjoy.
Please tell us how an act of kindness made a difference in your day.
You cannot do kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. —Ralph Waldo Emerson