By Carol Salinas
Do you remember your last act of kindness followed by the radiating feeling of warmth and joy engulfing your being? There are a number of perks to being kind towards others especially without the expectation of getting something in return. But even the simplest deed of kindness always pays back and can benefit you in many different ways.
1. The Feeling of Happiness
According to research, when you are kind to someone else, your brain begins to produce dopamine, making you feel happier and also boosts your energy levels. So, the next time you feel low or are just not in the best mood, try an act of kindness.
According to Dr. Oliver Scott Curry, from the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Oxford, he says : 'Humans are social animals. We are happy to help family, friends, colleagues, community members and even strangers under some conditions. This research suggests that people do indeed derive satisfaction from helping others. This is probably because we genuinely care about others' welfare, and because random acts of kindness are a good way of making new friends, and kick-starting supportive social relationships.'
2. Helping You Learn Better
Scientifically it is proven that practicing kindness in a learning environment like school, has a positive effect on your health and improves your cognitive ability. This is triggered by Serotonin, a chemical reaction in your brain that is responsible for balancing your mood; and helps you think more clearly. The more kind you are in class, the better the learning experience and the happier you are.
Rick Weissbourd, author of The Parents We Mean to Be and Director of the Making Caring Common project at Harvard says that kids learn more when kindness and tolerance run through a school culture. In addition, research shows that kindness can be taught and learned at school, giving children the opportunity to learn social and emotional skills and develop emotional intelligence.
3. Decrease The Levels Of Stress
The other benefits of serotonin (both for the person who is being kind and the person who is receiving the act of kindness) is the decrease of stress levels. But it doesn’t stop there! Anyone who is also watching the act of kindness also experiences stress reduction.
A good example of this might be to help someone crossing the street or finding the address of a particular place for someone. Whether you’re helping an individual or a group of people, the more people you help, the better everyone feels.
4. Improve Your Self-Esteem
We’ve talked a lot about being kind to others. But what about being kind to yourself? What about self-care? Did you know something as simple as having a hot shower or serving yourself a hot beverage can improve your self-esteem? Whether you’re practicing yoga or giving someone a hug, taking care of yourself is just as important as being kind to others.
According to Sharon Salzberg, meditation teacher and the author of The Kindness Handbook, “Kindness can manifest as compassion, as generosity, as paying attention.”
5. Make Connections
Practicing kindness also helps with the development of empathy and fortifies connections with peers.
For instance, kind acts such as buying a coffee for a co-worker or friend can strengthen the existing friendship. Or volunteering for an organization or charity is a good opportunity to meet new people and develop new connections.
If you take a moment to be kind in your daily life, not only will you benefit but others around you will too. How are you practicing kindness? Let us know on all social media platforms @vibe105to !