Kindness is such a simple concept, but yet it is often overlooked despite being so very impactful. Kindness, this one word, has the power to truly make the world a better place by ending any and all pain and suffering. It can end the pain and suffering that comes from war, hunger, human rights violations, and injustice. And not only that, but it also has the power to drastically improve our own well-being as well as those who are closest to us.
Within the workforce, it is kindness towards one another that can inspire employees to be more productive and make businesses more profitable. Within our communities, it is kindness that contributes to safer and cleaner schools and neighborhoods. And within our personal relationships, it is kindness that will draw others near to us and create lasting, lifelong relationships.
So what does it take to be kind? Actually, it takes less effort than you may think. Kindness is not something that demands tremendous amounts of hard work. It stems from the simple act of doing no harm to others. It is harder and takes more effort to harm or hate others than it does to practice kindness.
Think about all of the times you have done wrong by others. Have you ever noticed how you continue to think about your actions when you are in the wrong? Have you noticed how much energy it sucks out of you? Have you ever noticed how heavy that feeling of guilt is? But yet, when you are kind, you feel happier, lighter, and as though you have endless amounts of energy. That’s because you do have more energy when you are kinder, and that sense of energy stems from the fact that being kinder requires less energy than it takes to hate or harm others.
How Being Kinder Has Improved My Life
Backtrack to two-and-a-half years ago, I was a freaking wreck. I was so unhappy, felt miserable about myself and who I was as a person, and admittingly, I was angry and hostile towards others. Life was a struggle.
I wish I could describe how miserable I truly felt, but as a result being so negative, all of my relationships suffered, I had lost all self-respect, and constantly felt drained and exhausted. Overall, I just had little hope for a better life.
It wasn’t until I started studying self-improvement and the benefits of kindness that I began to actually started to change my behavior and find happiness in my life. I was forcing myself to be kinder to other. I was forcing myself to walk around with a smile on my face even when I had no reason to smile. And I was constantly reminding myself to act out of kindness and to make that my number one priority.
And it worked! I was forcing myself to be a kinder person and it was showing. I began to see life in a different way and for one of the first times in a long time, I began to see hope for my future. Forcing myself to be kind not only to others, but to myself as well, has been the single best choice I have made. It has honestly changed my life in so many positive ways.
The Benefits Of Being Kind
So how can being kind change your life? What are some of the benefits of being kinder to others?
Being kind makes us happier.
I got to be honest, it feels so good to give to others. It’s like this warm feeling you get inside knowing you are creating a positive change in more lives than just your own.
There is scientific research that proves that when you are kind to others, you are rewarded with boosts of dopamine, which is also known as the “feel good” chemical of the brain. When dopamine is produced, we experience a big surge of positive feelings. It’s almost like a high and as though there isn’t anything in the world that can bring you down. You are happy and nothing can stop you from feeling that way.
Being kind improves our health
When we are kind, we tend to hold onto less stress. As we all know, stress is one of the leading causes of heart disease.
Stephen Post, author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People, writes, “The remarkable bottom line of the science of love is that giving protects your overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease.”
Think about that for a moment. Think about all those times where you have taken aspirin for pain. What would have happened if you would have just practiced kindness? How would your overall health be different – be better – if you would have practiced kindness?
The fact that kindness is more powerful than a medicine is truly remarkable! The research found that those who regularly practice kindness also report lower blood pressure and suffer from depression less frequently. It is, though, important to know that being kind doesn’t mean we aren’t going to have our goods days and our bad days. It just means that are good days will be more frequent and our bad days less frequent.
Being kind improves our relationships
Like attracts like. When you are kind to others, you will attract kinder individuals into your life. The relationships you have with others will be stronger, more meaningful, and much more enjoyable. Not only that, but the relationship you have with yourself will be so much better and so much stronger.
Everybody knows someone who is full of hatred and negativity. Would you want to spend your time around that person who complains all the time and can’t ever find anything good to say? Of course not, so then don’t be that person for others. Don’t speak with hatful words and don’t act with harmful intentions.
Being kind can help us live longer
Get this, being kind can also help you to live a longer life. Not just a happier life, but a longer life as well.
Numerous studies have linked kindness with improved life expectancy. One such study by Doug Oman of the University of California, Berkeley, found that people who regularly volunteered were 44% less likely to die over a five-year period. Even more remarkable is that those who volunteered for two or more organizations had 63% lower mortality than non-volunteers. This was a stronger factor than exercising four times a week.
You want to live a longer life, don’t you? Then be kind!
Being kind is fun
Do you really need any other reason than it just being fun? I mean, come on, everybody wants to have more fun in life, right? So why not be kind? Why not do something to make somebody else’s day? Why not be the change you wish to see in the world? Why not just have fun and be kind to yourself and to those around you?
As someone who struggled with this in the past, being kind has made my life MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE! I can’t even begin to put into words how much better my life is now, and a large part of that is due to doing everything I can in my power to be kinder.
Kindness may be the secret sauce to a healthy, happy life. But don’t just take my word for it. Share a smile, make a donation, volunteer, or help others—then let me know how you feel!