Being kind to others is one of those things that’s a win-win for everybody. Not only does the person you are being kind to benefit from your generous acts or attitude, but you also benefit from being kind as well.
When you are kind to others, you will experience an increased level of serotonin. Serotonin (or also known as the “happy” chemical) is the neurotransmitter that plays a critical role in our overall happiness and wellbeing. So in short, kindness helps lead to better relationships, improved self-esteem, happiness, success, and overall better general health. Plus, it’s fun being kind, so why not?
Why It Is Important To Be Kind To Others
I was getting my morning coffee today when one of the baristas asked me how long until I started my new job. I told her that I would only be coming into the coffee shop for another week before I was going to be working in a different part of the city. She frowned and said that she was going to miss seeing me every morning.
As if that wasn’t nice enough, she then asked me a question that was truly humbling. She asked me why I was always so kind.
I didn’t know how to answer this question, at least not with a valid answer as to why I try to be as kind as possible, so I simply said “I don’t know. Why not?” and smiled.
But the more I thought about this question, the more I realized why I truly try to be as kind as possible. The answer, in short, is because not only does it help to improve the lives of those around me, but it also helps to improve my life as well.
There are so many people out there who are struggling to make it through the day. Despite what is happening in your life, there is always somebody out there who has it worse.
This isn’t to say that your problems are irrelevant or don’t hold any significant meaning, but knowing how you feel right now and knowing that there is somebody who feels worse, why not try to uplift them just like you want somebody to uplift you?
From Having Everything to Not Having A Thing
Back when I was in the midst of my depression, there was very little that I found to be enjoyable in life. Things that I once loved doing such as hanging out with friends and family, golfing, going out to the movies, or just being around others, quickly became things that I hardly, if ever, did at all.
I fell into a routine, had the exact same schedule every day, and when I wasn’t either at work or working out, I would lock myself in my room and play video games all day.
In the span of just a short few years, I went from being one of the happiest and outgoing individuals you would have ever met to shutting myself off from the outside world because I couldn’t find anything to be happy about. I had lost all hope that I would ever again know what it felt like to be truly happy.
It sounds a bit dramatic, but that’s sincerely how I felt.
The Day That Changed My Perspective on Life
I remember the day where I reached my breaking point all too well. I had got into an argument with both of my sisters, said some things that I shouldn’t have, and kept going until my parents stepped in. At that point, I felt like it was everybody else against me.
I stormed out of my parents’ house, sped off, and started driving home. In the short distance from my parents’ house to my house, all of these thoughts flooded my mind. I couldn’t believe what my life had become and how I went from being so happy to so bitter.
I pulled over on the side of the road and broke down. Still, though, it was everybody else’s fault but my own.
After three days of not talking to anybody in my family (which is very hard to do, especially when you live with them), I knew that how I had been living my life wasn’t how I wanted to be living it. I had to change who I was, and it finally hit me that only I had the power to do so. But before I could make amends with others, I had to make amends with myself.
For me, that meant seeing myself as being successful instead of being a failure, seeing myself as strong instead of weak, and loving myself for my strengths instead of hating myself for my flaws.
Why I Try To Be Kind To Others
There are many things that have helped me with turning my life around. Obviously the support of my family has been incredible, but one of the other things that helped was taking accountability for my actions. Lashing out at others and locking myself away from the outside world wasn’t benefiting me at all.
While I could sit here and say that being kind to others helped to change my life overnight, the truth is that it didn’t. Kindness is something that I still practice on a daily basis – and yes, just like with mindfulness, happiness, or any other emotion, kindness is a practice.
But what I can tell you, is that being kind to others and actively practicing kindness has been one of the best decisions that I have made for myself. Not only do I feel as if I am helping to improve the lives of others through doing so, but from a selfish perspective, I also feel as if I am improving my life as well.
Because I prioritize kindness, I have found a level of self-confidence that I never knew existed. Again, there are still many things in which I struggle with and some fears that I still have to conquer, but I believe in myself and that I possess the power needed in order to do so.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I try to be kind to others for a magnitude of reasons – all of which have helped to improve my life. I try to be kind to others to try and make a difference in the world, and I also practice to try and make a difference in my own life as well.
So far, it has done just that, and until something changes, it’s something that I am going to continue to do.
Yesterday’s post: Take The Leap: Reinvent Yourself And Who You Want To Be