“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”Mark Twain
Have you ever had a stranger pay for your coffee or hold the door for you? Experiencing an act of kindness can bring a smile to your face and improve your mood. Kindness can be shown as a supportive smile, a helpful hand, or heartfelt words. In today’s fast-paced lifestyle these gestures can be increasingly meaningful. Kindness benefits both the giver and the receiver.
Being kind to others is known to have lasting effects on our mental and physical health. Kindness lights up the pleasure center of the brain and releases serotonin and oxytocin. The release of the hormone oxytocin is associated with decreasing blood pressure and reducing inflammation. This is why kindness feels good. Further, it is valued across cultures and religions, and is an innate part of our being.
Benefits of kindness include:
- Improve relationships with others.
- Increase overall happiness.
- Improve feelings of self-worth or self-esteem.
- Decrease anxiety and depression.
- Reduce stress.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of kindness is developing connections. The more we connect with others the greater empathy and understanding we display. Go ahead—do that volunteer activity or smile at a stranger. Be kind to Humankind.