By Katelyn Millinor, LPC
“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. Being kind 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. It 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. If you are looking for ideas of ways to share random acts of kindness with others, check out these 50 fun ideas.
Some you can try today include:
- Smile at 5 strangers
- Send a gratitude email to a deserving coworker
- Tell a manager how wonderful their employee was at helping you
- Compliment 3 people you meet today
- Send a positive text message to people in your life
Be kind to Humankind.
Talk with someone on NOAH’s behavioral health team to discuss any questions or challenges you or a loved one has with moods, emotions, and so much more.