The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people. Here are a few evidence based facts:
- Engaging in acts of kindness produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller.
- Doing acts of kindness leads to an increase in relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals.
- Helping others helps you to feel stronger and more energetic as well as feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth.
- People who volunteer live a longer more satisfied life.
- Giving makes us feel happy. One study found that giving money to someone else lifted happiness more that spending it on themselves.
How to be kind
Being kind isn’t rocket science – we all do it every day. But as it’s so beneficial, and so contagious, we thought we’d come up with a few tips and ideas so you can incorporate even more kindness into your day:
Organise a ‘rescue package’ for a friend who needs a pick me up
Give a smile away.
Give someone a call or send an old school letter
While driving, stop to let a car into the traffic.
Offer to mow the grass of your neighbour.
Donate old toys, books, sports equipment, clothes etc to a local charity.
Help out others with their work tasks.
Offer to help an older neighbour with their wheelie bins on rubbish/recycling days.
Give a compliment – acknowledge what someone in your life has done well.
Give away some baking.