Kindness for Life!
Kindness should be part of our everyday lives. Here are several reasons to show kindness:
- Kindness elevates levels of dopamine in your brain which gives you a “helper’s high”.
- Kindness makes you feel joyful and happy, which then shows on your countenance.
- Kindness reduces anxiety and depression by focusing on others creating calmness.
- Kindness slows aging, improves relationships, and benefits heart health.
Doctor’s research has found that kindness shares the same neural space in the brain as empathy. The sensation of empathy identifies needs of others, but it is kindness that translates that need to a spontaneous action to offer help. This is proof that we are much stronger when we’re connected to each other than we are on our own.
Kindness doesn’t have to be complicated, but can come from us thinking of others in simple ways. I am reminded of the last day of my father-in-law’s life. It was Christmas day of 2003. My husband and his dad (Jim) made a quick run to the local 7-11 for some eggnog. My 80-year-old father-in-law was bending down to the bottom shelf of the fridge in the store and pulling forward some milk containers—facing the shelf. My husband said “Dad, we don’t need milk.” Jim said, “I know, but someone will need milk and this will make it easier for them to reach.” Kindness was such a part of his life that he thought of others way in advance. Later that day, after a family walk, Jim collapsed at the door and breathed his last breath. My husband shared this simple story at his funeral.
I am also reminded of something my Pastor shared one Sunday. He was talking about people who apply for a position at the church. He said that before someone is to arrive, he places trash on the grounds, then watches out his office window as the candidate arrives and walks on that path to come into the building. Do they care enough to pick up the trash right in their pathway when no one is looking? If so, this shows kindness and strength of character. It gives them an edge when considering who will get the job.
Plan a kind act today, practice kindness so it is a part of who you are everyday! Your kindness will spread to others. Kind acts affect 3—the doer (you), the recipient, and the witness. All are inspired to keep kindness going, and that can be world-changing!