When an old lady crosses the street; when a beggar child pulls your jeans; when a friend is in need. Watching your parents grow old, or your grandparents need support; when your child wants to share their first mistakes, or anyone you know is going through a hard time…
Showing kindness and a helping hand in these situations can boost their morale.
Khalil Gibran beautifies kindness in his own words a little more. He says, “Kindness is like snow- It beautifies everything it covers.”
We are taught from a very early age to be compassionate, kind, and empathetic and to treat others the way we want to be treated. However, somewhere between childhood and growing up, we lose sight of the consequence we have on our actions.
Today, showing kindness and compassion to others is needed more than ever because your surroundings can get harsh sometimes. After all, it’s the benevolence that lasts forever!
Undoubtedly, both compassion and kindness are contagious enough to make the world a better place to dwell in. If you start practising kindness each day, which portrays in your action, you may also enjoy several health benefits.
Ask yourself that in the absence of kindness and compassion, how many selfless, courteous, and heroic acts have you performed? Imagine a world without compassionate individuals, like Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela. Think about a world without those who would run to safeguard others’ lives or help those in need during their traumatic times.
6 Proven Benefits of Kindness
Research says that when you are kind to others, your happiness doubles automatically!
Here we have six crucial health benefits connected with kindness. Check how you can benefit yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically just by being warm.
1. Boosts Immune System
Our brain’s feel-good hormone, Oxytocin, lowers inflammation, which is linked to different diseases in the body, including cancer, diabetes, obesity, chronic pain and migraines. Being kind and compassionate increases the body’s natural oxytocin levels. So why wait for someone else to show kindness when you can be kind to yourself and others in the first place?!
2. Good for Heart Health
Recall any act of kindness that you recently performed, didn’t you feel emotionally warm and content? The act of kindness produces Oxytocin in the brain and throughout the body and is important for the cardiovascular system.
This Oxytocin releases nitric oxide, a chemical, in blood vessels, further expanding the blood vessels. The blood pressure decreases and thereby protects the heart.
3. Your Anxiety Antidote
Do you get nervous in a social setting? Does it feel paralysing?
Even though you know the right social skill or small talk, you may have felt anxiety jumping in right at the last minute. Another instance could be when dealing with a situation where the other person is low and seeking your comfort.
These situations can make you a little uncomfortable, and you may question yourself if whatever you are saying could even be right.
Easier said than done, but try to replace this thought with a positive one. And instead, think about what someone might be feeling and what you can do to cheer them up.
Understandably, it’s tough for those with anxiety to make attempts, but those people who know you will notice your effort. These thoughtful actions boost your self-confidence. The best way is to think about the situation beforehand so you don’t have to think and speak on spot. You can also appreciate (some small talk tips!) the event’s host and the food.
4. Kindness Makes You Happy
Believe it or not but kindness always returns! It’s almost like what goes around comes around.
Kindness comes back in a way that helps build a human network, which we all direly need at one point or the other in life.
When you go through difficult and challenging times, it’s the people you are surrounded with (your strong network) will come to your rescue.
Because people become home!
5. Slows Ageing
Ageing can speed up due to inflammation and free radicals, resulting from unhealthy lifestyle habits.
However, research shows that the release of Oxytocin decreases inflammation and free radicals levels in the cardiovascular system. This is what slows ageing at the primary source. There has been another research on compassion and the vagus nerve. This nerve along with regulating heart rate also controls inflammation in the body.
6. Prevents Illness
Inflammation in the body is linked to various health issues, as mentioned above. A study conducted on adults between 57 to 85 years showed the strongest association with lower inflammation levels. This directly means that being kind and humble is the secret ingredient to living happily and healthily.
The Final Takeaway
You may have heard this famous Chinese saying that goes, “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. A day, go fishing. A year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.”
If you are being empathetic to someone, it brings a smile to their face, and if you smile yourself, it is even more attractive! When someone notices an emotion, it automatically triggers the same part of the brain in them.
The little acts of kindness help in demonstrating an optimistic side of yours, and you ultimately feel proud of yourself.
Now you know how being kind to others is ultimately good for you!
Banner Image by Adam Nemeroff