The Many Benefits of Being Kind

January 20, 2018

Kindness has the ability to transform our surroundings, and this transformation is beneficial for both those who practice it and everyone else. Kindness is an act of love and respect that helps create a better life, a life full of hope and happiness.

Being kind makes us feel better and makes those around us feel better too. Adopting it is much more than just being nice or showing empathy. There are so many other benefits of being kind.

By cultivating kindness we are also planting seeds of tenderness and compassion, emotions that make us look at others and do something for them.

“The truest form of love is how you act towards another person, not what you feel for them.”

-Steve Hall-

The benefits of being kind: it puts us in a better mood

Being kind lifts our mood and improves our well-being. A simple act of kindness can change our perspective in any given circumstance, be a light in the dark, and turn desperation into hope. Several studies back this up.

For example, a 2016 study from Oxford University concluded that being kind to others causes a small but significant improvement in our subjective well-being.

the benefits of kindness

Human beings are social animals and helping others makes us feel happy. This research suggests that people really do get satisfaction in helping others.

Researchers put this down to the fact that we genuinely do care about the welfare of others. Another hypothesis that could explain kindness making us feel good is that random acts of kindness are a good way to make new friends.

Moreover, it seems that while being kind makes us happier, being happier makes us kinder, too. A study from Tohoku Gakuin University found that happy people strengthen, sustain and replicate this state by being kind.

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion “

-Dalai Lama-

The benefits of being kind: it improves our health

Kindness not only makes us feel good, but also has a positive impact on our health — both physical and mental. Being kind fills us with life. Why? Our brain secretes substances that support a healthy mind and body.

Being kind helps us keep in good health and can decrease the effect of diseases and medical conditions of varying severity, both psychological and physical. For example, putting this attitude into practice releases endorphins, our body’s natural pain-reliever.

In fact, stress-related health problems improve after doing “kind acts”. It helps reverse feelings of depression, provides social contact, calms aggression and decreases the likelihood of loneliness, which can cause stress and overeating, among many other things.

a happy woman, smiling

Furthermore, acts of kindness strengthen our immune system. According to one study, the risk of developing diabetes, cancer and heart disease goes down and antibodies needed to fight disease increase.

The reason is that kindness seems to protect our hearts. Some experts argue that kindness reduces blood pressure, since being kind creates what has been called “emotional warmth.” Emotional warmth then releases a hormone known as oxytocin.

Then the oxytocin triggers the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels. This, in turn, reduces blood pressure, and that’s why oxytocin is recognized as a heart-protecting hormone.

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and desperation, but rather manifestations of strength and resolution.”

-Khalil Gibran-

The benefits of being kind: it fosters loyalty and improves relationships

Kindness is very powerful when it comes to building relationships, both at work and in our personal lives. Genuine kindness overcomes hostilities, fosters respect and encourages mutual understanding.

Kindness shortens the emotional distance between two people, and this makes us feel more “connected”. After all, our genetics made us this way. Our ancestors from early times had to learn to cooperate with each other.

holding hands and helping

The stronger the emotional ties within groups, the greater the chances of survival. In other words, a “goodness gene” is in our DNA.

Hence even today, when we’re friendly with each other, we forge new relationships or strengthen existing ones.

In addition, kindness creates a willingness to solve conflicts and reach agreements.

The benefits of being kind: it significantly improves our lives

When we’re kind, especially if we make it a habit from a young age, everything gets better! Everything from life satisfaction to self-fulfillment to physical health.

Kindness is contagious, and so being friendly also helps to improve other people’s lives. Consequently, we help other people improve ours. Even in tough times, be nice to others, but above all be nice to yourself.

It’s simple, but it makes all the difference. Treat others well and they will treat you well. Then treat yourself well and you can expect the same from others.

 “Treat good people well and those who are not good too. That’s how we achieve goodness. Be honest with those who are honest and also with those who are not. That´s how you achieve honesty. “