Kindness – It’s More Important Than Ever!
Kindness seems to be missing in today’s society.
People are more connected to their devices than to what is happening around them.
They are self-absorbed.
Kindness is oftentimes the last thing they think about.
And with our country being so polarized politically right now, kindness is even more important.
Albert Schweitzer said, “Constant kindness can accomplish as much as the sun making ice melt. Kindness causes misunderstandings, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.”
And he is spot on.
Without kindness our world would be filled with strife, discontent and anger.
We’d see relationships fall apart or never start, countries disintegrate into constant war and our world completely changed.
According to Dr John and Julie Gottman – founders of the Gottman Institute, which studies relationships – every successful relationship is, in the end, supported by kindness.
What’s more, they claim the most important time you should be kind is during some type of conflict, such as when you are arguing with a partner.
And yet, this is the hardest time for most people to be kind.
“Kindness is about showing empathy, acceptance and tolerance,” explains Lawrence Stoyanowski, a Vancouver-based therapist.
“It’s about being able to scan your partner for things to appreciate rather than criticize.”
Stoyanowski also follows the principles set out by the Gottman Institute.
As children and even as adults, we look for kindness from our family and friends.
We give and receive kindness every day in some form.
Kindness moves us.
We remember past kindnesses done to and by us.
Kindness nourishes, heals, strengthens and uplifts us.
Many studies have shown that kindness is not only a good moral value but it is also good for you.
It benefits your brain, your body and your emotions in many ways.
It is a foundation for a meaningful life.
Here are 6 reasons why kindness is so important.
1 – Kindness makes us happier.
When we perform random acts of kindness, we activate areas of pleasure, social connection and trust in our brains.
2 – It creates a positive loop in our mind.
Kindness makes you happier and happiness makes you kinder.
When you are happy, you are more likely to feel giving and kind towards others.
3 – Kindness can create social connections and bonding.
As humans, we’re preprogrammed to be a part of a group.
Being a part of a group, a social connection of some type, enhances our physical performance and boosts mental clarity.
Being kind allows us to be a part of a group.
4 – Kindness helps with the healing process.
When healthcare is delivered with kindness it can hasten the healing process, thereby shortening hospital stays.
Care given with kindness leads to a range of outcomes including reduced pain, lowered blood pressure and less anxiety for the patient and caregivers.
5 – Kindness can decrease or help prevent diseases.
Kindness lowers our stress and anxiety levels and decreases pain because of the endorphins and feel-good hormones released at the time of the act.
Positive emotions from kindness boosts your vagus nerve which regulates blood sugar.
This helps the body prevent diabetes, strokes and heart disease.
6 – Altruism has been shown to stimulate the reward area of our brain.
Studies suggest that we get high on being kind… so it’s sort of a natural drug!
Let’s look at some ways you can spread kindness.
Lead by example –
Always remember your manners.
Our parents taught us them for a reason, please make sure to use them.
Others will follow your lead.
Put an end to petty criticism –
Remember the saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”?
Try to keep it positive.
Help new people feel welcome –
When you’re in a situation where there is someone new in the group, be sure to introduce yourself to them and get to know them.
We’ve all been the new person at one point or another, so make sure you’re doing your part to make them feel welcome and part of the team.
Recognize one another’s strengths; not weaknesses –
A pat on the back can go a long way.
I have never met a person that doesn’t like to feel appreciated.
Be kind to others –
Always remember that we are all in this together.
Classic examples of being kind to others include helping an elderly person cross the street, carrying someone’s groceries, or paying for the coffee order of the person in line behind you.
Essentially, any nice action you take without expectation of a return can be considered an act of kindness.
And above all, smile! It’s amazing what a smile can do.
Kindness isn’t a feeling… it’s an action.
Being kind is not about how you feel. It’s about what you do.
Showing kindness to someone you don’t like is really hard.
But you just might surprise yourself when you take the high road.
Just remember that it’s not about the other person, it’s about us and who we choose to be in that moment.
Practicing little things… like smiling and saying hello to a crotchety neighbor, or NOT talking smack about a difficult co-worker, or choosing not to clapback at someone when they’ve dissed you are all acts of kindness.
And, even if it feels strange to you, if you show kindness then you are more likely to feel better.
You could even start to see the good in people or even learn why they act the way they do.
Kindness is Important
No matter how inconsequential an act of kindness might be, it is good for you.
Without kindness life would be lonely, filled with anger and desolation, disease and stress.
And when kindness is both given and received with no expectations in return, our lives are calmer, happier and we build meaningful connections to others.
Now I’d love to hear from you.
So, What about you?
Why do you think kindness is important?
What do you have to add to what I’ve said.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
I’d love to hear your stories.
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