Kindness is good for you! Yes really! Kindness not only benefits the recipient of the act, but also the giver.
Over the last few months, I have experienced examples of overwhelming kindness, from friends, neighbours, colleagues and even complete strangers. My Mum was ill with terminal cancer last year, so there was lots of pressure on me with taking her to appointments, supporting her, looking after her, etc. She was eventually admitted into our local hospice where she received the most incredible care from the wonderful staff there, and who looked after me so well too.
Throughout her illness, and after she had passed away, the support from other people was amazing and really helped us through the worst of times. Friends visited my Mum, hers and mine, even though some of mine barely knew her; we had food cooked for us, friends brought her flowers, cards and gifts, kept in touch with constant phone calls, text messages and emails, checking up on us, offering help and support. The NHS staff, including from our GP surgery, district nurses, ambulance personnel, hospital staff, physiotherapists, plus the Macmillan nurses were wonderful.
Whilst I will cherish the memories I have of my Mum in her final days, I will also treasure the memories of all the kind gestures which kept us both going at the toughest of times. It was all these thoughtful deeds which kept me going and which touched my Mum’s heart so very much that she would cry at how kind people were to her. I cannot thank these lovely people enough for their compassion.
So, how is it good for you as a giver?
Kindness is good for your health
Many studies have shown that just performing one act of kindness a day, it will benefit you in numerous ways, by reducing your stress and anxiety levels but will make you – and the person you have helped – become calmer, healthier and happier.
Kindness boosts your seratonin (the neurotransmitter responsible for our wellbeing and satisfaction) and releases endorphins, like we get when exercising! It also reduces blood pressure, strengthens your heart, both physically and emotionally, increases confidence and can even help you live longer. So all in all, a very positive experience!
Kindness stays with you
Being kind to people can leave you with a sense of happiness and pride, knowing you have made a small but meaningful impact on someone’s day. That feel-good sensation can stay with you for hours afterwards.
Kindness costs nothing
Many acts of kindness cost nothing. Just a thought, a call, a message. Enough to let someone know that you care, that you are thinking of them.
In this world where there is so much hatred and division, there is also much kindness and generosity. Generosity of spirit, as well as financial generosity.
Kindness spreads more kindness. So let’s all be more kind in our lives and spread the love to our family, friends, neighbours and complete strangers. Hold the door for someone, give someone a lift, drop someone a text or call them, be there to listen to them, support them, give some flowers to someone, bake a cake to share, ask someone how they are, buy someone a coffee. It doesn’t matter what, just be kind, and hopefully it will be paid on in some way.
A suggested action for you for now – why not carry out a random act of kindness today and make someone’s day just that bit more special! It will make you feel good too!
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” Princess Diana