Recently I saw a Facebook Meme thingy that said “Be the I in Kind”. Now being an advocate of practicing kindness I thought ahhh. Until I noticed someone had commented “Why?”. Now I was shocked. My first though was that the benefits from being kind are so obvious, who could not understand it. My second thought was that person might have been having a bad time so I probably shouldn’t have been so judgy. And my third was somebody needs to explain this. So…Challenge accepted !
With today being the commercial capitalist day of the year, in other words black friday and with all the advertising agencies in the world trying to tell us about what we can get and how cheap we can get it, let’s take a moment to have a look at what we can get from giving
What is it we get from being kind?
(And why is it good for us?)
Kindness is one of the best things in the world. It benefits the receiver, the giver, the observer and the planet. It helps us to grow as individuals, to help people and all in all makes the world a nicer place. And it is free! Being kind doesn’t take a lot of energy but it creates a lot of energy. It’s one of the acts of humanity that can create ripples of goodness that flow far beyond the initial act.
And surprisingly being kind could actually be a secret to better health!
And this is not new News! In 1970 Scientist Robert Nemen Ph. D, , and his team were conducting an experiment into the relationship between diet and heart health. They gave nearly genetically identical rabbits the same high-fat diet. At the end of the study, the team expected all the measures of health to be the same for all the rabbits. However one group had far better results than the others 60% better. And the difference was the way in which these rabbits were cared for. For the healthier group the scientists actually picked them up, talked to them and in all essence showed them a little kindness. The team decided to investigate this phenomenon and set up a new experiment including kind behaviour into the care regime. And lo and behold this experiment proved that kindness has a beneficial impact on the rabbits health. Since then forty years of population research has shown that our social world is the major determinant of our health. And that kindness and positive connection plays an important factor to that.
Kindness influences health and aging on a microscopic cellular level
In one test researchers exposed 400 healthy volunteers to the cold virus and they found that those who received daily hugs were 32% less likely to get sick. It has been proved that loneliness has a detrimental effect on our health and life expectancy. Whilst an 80 year old Harvard study has proved that embracing community helps us live longer, and be happier.
Being kind has also been shown to reverse the effects of depression and lower stress
So even if you are not feeling great by being kind and doing something nice for someone else you can actually increase your own happiness and boost your own mood.
It’s not just nice to be nice. It’s good for us to be nice.
And the great thing is practicing kindness is so easy to do.
This Yule I have made a 12 days of kindness calendar which you can download as a pdf. To inspire you to practice a little Yuletide kindness and spread the joy. It has no dates so you can start it when you want to.
Just sign up to our newsletter and you will have access to the free pdf download
And if you need a little more inspiration here are 3 simple things you can do today to practice a little kindness in your life
Say a random “Thanks.”
Think about a time someone was unexpectedly kind to you. There has been one. Maybe it was a friend by your side when you needed one, or someone coming out of their way to make you feel better when you were sick or dow, Think about how the kindness made you feel. Now say thanks for that kindness via a text or a call. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was being appreciated is always nice to hear.
Open the door
Seriously have you ever taken the time to notice how nice it feels when someone opens a door for you? I don’t know why but it gives me a feeling of being special. A stranger noticing you is a rare thing in today’s nose to telephone environment. Opening a door, offering a seat are a little old fashioned but non the less are appreciated by tall and small alike.
Give a compliment
Give someone a compliment today. And I mean in person. Facebook is lovely but being told you did something well or you look nice is a lovely. A lot of kindness is about making positive connection. And it has a butterfly effect that is unseen but powerful. You tell someone they did good. They feel happier. In turn they are nice to a co-worker. They feel happier. They go home with a boost of energy and are happy at home and everyone feels nicer. And look it only took you 2 seconds to make that difference in the world. Powerful stuff.
So got out into the world today and spread a little kindness. This black friday don’t just think about what you can get but what you can give. I am sure that homeless guy sitting by the store would like coffee or that lady with all the shopping bags would appreciate your seat on the train. Instead of following the crowd shouting ‘gimme gimme gimme’ be the person shouting ‘give, give, give’ and I promise you that you will feel that the world is a nicer place
Don’t forget to download your free 12 days of kindness calendar and spread the joy around!
<3 Emma-Jane xxx