We have all experienced that feeling that we get when we do an act of kindness for someone. Whether that be someone we love and care for or a complete stranger. We also know the same feeling when someone does an act of kindness for us. It brightens your day, puts a spring in your step.
Yet, it seems though we all know how great kindness feels, what is so abundantly present when we look around the world and how people interact online, kindness is not the most common choice. It can be simple things, saying hello to a stranger, saying thank you to someone, even just a kind smile.
It can be hard when you are going through a low time to have the enthusiasm to want to give out kindness. However, learning to do so when you are in a bad mood, may just be your remedy to get out of it.
Kindness studies over several decades have demonstrated these benefits, among many others:
Improved cardiovascular system
Improved immune system
Lower risk for depression
Better performance at work and school
I also think this can extend to being more inclusive to a variety of people. I was having a conversation with one of my regular readers the other day on the topic of people being more inclusive and when you are an outsider to a situation, especially in small communities, it can be really hard to find a way to fit in. Most people have known each other their entire lives. Over the last 11 years since finishing high school, I have not lived in the one place for longer than 18 months, so I have been the new person so many times I have lost count.
Knowing how hard it can be to fit in with people, I learned to make a very conscious effort to try and include someone who is new to the scene. Everyone wants to build those connections and nothing makes a place feel more comfortable than having a good group of people you can spend and enjoy your time with on a regular basis.
Kindness can go a very long way, making people feel included can go a very long way and you might be surprised with how much you could have in common with a new friend you make. I think sometimes moving to small communities can be more intimidating than moving to the bigger cities because everybody already knows each other so well.
What is one small act of kindness you can do each day for the following week? You may just find that once you feel that joy it always brings to be kind for no other reason than because it is nice, you will be wanting to do it on a more consistent basis.