It takes nothing to be kind!

A fond memory that always crosses my head every now and then is a time when I was travelling through a Mumbai local, back when we did not have to worry about a pandemic and could travel being packed against each other just to get to a place we needed to be. It was a crowded train of course, and I had to get off at the incoming station. As I got off, a man called me, and kept trying to get my attention from inside the train. I realised that he was trying to give me my wallet that had fallen out of my pocket while I was exiting the train! I could not believe it and still cannot. This left me floored. How can a world filled with so much despair, sadness and pain, produce such moments of light and wonder? Usually someone would just take the wallet, keep the money and have a nice payday. But for some reason this man decided to be kind and return my wallet. I still remember this random act from several years ago, and it really makes you wonder how basic acts of kindness have a large impact on someone and the way they look at the world. One simple act made me reconsider the way I look at the basic nature of people, and maybe that is all we need.

What is kindness exactly? Well kindness is simply an act where one is generous, friendly or generally considerate. But kindness according to these terms can be wide and could mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Kindness is something that most people can enjoy when they both are kind as well as recipients of kindness. And that is the thing about kindness, not everyone is going to do it, and that is what makes it special! You cannot control others being kind to you, so the least you can do is be kind to others, and hope that it's contagious.

Kindness from one person can assist to inspire kindness in others, just as a bully of a boss can foster a culture of bullying and fear down the hierarchical line. We often take our signals from our bosses, coworkers, and people with whom we spend a lot of time. Why not be the person that inspires others to be kind? Kindness spreads like wildfire as people feel good about kind acts, and feel that they should also return the favour in some way. Kindness is beneficial in many ways, and it can be a game-changer when it comes to an individual's outlook on life.

A new study looked at how people felt after seven days of completing or seeing good deeds. Participants were randomly allocated to perform at least one more act of kindness than usual for someone close to them, an acquaintance or stranger, or oneself, or to actively observe acts of kindness. Before and after the seven days of kindness, happiness was measured. Being kind to ourselves or others, including strangers, or actively watching kindness increased pleasure, according to the study. We often look at videos on social media which show many wholesome and thoughtful videos that make us simply feel warm and bubbly on the inside. Let's look at some more benefits of being kind in some more depth.

Benefits of Kindness

1. Kindness helps the mind: Kindness has been shown to help people maintain a positive outlook on life. When you are kind to other people and understand the reasons as to why kindness is a good approach, you ten to look at the world in a more compassionate sense, where you feel that you are connected to the world around you and can understand that at the end of the day, we are just humans that like to experience some pleasantness along the way of our life. Kindness essentially helps us be more empathetic to people’s daily struggles, can help you be more compassionate and can also build your self esteem. 

2. Kindness helps relationships: Kindness can help you feel more connected to others. Acts of kindness tend to make people feel connected and more appreciative of each other for acts of kindness, which can help build intimacy between two people, as they feel that they are understood by the other person due to the consistent empathetic acts of kindness. Kindness can increase the bond between you and the people that you care about, but should not be used in a way to bargain intimacy with people. The important point about kindness is that it is always done without any expectation of anything in return. But regardless of the motives of kindness, it can help you feel less lonely and more connected, help your closeness and mood in relationships and just show a general improvement.   

3: Kindness has physical effects: Kindness has shown to have effects on brain chemistry and neurotransmitter pathways. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is a key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. This hormone impacts your entire body. It enables brain cells and other nervous system cells to communicate with each other. Serotonin also helps with sleeping, eating, and digestion. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter known as the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter and essentially is a neurotransmitter that helps us feel good. It's an important aspect of our ability to think and plan as humans. It encourages us to work hard, concentrate, and seek out new experiences. Kindness in studies has been shown to boost serotonin as well as dopamine, brain neurotransmitters associated with well being and satisfaction. 

4: Kindness is contagious: One act of kindness spreads to other people, where they are kind as well. While this may seem like a small scale event, acts of kindness spread amongst people, where one person’s kindness can lead to a catalyst of several other acts of kindness. Being kind is not a one time act, and can be adopted as a way that one treats other people. Adopting this as a way of life can lead to better outcomes for you and the people around you.

How to be kind daily?

1. Show small acts of kindness to strangers: Smiling, helping elderly,  asking how are you, 

are just some small ways you can be kind.

2. Be appreciative towards your family and friends: Be thankful towards your loved ones for their deeds, and compliment their achievements and  efforts. 

3. Provide small gifts or tokens: Give people whom you care about small tokens of your appreciation.

4. Offer people help in need: Helping someone with a flat tire, or someone needing directions really goes a long way.

5. Be grateful: Practice having gratitude for the world around you.

6. Be kind to yourself: Be accepting of who you are, and allow mistakes and learning.

In essence, people often underestimate the impact of kindness. The modern world has rendered us as both apathetic and paranoid of the people that surround us on a daily basis. While it is always good to keep caution, a few acts of kindness can not go wrong on a day to day basis, where people can finally feel connected to the people and the world around them once again.




Posted 2 years ago