Contagious Kindness: How Compassion Changes Everything
Kindness is such a vital part of a healthy, loving lifestyle — and yet amidst the stressors of life, it can be easy to forget how important kindness and compassion truly are. How many phrases have you heard regarding kindness?
“You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” OR “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
From the moment we can speak, we’re taught to share with others, we’re taught to treat others how we ourselves would like to be treated. Sometimes, once the harsh realities of life begin to sink in, we find ourselves struggling to put a smile on your face and spread love to others.
Learning more about the benefits of a certain habit or action can make it easier to incorporate that practice into your daily life — and the scientifically-proven health-affirming and myriad wonderful benefits of spreading kindness and compassion are enough to get anyone in the mood to give the gift of joy.
Changing the World
Do you dream of finding your path, your purpose, the manner in which you can make the world a better place? While we may all carry a dream of finding some grandiose, global way to leave a positive mark on our planet and change the world for the better, sometimes it’s our small, daily actions that truly contribute to the world around us.
As Dr. Maya Angelou has said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you’ve said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Being kind to those you encounter spreads positive energy that keeps on spreading. When you smile at someone on the street or hold the door open for a stranger, you never know how positively that might affect them. It’s easy to forget that everyone is facing their own challenges, and the kindness of a stranger can be just what you need to lift you out of an existential funk.
The best part is, kindness reduces suffering and “contributes to the well-being of the whole, making the world a better place.”
Better than Retail Therapy
Have you ever been having a really bad day and bought yourself a little something to cheer yourself up? Maybe a small toy or gadget, a cupcake, or a cup of fancy, Italian coffee?
It turns out, spreading kindness to others actually induces more joy than shopping for yourself. According to an experiment conducted by Michael Norton and published in Science, people typically find more happiness in giving money to others rather than spending it on themselves.
Not only can you cheer yourself up by focusing on others rather than yourself, you may end up saving a few bucks!
One study on dating preferences found that kindness was listed as the number one attractive quality in others. Even if you’re already in a relationship, the prospect of appearing more attractive is likely enticing. Plus, being kind to others is a lot easier than many of the painful beauty trends that we put ourselves through, like microblading and waxing.
Save yourself the pain and trouble of intensive beauty routines and spread joy instead!
The Fountain of Youth
We’re always looking for ways to become healthier and add a few extra years to our time on this beautiful planet. One of the best benefits of practicing kindness and compassion is the increase in good physical health. In fact, some studies show that kindness can even lengthen our lifespans, making it like a fountain of youth we can carry around with us, while showering others with positive energy.
Boost Your Own Mood
If you’re having a funky day, it turns out being kind to others can actually turn that around. Spreading kindness releases feel-good hormones, like endorphins and serotonin. It also releases oxytocin, the cuddle hormone that makes us feel warm and loved—which is also “cardioprotective” and good for the heart. Practicing compassion triggers the pleasure-center of the brain and prompts the mind and the body to feel good.
So If you’re having a bad day, try complimenting a co-worker on their outfit or showing genuine interest in how your barista is doing.
Read This Next: 10 Ways to Be Kind to Yourself
Compassion & Calm
Many of us deal with anxiety on a daily basis, struggling to calm our overactive minds. Kindness can work to soothe anxiety and reduce stress. Focusing your energy on others not only releases feel-good hormones, it can help you get your mind off of the things that are bothering you. Furthermore, the joy you experience in brightening someone else’s day adds joy to your own.
In Conclusion: Be Kind to Others
How you treat yourself and others can spread. It brings positivity to the world.
With all of the benefits of kindness, it would be silly not to engage in the sharing of positivity and love. It’s not only good for others, it’s great for your own mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing, helping you feel more enlightened, more evolved, and made of love.