The Benefits of Kindness

For some, kindness comes naturally, like a second nature. Others need to work at it, make conscious decisions and conscientious efforts to prove true and live up to the old saying: treat others the way you want to be treated. And who doesn’t want to be treated kindly?

No matter how you get there, amicability can have tremendous benefits for you, your health, and the well-being of those around you. It’s not just good manners; courtesy is a lifestyle that pays it forward.

Lucky for us, showing kindness to others is simple and can be done in ways we might not even think of. Tell your coworker—you know, Karl, the one who gave that awesome presentation last week?—how impressed you were. Smile at people in the elevator; wave good morning while you’re clocking into work.

These small gestures of kindness not only have the power to make someone else’s day, they can also make you healthier!

Kindness Improves Relationships

It’s pretty self-explanatory that being nice to your friends and loved ones improves your relationship with them.

Kindness reduces the emotional distance between two people. So when we’re kind to one another, we strengthen our connection—we feel more bonded.

According to a study, reported in The Atlantic1, psychologist John Gottman studied couples of all sorts over the course of decades, and could determine, with 94% certainty, whether couples’ relationships would last beyond six years. How was this determined? By how they interacted with one another; more specifically, how genuinely felt their interactions were.

It’s not enough to just act charitably; you’ve got to really feel it to make it count, and that’s what’ll make it count in the long run.

Kindness Reduces Stress

Remember Karl? He gave that awesome presentation last week. And remember when you congratulated him? Well, not only did you make Karl’s day (and you really, really did, by the way), you made your own.

Researchers at Yale and UCLA found that small acts of kindness sprinkled throughout one’s day resulted in a sustained, perpetual feeling of positivity, according to a CBS News report2. Better yet, this all-day buzz of benevolence actually canceled out or diminished negative feelings that popped up throughout the day, sort of like a forcefield against bummers.

International Random Acts of Kindness Week is February 9-15, 2018

Take a moment out of your day. Seek opportunities to help others. Even small gestures can make big differences—for you and those around you.

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