Why Kindness Matters
A lot is going on in the world: War, climate change, economic struggles, disease, polarizing political and social views, and more. It is easy to feel sad, hopeless, and anxious these days.
Yet, life goes on. We go to work and school, raise our kids and try hard to maintain a sense of “normalcy.”
Despite the overwhelming events happening across the globe, many people make an effort to improve the outlook and daily lives of the people surrounding us.
In a world like the one we are currently living in, kindness matters more than ever. Practicing kindness towards others can be a simple way to spread optimism, happiness, and positivity to those around you. It can even have a ripple effect, spreading far and wide to people you never even know about.
Taking time to practice kindness also helps you – perhaps more than anyone.
What Does It Mean to Practice Kindness?
Being kind or practicing kindness does not necessarily mean you must devote hours of your time each day or week to organized volunteer work – although that is kind too!
Practicing kindness can involve something as simple as saying hello to someone, holding the door open, or letting a car turn in front of you. Even these small gestures can have enormous benefits.
Some examples of simple things you can do to practice kindness include:
- Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while
- Send someone flowers or a gift basket just because
- Tell someone you love them or appreciate them
- Send a note or postcard to an elderly relative
- Write a thank-you note
- Check-in with someone you know who is going through a difficult time
- Offer help to a sick friend or elderly neighbor
- Say “hi” or smile at people you pass at the store or on the street
- Leave a good review on social media
- Say thank you to people
- Pick up trash on your street
- Be extra considerate to a car, pedestrian, or bicycle rider on the road
- Offer praise to someone at work
- Make an effort to express appreciation for someone who helped you with customer service
These are some simple suggestions you can incorporate into your daily life to make a difference.
The Benefits of Kindness
According to The Mental Health Foundation, practicing kindness has proven benefits. These benefits can include:
- Increased feelings of well-being
- Reduced feelings of loneliness and isolation
- More self-esteem
- Increased activity
- Increased and improved social connections and support networks
- Changes to the brain that boost mood
- Better perspective
- Increased optimism and feelings of gratitude
One simple act of kindness can have a tremendous effect on your mental health. It can also have a ripple effect. When someone is kind, the recipient of that kindness tends to feel happier, leading to a strong likelihood they will “pay it forward” to someone else. Imagine the effect if everyone practiced a little kindness!
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