Why be Kinder ?
Being kind is an enjoyable experience. It makes you feel good, and
useful, and alive, and it validates you as a human being. When you are
kind it triggers a number of beneficial physical and psychological
responses. The most obvious response is the 'feel good' sensation,
which has been officially titled the "helper's high".
When you do something good, your body rewards you by releasing
endorphins. These morphine-like substances create the feel good
experience, and also have the capacity to reduce or even block pain
signals to the brain. People suffering from physical or psychological pain
experience relief when they carry out an act of kindness.
Depression has received a good deal of attention from the press of late.
It has been stated that over twenty percent of the population is affected
by it at some time during their life. Depression feeds on
introspectiveness: dwelling on our problems will drive us deeper into the
morass of depression. When you practice kindness you are placing your
attention onto someone else, or as Herbert Benson put it, the act of
helping allows us 'to forget one's self.' When you do this you have put
your depression 'on hold,' and your acts of kindness may allow you to
see your own situation from a different perspective. This could result in
being able to find new ways to seek relief from the condition.
The person who receives a kind act experiences the 'feel good'
response, too. It's a nice experience when someone smiles at you, or
thanks you, or compliments you, or helps you in some way. It creates a
bonding, and in that moment there is a greater sense of worth about
yourself and people in general. It is a feeling akin to falling in love, and in
that moment you have fallen in love - with the whole of humanity.
It has been scientifically proven that regular, small acts of kindness have
a positive effect on your physical and mental well being, but also on your
longevity. Kindness is not only a feel good experience, it is also
beneficial for your health.