The Kindness Conundrum: 18 Ways to Reignite Generosity in a World Gone Cold

SharePinEmailKindness isn’t only the right thing to do, research shows that acts of generosity and kindness can be contagious, furthermore, acts of kindness can positively impact the giver, not just the receiver.  Although many people grasp the fact that acts of kindness are beneficial to others, they may not realize just how much being kind…

Kindness isn’t only the right thing to do, research shows that acts of generosity and kindness can be contagious, furthermore, acts of kindness can positively impact the giver, not just the receiver. 

Although many people grasp the fact that acts of kindness are beneficial to others, they may not realize just how much being kind also benefits the giver, if not sometimes more, than the receiver. 

Research shows that there are positive psychological gains for people who engage in acts of kindness, and better still, by witnessing someone being kind, onlookers also experience positive emotions and then are more likely to pass kindness onto someone else, like a domino effect.  

So, it seems that being kind has a plethora of positives, for not just you, but the person receiving your kindness, and anyone else who witnesses it. 

Here are 18 ways that acts of kindness can make a difference: 

Mental Health Benefits

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Acts of kindness have been found to boost mood, lower stress, anxiety, and depression, and improve mental well-being in both the giver and the receiver. 

As if we needed more reasons to share some kindness with the world, we now have evidence to support that kindness really is good for everyone involved. 

Increased Happiness

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Kind actions are associated with increased levels of positive emotion, and this is what psychologists call “happiness”. Evidence shows that being kind releases mood-boosting chemicals in the brain that are sometimes called the “helper’s high” giving kind people the feel-good factor. 

Long Lasting Benefits

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Research has demonstrated that the positive effects of an act of kindness can be the gift that keeps on giving, as individuals who display kindness to a friend, colleague, or stranger, can still reap the benefits weeks, if not months later, as many report increased levels of happiness, and lower levels of anxiety, or depression sometime after the event. 

Positive Domino Effect 

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Psychologists have observed the fact that by merely witnessing an act of kindness, even if they are not involved at all, strangers, and bystanders are encouraged to carry out more acts of kindness themselves. Like a domino effect, kindness appears to be contagious.  

Enhanced Workplace Satisfaction

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Employees who work within organizations that prioritize kindness, gratitude, and positive recognition of staff, report higher levels of job satisfaction, and higher overall levels of employee happiness. 

Decreased Staff Turnover 

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Companies that actively promote kindness among their staff communications experience significantly decreased staff turnover compared to companies that don’t. This has a positive knock-on effect as these businesses save money and time from costly staff recruitment and training. 

Increased Productivity

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Kindness increases happiness, the evidence is clear, and happiness at work has also been shown to boost productivity, so what might seem like a small investment in a few kinds words, can end up reaping big rewards as happier staff produce better quality work, at higher rates of turnover. Bosses take heed, as kindness might just be your USP!

Strengthening Relationships

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Research shows that positive relationship dynamics exist where the ratio between positive and negative interactions is 3 – 1, we know that this is very scientific sounding, but, it’s an effective way to measure what makes a strong, healthy relationship. 

Therefore, as kindness evokes positive emotions between people, it is a great way to enhance connection and strengthen relationship bonds. 

Enhanced Empathy

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Empathy is a personality trait that can vary on a sliding scale, and while we might know some people with high empathy, we might also know others who score considerably lower. 

The good news is that our ability for empathy can be enhanced by engaging in acts of kindness, and generally being around kind people. So if you know someone who is not very empathetic, there is hope. 

Physical Health Benefits

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Not only does kindness have positive benefits for our mental well-being, but it can also improve a person’s physical health. Science shows that engaging in acts of kindness can decrease blood pressure and lower levels of cortisol in the blood. 

Promoting Feelings of Gratitude

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There is an overwhelming amount of evidence about the benefits of gratitude for our mental, and physical health, and kindness is one of the key ingredients linked to feelings of gratitude. 

If you receive kindness from someone, you will no doubt feel immensely grateful, and if you are kind to someone, you may still experience warm feelings of thankfulness for being in a position to help. 

Longevity

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The Bedari Kindness Institute at UCLA studies kindness on a daily basis, and they have discovered some remarkable findings. Evidence suggests that kindness can make you live longer. 

As kindness is associated with improved functioning of the immune system, and lowered blood pressure, it appears to contribute to a longer, healthier life.  

Kinder people live longer, happier, and healthier lives, so why not get out there and start spreading some kindness today; what you put out into the world, does genuinely seem to come back. 

Increased Inclusivity

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Kindness can bridge the gap between marginalized groups and help to increase feelings of inclusivity, whether it’s within the workplace, local communities, or families, being kind brings people closer together. 

Decreased Feelings of Loneliness

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People experiencing loneliness who received kindness from strangers reported feeling less alone, and more welcome in social settings. 

Decreased Anxiety and Depression 

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Research has established links between giving, and receiving kindness, and a decrease in anxiety and depression, this coupled with an increase of positive emotions means that kindness has been proven to have some real mental health benefits.  

Less Conflict

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Kindness is a great way to de-escalate conflict, and even decrease the chances of it occurring in the first place. Psychologists have found that couples in happy long-term relationships are more likely to approach conflict with kindness, this not only decreases the stress levels of both partners but helps them reach a compromise faster, while experiencing fewer negative emotions. 

Enhanced Sense of Community 

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If people feel like they are living within a hostile community, they are more likely to avoid social engagement with their local neighborhood, however, kindness has been shown to enhance a sense of community between neighbors and lead to increased social cohesion in an area. 

Benefits for the Elderly 

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For many reasons, elderly people can end up feeling isolated, and alone, whether they are facing limiting health conditions, or don’t have close family to spend time with, evidence suggests that kindness can have a profoundly positive effect on elderly people, leading to decreased feelings of loneliness, and increased levels of happiness, and wellbeing. 

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