Be Kind!

kindnessToo often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”  Leo Buscaglia

Kindness is the most valuable gift you will ever give someone.

Kindness is the act of being generous, charitable, sympathetic, compassionate, tender and caring.  It is an act you should do because it is the right thing to do, not because you have something to gain from it.

When you are kind the benefit does not just fall upon the person or animal you are being kind to but it also puts you in a great place, bestowing a beautiful and almost euphoric sense to your mood and well being.

There are some side effects to being kind.  As written in The Huffington Post article from 2011 there are five wonderful side effects.

1.  Kindness makes us happier.  Doing something nice for others makes us feel good.  On a biochemical level, the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain’s natural versions opoids.  These opoids elevate levels of dopamine in the brain giving us a natural high.

2.  Kindness gives us healthier hearts.  Acts of kindness create emotional warmth and this warmth produces the hormone oxytocin in the brain and body.  Oxytocin releases nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels and reduces blood pressure so being kind is good for your heart, literally.

3.  Kindness slows aging.  The production of oxytocin from emotional warmth reduces free radicals and inflammation and slows aging.  And apparently there is a link between compassion and activity of the vagus nerve which regulates the heart rate and controls inflammation in the body.  Those who practice the Tibetan “lovingkindness” meditation found that kindness did , for certain, reduce inflammation due to the effects on the vagus nerve.

4.  Kindness makes for better relationships. We all like people who are kind.  Kindness brings us closer to other people and makes us feel more bonded with a kind person.

5.  Kindness is Contagious.  When we are kind to others, those around us become kinder too.  It has a ripple effect.

Kindness is an anti-depressant.  Being kind gives us a positive self worth.  It takes more facial muscles to frown than it does to smile.  I think it takes less effort to be kind than it does to be miserable towards others.

The only thing better than a great day is making someone else’s day great.

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but there echoes are truly endless.”  – Mother Teresa

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