Kindness is such a funny thing.
We all know the benefits of kindness and the fact that we should practice it more often than we do. But on most occasions, it is hard. Choosing kindness can be super exhausting. It is hard because holding our breaths and trying to do the good thing isn’t really our first instinct.
And understanding why kindness is important gets even more difficult in times like now – when clearly things aren’t heading in a direction favorable to us. The world has lately been feeling a little out of place, even hostile at times. We are desperately trying to fix our own problems and cater to our personal needs. Therefore understanding why kindness is important and practicing it doesn’t sound too appealing as an option.
While this scenario might be relatable, it is certainly not the right one. See, choosing kindness can be difficult, especially in a world that feels cold and disconnected at times. But, it is in these moments when practicing kindness can have powerful and life-altering benefits for yourself and the people around you.
So, spreading kindness is more crucial than ever currently. And therefore, we can all use reminders about why kindness is important. To help you, here are our top reasons why you should always think of sharing your warmth and love with others, even when the world feels at its pessimistic best.
11 Reasons To Be Kind To Others
1. Kindness makes you (and others around you) feel good.
Being kind to others not only makes others feel good but also makes you feel happy. And we are not just saying it for the sake of saying it because there’s actually scientific proof behind it. Research has shown that the benefits of kindness are reflected in the functioning of the brain.
Researchers from Tohoku Gakuin University in Japan found a positive correlation between happiness and kindness. The results of the study showed several psychological benefits of kindness. Being kind nurtures the neural pathways in the brain and increases the level of endorphins or feel-good hormones. The results also showed that happy people were more motivated to practice kindness which, in turn, made them even happier.
Therefore, one of the most important reasons to be kind to others is the fact that it actually has the power to make you feel genuine happiness.
2. Being kind to others reduces your stress levels.
Another importance of kindness lies in its ability to reduce stress levels.
As per a study published in Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, people who regularly practiced kindness were found to have reduced cortisol (stress hormone) levels than those who didn’t.
It was unclear how kindness impacted and reduced stress among individuals. The results eventually concluded that performing any act of kindness stimulated specific biological processes in the body that lowered or inhibited typical stress reactions.
3. Kindness binds us all together.
Many people believe that kindness is some sort of social construct created to make society and the world, from a larger perspective, more tolerable. And while this isn’t entirely wrong, it is crucial to understand that kindness is essential for our survival as a society.
Kindness holds societies and communities together by creating and strengthening relationships among people. It helps us live harmoniously despite our shared differences. Imagine the doomsday scenario where we all become violent or unempathetic toward each other and look to harm others constantly. The world would be so much more chaotic and difficult to live in.
Therefore, the importance of kindness lies in its ability to make the world such a habitable and better place to live in.
4. Kindness always comes back to you.
One of the most important reasons to be kind to others is knowing that this kindness will always be reciprocated back to you, directly or indirectly. People remember those occasions when you go out of your regular ways and help them, even in the smallest of ways. And when the time comes, they are always willing to help you out. It is almost like a positive chain effect – one person being kind to someone inspires that person to be kind to the other one, and so on.
Think of it as preparing a cake for all your office colleagues and your kindness rubbing off on to other people. This way, now every month, someone or the other bakes a cake for the office. Eventually, that clearly is a lot more days of you getting a cake rather than baking it yourself.
5. Someone out there really needs your kindness.
Another reason why kindness is important is that it can brighten up someone’s day or change their outlook when they really need it. Even if you don’t see the impact of your actions, always know that it still exists and can mean the world to that person.
6. Kindness is good for your heart.
Try to recall the last time you were kind to someone. Did you feel that warm and fuzzy feeling in your heart? Well, that’s actually one of the most important and proven physiological benefits of kindness.
As per a study by Nigel Mathers, kindness generates emotional warmth, which helps increase the secretion of the oxytocin hormone in the brain. An integral function of the oxytocin hormone is to improve the overall functioning of the cardiovascular system. It releases a chemical called nitric oxide that dilates blood vessels and decreases blood pressure, thereby protecting your heart.
7. Kindness gives you an identity.
Being kind is a great virtue to have in life. It fills you with a sense of pride when you are able to demonstrate this positive identity of yourself. A recent study by Jessica L. Cotney found that even students in the first grade understood that kindness made them better and more complete people.
Additionally, this psychological benefit of kindness is more pronounced when the person’s personality is more connected with the act of kindness they are performing. For instance, if an animal lover rescues a dog, they will feel even more satisfied and fulfilled.
8. Kindness can make you live longer.
Want to live longer?
Try practicing kindness more often.
Yes, another reason why kindness is important is found in research by Dr. Stephanie Brown. According to the study, people who regularly engaged in acts of kindness and offered help to others had lower mortal risks than those who didn’t. The various acts of kindness increased their life span by almost five more years.
An interesting aspect of this study was that this reduction in mortal risks was not found in the individuals on the receiving side of kindness. The longevity benefits of kindness were only reaped by those who indulged in it.
9. When you are kind to others, you replicate that for yourself too.
We all carry certain brokenness in our hearts. Many times the burden of this feeling becomes over bearable. We feel downright defeated and exhausted dealing with the guilt and regret associated with this burden. And the only way to ever get out of this and feel okay is to be kind to yourself and let go of it.
Another reason why kindness is important is that when you practice it toward other people, you soon find a way to replicate that love and care for yourself too. This way, you will do whatever is necessary to lessen the burden in your heart and make it feel okay.
10. Kindness helps you build better relationships.
Relationships and social connections are important for all of us. An essential reason why kindness is important is that it provides you with great opportunities to build these connections. It helps create bonds that virtues like discipline and authority fail to create. When people are kind and compassionate toward each other, beautiful relationships foster.
11. Be kind because the world is already too difficult to be in.
It is common knowledge that the world is sort of messy currently. The headlines are flooded with negativity, and every moment feels hopeless. An economic recession, post-pandemic difficulties, and many difficult situations have been thrust upon us in the past few years. When we are up against such big problems, being kind to others might seem small and inconsequential. But trust us that the importance of kindness has grown more than ever in the midst of this all.
So help them buy groceries, make that cup of coffee, volunteer at that NGO, or simply compliment someone. Do anything possible in your power. Yes, it is not going to cure the world of its problems, but if it can make you or someone around you forget their problems, even for a minute, it is worth it.
Kindness is one of the most important values that we need to cultivate in our lives. From holding the door open for someone to volunteering at an organization or donating to a cause – everything you do out of kindness has the power to change the world.
We hope this list of reasons helps you understand what is the importance of kindness and motivates you to make the world a better place every day.
Now that you understand why kindness is important, let us take you to the next step. Here are some of the easiest and most unique ways to practice and incorporate kindness in your daily lives.
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