The Power of Kindness
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
It’s amazing what the power of kindness can do. Kindness allows us to connect to hearts, touch souls, and transform lives. As a bonus, in addition to the effects that our kindness has on others, kindness can be good for our own health as well.\
The Power of Kindness by Mac Anderson
The Boomerang Effect of Kindness
Call it karma or the laws of the universe, whatever kindness you share with others comes back to you. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you are kind to someone else…without the slightest expectation of anything in return. In fact, taking the time to be kind can actually be good for your health. In his book, The Healing Power of Doing Good: The Health and Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others, Allan Luks documented the physical and mental benefits of kindness after surveying more than 3,000 volunteers of all ages at more than 20 organizations throughout the country.
Luks, the former executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of Health and executive director of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of New York City, shared some of the key findings from his study:
•A rush of euphoria, followed by a longer period of calm after performing a kind act, is often referred to as a “helper’s high,” involving physical sensations and the release of the body’s natural painkillers, endorphins. This initial rush is then followed by a longer-lasting period of improved emotional well-being.
•Stress-related health problems improve after performing kind acts. Helping reverses feelings of depression, supplies social contact, and decreases feelings of hostility and isolation that can cause stress, overeating, ulcers, etc. A drop in stress may, for some people, decrease the constriction within the lungs that leads to asthma attacks.
•Helping can enhance our feelings of joyfulness, emotional resilience and vigor, and can reduce the unhealthy sense of isolation.
•A decrease in both the intensity and the awareness of physical pain can occur.
•The health benefits and sense of well-being return for hours or even days whenever the helping act is remembered.
•An increased sense of self-worth, greater happiness and optimism, as well as a decrease in feelings of helplessness and depression, is achieved.