When we think of side effects usually negative thoughts spring to mind but who’d have thought that kindness could have side effects too? And positive ones which are all vibration raisers.
1) Kindness Makes us Happier
When we do something kind for someone else, we feel good. On a spiritual level, we’re tapping into something deep and profound inside of us that says, ‘This is who I am.’
On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of dopamine in the brain and so we get a natural high, often referred to as ‘Helper’s High’.
2) Kindness Is Good for theHeart
Acts of kindness are often accompanied by emotional warmth. Emotional warmth produces the hormone, oxytocin, in the brain and throughout the body. It is known as a ‘cardioprotective’ hormone because it protects the heart (by lowering blood pressure). The key is that acts of kindness can produce oxytocin and therefore kindness can be said to be cardioprotective.
3) Kindness Slows Ageing
Oxytocin reduces levels of free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system and so slows aging at the source. There have also been suggestions in the scientific journals of the strong link between compassion and the activity of the vagus nerve which regulates the heart rate and also controls inflammation levels.
4) Kindness ImprovesRelationships
This is one of the most obvious points. We all know that we like people who show us kindness. This is because kindness reduces the emotional distance between two people and so we feel more ‘bonded’. It’s something that is so strong in us that it’s actually a genetic thing. We are wired for kindness.
5) Kindness is Contagious
When we’re kind we inspire others to be kind and studies show that it actually creates a ripple effect that spreads outwards to our friends’ friends’ friends – to 3-degrees of separation. Just as a pebble creates waves when it is dropped in a pond, so acts of kindness ripple outwards touching others’ lives and inspiring kindness everywhere the wave goes.
A study reported that an anonymous 28-year-old person walked into a clinic and donated a kidney. It set off a ‘pay it forward’ type ripple effect where the spouses or other family members of recipients of a kidney donated one of theirs to someone else in need. The ‘domino effect’, as it was called in the New England Journal of Medicine report, spanned the length and breadth of the United States of America, where 10 people received a new kidney as a consequence of that anonymous donor.
So – as the T-shirts say – Be Kind Wherever Possible, It’s Always Possible