Does kindness REALLY make us happy?
In brief. Yes. Experts have been studying the science of kindness for decades and much has been written about the benefits of being kind. Kindness makes us feel good, mentally and physically. Read on...
In his TedX talk, happiness researcher Sean Achor demonstrated through his extensive research that if you perform random acts of kindness for two minutes a day for twenty-one days, you can actually retrain your brain to be more positive.
Studies such as his show that when your brain is more positive you are more likely to be creative, intelligent and productive. These attributes can spin into what we perceive as ‘quality of life’ attributes - job success, wealth, healthy relationships, and better health.
Kindness is a simple concept, yet so very impactful. It can make the world a better place by ending suffering at the hands of war, hunger, human rights violations, and injustice. It has the power to drastically improve our own well-being as well as that of our families, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. The very act of expressing graciousness to one another can make us more empathetic of other people’s hardships.
Within the workforce, kindness towards one another can inspire employees to be more productive and make businesses more profitable. And within our communities, kindness contributes to safer and cleaner schools and neighbourhoods.
Every act of kindness creates a ripple effect that spreads from person to person with no end in sight. Kindness is contagious like a disease in which the outcome is divinely beautiful. Jamil Zaki, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Social Neuroscience Lab recently conducted a series of studies that observe how witnessing kindness inspires kindness, causing it to spread like a virus. He concludes that “by emphasizing empathy-positive norms, we may be able to leverage the power of social influence to combat apathy and conflict in new ways.”