Daily life in New York for some may seem like a hard and cold place, but whenever there is a tragedy people’s acts of kindness and goodness is displayed in so many ways.
During my walks in the city, I come across thousands of people, but I filter my view of each tourist and nontourist to see the acts of kindness.
According to psychologists kindness is linked inextricably to happiness and contentment—at both the psychological and spiritual level. Over a decade ago, in a study of Japanese undergraduates, researchers, Otake, and colleagues, found that happy people were kinder than people who were not happy. Their study also revealed and that one’s sense of happiness increased by the simple act of counting the number of one’s acts of kindness. Counting one’s acts of kindness also led happy people to become more kind and grateful.
Kindness can promote gratitude in your life. When you are kind to others in need it heightens the sense of your good fortune. Kindness encourages empathy and compassion; which in turn, leads to a sense of interconnectedness with others. Kindness can forward the will to live in depressed individuals who feel isolated and different; that is why performing volunteer work is so powerful.
According to Researcher Barbara Fredrickson, she states that compassion and kindness reduce stress, boost our immune systems, and help reduce negative emotions such as anger, anxiety, and depression.
Here’s what happens when we practice small acts of kindness:
It releases an energy to the world. We feel better and the recipients of our acts feel better, which then makes them more likely to be kind to other people.
It can release neurochemicals that result in the sense of well-being–the “helper’s high”–as Allan Luks and Peggy Payne describe the healing power of doing good. In fact, the neural circuits that are involved in chemical “highs” are the same ones activated by kindness and compassion.
It can reduce pain. Kind behavior releases Dopamine, serotonin, and endogenous opioids. It enhances the release of oxytocin in interactions where two or more people are engaged in kindness behavior. In turn, bonds between those who are kind to one another are strengthened. It enhances both physical and mental health. Many physical ailments are either precipitated by or aggravated by stress. Kindness reduces stress, which is what we all seek for in today’s world.
Sending kind, loving vibes to you all! 💋
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Photo credit: Breakfast at Hannah’s – saved to A Pretty ❥ Pink Princess, Breakfast at Hannah’s