Random acts of kindness can mean more than you think. A simple sweet gesture, however small, can significantly impact our joy and self-esteem. Too often, people decide to keep their kindness to themselves. Before you convince yourself that being kind isn’t always necessary, here’s why you should reconsider.
A Little Love Can Make A World Of A Difference
In the social media age, nothing is more valuable than a little personal time and attention. Just taking the time to connect with someone and spread positive vibes means more to people than you could possibly imagine.
A recent study in psychology suggests that people overwhelmingly underestimate how much kindness means to people. A social experiment published by the American Psychology Association concluded that people who performed acts of kindness “consistently underestimated how positive their recipients would feel, thinking their act was of less value than recipients perceived it to be.” Could you imagine the kind of impact this misconception could have on society? Think about it: if everyone assumed that their nice gestures wouldn’t make a difference, wouldn’t it stop most of us from being kind in the first place? Studies like this, however, show that we’ve got it all wrong. Small acts of kindness don’t go unnoticed: a little love can make a world of a difference.
Make Someone’s Day (And Yours, Too!)
Taking the time to be kind affects both the giver and the receiver in ways that impact their overall well-being. Just think about how you feel when someone does something nice for you unexpectedly, whether it’s helping you lift a heavy load or treating you to a cup of coffee. Don’t you walk away feeling uplifted? Grateful, even? Something as small as receiving a compliment on a new haircut or sharing a post on IG is powerful enough to improve your mood because it makes you feel seen and cared for in a world that prioritizes selfishness and greed. The same can be said for the person performing the act, as well.
Science shows that simply witnessing an act of kindness releases oxytocin (“the love hormone”) and helps lower blood pressure and improve heart function. Performing a random act benefits your own health by releasing endorphins and dopamine, which both relieves stress and reduces depression and anxiety.
Unprovoked acts of kindness are a form of charity, and something magical happens during a charitable exchange. By showing compassion and consideration for others, the giver receives a boost in morale which rubs off on your pride and self-esteem. When you show thoughtfulness and care, you feel good about yourself knowing that you did something that made a positive impact on the world, even if it’s just putting a smile on someone’s face.
Kind gestures: so much more than just a smile
So many positive things derive from random acts of kindness. Even something as simple as a genuine smile or sending a text to check in with someone can not only change the course of someone’s day but can influence the course of a person’s life, too. There’s a story about a man who once jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge about 20 years ago. Before he took his life, he left a note saying that if a single person smiled at him that day, he wouldn’t go through with it. Unfortunately, his wish was not granted.
When you’re kind to someone, you give them a sense of belonging and purpose. Just by being friendly, you’re helping a person feel valued and sending them signals that they matter. The outside world can be cold and lonely, which can be dangerous for humans who naturally crave connection. Just by bonding with someone for a moment, you’re proving to them that someone has their back which can be crucial in dire times of need. These simple gestures can help people feel less anxious and more secure, an act that can be inspiring and restore faith in humanity. All of which come at no cost to you.
Kindness is infectious and means more to people than you could ever imagine. Take the time to be kind today. You never know who could use a smile.