The Importance of Kindness
Originally published on baltimorepostexaminer.com.
The smallest act of kindness can have a significant impact on a person’s life. In fact, being kind can strengthen your relationships and help you gain a genuine sense of satisfaction in life.
Acts 1:8 Ministry, a Christian non-profit organization, has been helping spread kindness for nearly two decades via their Planned Acts of Christian Kindness® Program. The dedicated team behind Acts 1:8 Ministry and their trainees have witnessed the marvelous power of kindness first-hand, both on a local and global scale.
Why kindness matters
People may forget what you do or say, but they will never forget how you made them feel. We always have a choice in terms of how we relate to others—and to ourselves. Choosing kindness brings benefits to all concerned, not the least of which is how it enriches our lives in the process.
Kindness is its own reward
Kindness is selflessness. It is showing compassion for another or being of service without any expectation of reward. Simple acts of kindness do wonders for the soul, too. Did you know that 12-step programs include “being of service” to others as an essential part of recovery?
This is because the act of helping others has physical benefits that are both healing and quantifiable.
Some of the health benefits that you can expect may include:
1. A reduction in stress. An act of kindness helps you focus your attention away from yourself and your problems.
2. Increased serotonin levels. Serotonin is the “feel-good” hormone, meaning that when you are kind to others, you will naturally feel better. Kindness boosts serotonin production.
3. Boosts immunity. Scientific studies suggest that kindness to others improves our ability to resist disease.
4. Good for heart health. Kindness releases a chemical in our bodies called oxytocin. Oxytocin dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. Could this be why we say that kind people have big hearts?
5. Reduces inflammation. With so many chronic inflammatory diseases affecting us these days, knowing that a little kindness may ease our pain as well as that of others is a reward in itself.
Kindness leads to happiness
Research shows that practicing kindness has a significant and lasting impact on our happiness.
It helps us to build relationships with others and moderates the effects of stress on our outward behavior. This suggests that kind people tend to find it easier to make and maintain friendships.
Acts as simple as letting another car go ahead of you in traffic or taking the time to help out your elderly neighbor, even though you are late for an appointment – these go a long way to improving the lives of others.
Here are some other things you can do to spread a little kindness in the world:
● Do something nice for your spouse without being asked
● Send a handwritten letter to an old friend
● Help a stranger
● Help out a friend in need
● Visit with the sick or elderly
● Hold the door for others
● Buy lunch for someone who is hungry
● Tell the people that matter to you that you love them
● Volunteer for a worthy cause
The key to a life well-lived
In conclusion, kindness may just be the secret ingredient to a healthy, happy, well-lived life. Keep in mind, however, that it is necessary to nourish yourself before you can nourish others. When kindness includes self-care, everybody benefits.
About Acts 1:8 Ministry: Acts 1:8 Ministry is a non-profit organization that equips Christians to care, share and connect people to Christ through Christian kindness. The Planned Acts of Christian Kindness® Program has touched thousands of lives in the US and over 100 countries worldwide. Through the Water Project, over 130 water wells drilled, blessing hundreds of thousands of lives with clean water.