Why Kindness is Important for Your Brain?
The World Kindness Day is celebrated every 13 November, it was first introduced in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement. Kindness is an essential part of our humanity that has the power to bridge the divides of race, religion, borders, and gender.
Kindness does not have a certain definition; its meaning cannot be limited by simple one-word definitions such as empathy and/or sympathy. It stems from love and love yields respect, solidarity, and generosity. These values are what make us humans.
Many studies show that kindness is healthy for the brain and is considered one of the foundations of a meaningful life. Here are 4 reasons why kindness specifically benefits your brain.
1. Kindness Makes Us Happier:
A Study conducted at the University of California in which a group of people were asked to do random kindness acts daily for about 2 months showed that happiness levels of the volunteers increased by about 40%.
Another study was done at Harvard and found out that giving money to strangers makes people happier than spending the money on themselves.
These studies show that performing kindness acts activates areas of pleasure, social connection, and trust in the brain. Scientists also found that when someone only thinks of the idea of giving, endorphins and oxytocin hormones, which elevate the mood, are released making him/her feel better and happier for hours.
2. Kindness Creates a Positive-Feedback Loop in Your Brain:
Kindness makes us happier and happiness makes us kinder. Researchers found that when someone is happy, he/she is more likely to be giving and kind to the others. Studies suggest a kind of a positive feedback loop between being happy and being kind.
3. Kindness and Togetherness Increase Social Connection and Bonding:
Our brains are programmed to be part of groups. Our brains know that the survival rate of the group is higher.
Some studies suggest that social connection enhances our physical performance and mental clarity.
When you do something good to someone, it includes a degree of social connection and sentimental bonding.
The connections resulting from kindness promote our sense of trust and cooperation. This makes the bonds between individuals stronger.
4. Kindness Decreases Pain, Anxiety, and Stress:
Scientists found that when someone does something nice to someone else, their brains release endorphins which are the most potent natural painkiller.
Cortisol is the stress hormone. Studies say that kind people have 23% less cortisol than other people.
A study was made on a group of persons suffering from anxiety. The persons, who were highly anxious, were asked to do at least 6 acts of kindness weekly. After 4 weeks, their social avoidance decreased and their mood elevated significantly.
One of the best qualities of our brain is its neuroplasticity. No matter how small your act of kindness may be; it is still good for your brain.
Every day try a new act. Things like smiling more, compliments, and helping others really make difference. Just spread kindness in any possible way and you will notice the difference.
Happy World Kindness Day!