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The Magic of Kindness

If you’re lucky, you’ve been on the receiving end of a random act of kindness at some point in your life –  for example,  when someone pays for your coffee when you forgot your wallet, or a stranger smiles and notices your outfit or someone picks up the keys you dropped.  If you have, you know how wonderful and uplifting it is.  What you may not know is that the effects also impact and benefit the recipient and those who witness the act.  That’s why I often prescribe it as a strategy for my coaching clients when they need a shift.  Science has a lot to tell us about why that strategy I recommend works so well….
Researchers tell us that a random act of kindness causes seratonin (a good feeling hormone) to be released in the brain of the giver, the receiver and any witnesses.  This brain hormone creates a feeling of elation, ease and happiness.  From a coaching perspective, I often recommend one daily intentional random act of kindness a day to my clients as a way of taking the focus off of themselves.  When we experience sadness, grief or fear of any kind, we tend to stay focused inward.  We get caught up in a pattern of thought and behavior based on our hopelessness and despair.  When we ook for someone to reach out to with kindness, it shifts our focus outward.  Then as a result we get the added benefit of raising seratonin levels and a rush of endorphins as well.
In their book  ‘The Healing Power of Doing Good’  Allan Luks and Peggy Payne describe the numerous health benefits associated with kindness:
A heightened sense of well-being
An increase in longevity
An increase in energy
A stronger immune system
A reduction in high blood pressure
A reduction in elevated stomach acid
Improved circulation
Relief from asthma and arthritis
Reduced coronary disease
In addition to all of these amazing benefits, I think there is another really important point to be made.  A random act of kindness demands that we connect with another person even if only for a moment.  In these busy times most of us are moving at a pace that keeps us fairly disconnected.  Human beings are not meant to be isolated creatures racing past one another as we attempt to get our stuff done.  We as humans derive purpose and meaning in our life in proportion to our ability to feel connected and to feel that we make a difference.
Imagine, a simple small act can plug us back in, make us feel good, make others feel good and create real, lasting health benefits.  Oh, and one other thing about kindness, it tends to come back to you.  That’s the ripple effect and the magic that all start with one tiny act of kindness.  Try it.

2 comments to The Magic of Kindness

  • This is the very article that supports my reasoning for creating my Kindness bracelet, the original. I’d like people to experience the benefits of intentionally counting acts of kindness they give or receive. Hats off to Liz for this insightful and relevant post.

  • Thanks Grace, Your work is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

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