It’s fair to say that most of us have been taught that kindness is a virtue. In the karmic sense, kindness certainly has been thought of as a means to attract positive energy.
But is there any scientific evidence to suggest that the act of being kind towards others can make you happier and healthier?
It turns out the answer is yes!
What is Kindness?
In plain speak kindness is the warmhearted approach to showing love or affection to another without expectation for something in return. Subsets of kindness include sympathy and empathy, infused with an empathic sense to alleviate a person’s emotional pain.
So how does kindness make you happier and healthier? What’s the deal? Check out these 5 ways.
1) Kindness helps ameliorate depression
In ways we may not fully understand, kindness towards and ourselves reduces feelings of depression. For those who suffer from chronic sadness, PTSD and anxiety, research suggests that a sizeable change for the positive can occur for those who mindfully go about the business of imparting kind intentions.
2) Kindness creates greater intimacy
Intimacy is an issue that many couples struggle with. One way to enhance intimacy is to engage in kindness. By being kind to others in a mindful way, we increase our ability to tune into love. Over time, this can help us with our romantic relationships by keeping the romantic flame alive, even for those who are in long term relationships.
3) Kindness helps reduce pain and increase energy
People who adopt the kindness mindset have been found to have less pain, more energy and increased life expectancy, according to some research studies. Many of these benefits are thought to be grounded in the psychology and biology of well-being.
4) Kindness reduces commitment issues
In order to be open to a loving relationship with another, elements of trust must be present. Trust is empowered through being kind to ourselves and by being vulnerable. If you have a history of relationship commitment issues, a good starting point is to try and be kind to yourself first. Learn all you can about the benefits of self-compassion and how its healing powers can paradoxically attract love.
5) Kindness creates happiness
Time and again, kindness has been shown to increase happiness. Some research studies suggest that by intentionally engaging in kindness, you help to boost motivation levels, increase feelings of personal accomplishment and lift overall perceptions of life quality.
Engaging in kindness doesn’t have to be complicated. It starts with having compassion for ourselves and embracing all of who we are. When we do this, we are able to more fully experience true happiness as part of our life journey.
PS Being kind to animals counts too – don’t forget to love on them!