One of the first virtues most parents try to instill in their children is to be kind, empathetic, and compassionate. As an adult, reaching out and helping others should be common. Can doing good deeds also benefit you? Kindness certainly can increase your gratitude and give you a new appreciation for your blessings and the troubles of others.
Twelve Reasons to Be Kind to Others–and Why Kindness Matters
When you say and do good things for others, it makes you feel good. Reaching out a hand of compassion also encourages others to do the same. These are things you do “just because” and not to be seen or praised.
Does being kindhearted only benefit those who are helped? You may be surprised to learn that compassion is a mutual gift. Here are twelve benefits of being kind that people don’t consider.
1. It Is Good for Your Heart Health to Be Kind
Has anyone ever told you that you have a kind heart? Perhaps there’s an inherent connection between the human spirit and showing kindness.
Reaching out with compassion may stimulate the production of a hormone called oxytocin. According to one scientific study, oxytocin has several cardiovascular benefits. These include helping to regulate your heart rhythm and lowering your blood pressure.
2. Kindness May Boost Your Immune System
When you’re kind to others, it may do more than make you feel good emotionally. Some evidence suggests that kindness may also boost your immune system. It also may have something to do with the higher production of oxytocin.
An article published by Pharmacological Reviews states that oxytocin plays a role in your immune system. Since it fights inflammation throughout your body, it may reduce your risks of certain diseases. Such ailments listed in the article are hypertension, coronary disease, diabetes, cancer, and premature death.
3. When You Are Kind, You Feel a Sense of Control
Let’s face it; some people still get on your nerves, no matter how kind you are or how much you reach out to help. You usually dread crossing paths because you know they’ll do something to flare your temper. It’s human nature and is difficult to control.
Remember the old saying to “kill” with kindness? Of course, it means to kill the cruel words and negative attitude, not the person. It takes a strong person to be kind when someone is being rude to them.
Anger can be toxic, but it’s one of the easiest emotions to show. This is especially when someone is mean to you. However, turning the other cheek and walking away often takes profound strength. You prove to yourself and others that you’re in control and they can’t push you past your limits.
Responding with compassion allows you to control the situation. You can smile and go your way without giving them the satisfaction of upsetting you. Proverbs 15:1 says that a kind word turns away wrath, so you end up the winner.
4. Kindness Comes Back to You
According to the law of attraction, any affirmation you send into the Universe returns to you in kind. Positive affirmations attract positive returns, and negative affirmations attract negative revenues. The law applies to your words and actions, regardless of who you are.
For example, you show gratitude by declaring how blessed you are to the Universe. The Universe agrees with your positive affirmation and sends you more blessings. If you cry that nothing good ever happens to you, then you’ll continue attracting negativity.
So, reaching out in compassion won’t return to you void. The same blessings you give to others will eventually come back to you. The law of attraction may also be explained as reaping what you sow, either positive or negative.
5. You May Help Reduce Anxiety and Stress if You Are a Kind Person
When you overthink your problems, it only causes undue stress. Chronic stress can make you more prone to physical and mental health issues. Although it’s impossible to eliminate all of life’s stress, you can do things to minimize it.
One way of naturally reducing your stress is to be considerate of others. Your kindness focuses on their needs, so you aren’t stressing about your problems. Reaching out to help a friend also works to lighten your burdens.
6. Kindness Elevates Your Gratitude
Negative words and actions are often the fruit of ingratitude. When you have a thankful heart, it lifts your spirit and makes you a kinder person. Not only are you more compassionate to others, but you show more compassion to yourself.
How often do you set your complaints aside and count your blessings? If you create a gratitude list, you’ll be amazed at the benefits you may take for granted. Thankfulness softens your heart and encourages you to share your blessings with others.
7. Kindness Fosters Better Relationships
If someone is constantly mean and nasty to you, chances are you don’t want to associate with them. Unfortunately, negative people only attract more negativity and repel positive energy. It stands to reason that kindhearted folks will have more resilient and longer-lasting relationships.
Consider the family and friends in your circle. They were attracted to your orbit because of mutual kindness. While you may have a few family members and coworkers who aren’t your favorites, you only have contact when necessary.
Most people want a mate who has a compassionate heart toward them and others. Their physical beauty may attract you, but their inner beauty will keep you hooked. People who are loving toward each other have more profound and long-lasting connections.
8. Kind People Are Often Highly Creative
Did you know that being compassionate can make you more creative? One article discusses the positive link between happiness and creativity. If reaching out makes you happier, you can assume it will influence your creative thinking.
You can notice benefits regardless of where your gifts and talents lie. Compassion may help you be a better writer, painter, or musician. Your mind is less troubled, and you have more room for inspiration, gratitude, and creative thinking.
9. Kindness May Give You an Energy Boost
How do you feel after you’ve said or done something that hurt someone? You feel awful even if it was out of anger and didn’t mean it. The guilt and self-loathing sink your mood as well as your energy levels.
On the other hand, reaching out with compassion makes you feel lovely. Of course, only if it’s altruistic and you don’t have an ulterior motive. Your consideration for others creates positive energy that makes you want to do more.