Ever held the door for someone? Then someone else picked up something you dropped? So you smiled at strangers for the rest of the day? These are all examples of random acts of kindness. When someone else helps you or is simply nice, it sticks out to you.
Being randomly kind to strangers is proven to be contagious. Experiencing a good deed or doing one yourself can have a ripple effect to all onlookers. It is a form of positive peer pressure. If you see someone being nice, you are more likely to “pay it forward” in order to conform.
Kindness is also a teachable act according to some studies. You need to train your brain to reframe negative ideas with positive thoughts. It is almost like training yourself to become more optimistic. It was found in a study at The University of Wisconsin-Madison that compassion is something that isn’t fixed in everyone’s heads. It is something that needs to be enhanced overtime.
There are also health benefits to being kind. For instance, your love hormone will increase which will also increase self-esteem and optimism. Along with that, serotonin levels will raise which will calm you down faster, heals wounds and makes you happier overall. Energy, happiness and pleasure will increase by being consistently kind. In addition, a study showed you have a 44 percent lower likelihood of not dying early by being kind, which is higher than going to the gym four times per week!
There are nothing but benefits when you’re kind to one another. Plus, you always feel good after doing it. So why not do it? Participate in the Random Acts of Kindness week, but don’t just stop there. Make it a part of your daily routine to just do small acts like holding the elevator for someone. It will start a domino effect and make the world a slightly better place overall.
If you would like to start a domino effect of kindness, join us at NAMI Greater Toledo! We are always looking for more volunteers to end the stigma of mental illness.
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Brooke Crockett is a third year student at the Ohio State University with an anticipated graduation of May 2020. She is majoring in Strategic Communication and double-minoring in Professional Writing and Nonprofit Studies. She is the current marketing/PR intern for NAMI Greater Toledo.