“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible,” Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, once said. Being kind is one of the simplest good deeds we can do for the world – and it can bring a real sense of richness and fulfilment to our own lives, as well as those we are helping.
Psychologists have long known that performing acts of kindness is beneficial to our mental wellbeing. When you do something kind, your body rewards you by releasing endorphins, giving you that feel-good rush sometimes called “the helper’s high.” Over the long term, it helps to give us a boost in energy, a more optimistic outlook on life, a sense of connectedness with others, and a greater feeling of calmness.
Some studies even suggest that kindness may also have physiological health benefits, such as improving your cardiovascular health and strengthening your immune system. In any case, there’s one thing we can surely all agree on – being kind feels good.
World Kindness Day is an occasion to stop and remember this, and to think about how we can contribute more small acts of kindness to the world. It doesn’t have to be something huge – kindness can take all different forms. So how will you practise kindness today, or this week, or this month? For inspiration, watch the video below for one woman’s moving experience committing to 38 random acts of kindness…
Read about the benefits of practising gratitude.