We’re bombarded with bad news on a daily basis. On a global level we see and hear the horrific bombings and shootings to the hunger of our precious children in this world to the most recent demonstration of attacking others during a presidential debate. Globally these feel far away to most of us, as if we don’t have the ability to really make a difference on a global scale. We may experience this same feeling of being overwhelmed in our own lives, with being laid off of work to hearing our loved one was just recently diagnosed with cancer to a relationship breakup or simply not being able to find our keys amidst all of our stuff, which then makes us late for work. The possibilities are endless if we choose to focus on what battles we’re facing or what we don’t have in life we feel make us imperfect.
There’s so much beauty in life and if we stay tuned into the present moment we start to see the splendor all around us and if we choose to, we can be a part of this beauty and help it grow. Simply go to Dr. Google and type in positive news or good news and you will see the amazing things happening globally and even in our own back yard, listening to the excitement of the neighborhood children.
There have been many movies that give us inspiration in helping others and giving kindness to all. “Pay It Forward” was a fictional movie in which an 11-year-old child decides to participate in a random act of kindness and then asks the receiver to pay it forward to three other people. It then becomes a ripple effect and hundreds of people are affected by this deed. Another movie, “Little Red Wagon,” is based off of a true story about a 7-year-old boy who founded an organization to aid the 1.3 million homeless children in the United States. He then walked 4,263 miles across the United States between 2007 and 2010 to help raise awareness and money for homeless children. We see these amazing stories on the big screen, but the truth is random acts of kindness are happening around us all of the time.
When we focus on the positive things in life they will grow and when we spread kindness and joy to others it will grow, the ripples will continue on a global scale and one by one all of us can help heal humanity and ourselves by a simple act of kindness.
There are so many ways one can spread kindness, simply offering a smile, lending a hand to someone who needs help, sending a letter to someone, complimenting a total stranger, creating colorful lunch bags for the homeless that contain lots of goodies, handing a flower out to random people walking down the street, giving up your place in line to another, and if you’re really determined to spread this love and kindness get a group together in which weekly or monthly you come up with ideas of helping others in some way and you do it as a team. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to spread kindness, you can simply give from your heart.
Studies have shown when we spread kindness to others, not only does it help heal the recipient, it also creates many health benefits for the giver. According to this research kindness lowers blood pressure by increasing Oxytocin which releases a chemical called nitric oxide, which dilates the blood vessels. Kindness increases happiness according to a study done at Harvard Business School surveying 136 countries. Kindness increases the oxytocin, the “love hormone.” Kindness reduces anxiety according to a study conducted at University of British Colombia, where individuals performed at least six acts of kindness a week. Researchers found after a month there was a significant increase in positive mood, decrease in anxiety and increase in relationship satisfaction. Kindness decreases pain by increasing endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Kindness increases serotonin, a feel good hormone, which decreases depression. A study conducted at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine found kindness delays mortality, reduces depression and increases life satisfaction. Kindness increases energy levels according to a study at UC Berkley. Kindness reduces stress by decreasing cortisol levels, the stress hormone.
The amazing thing about giving kindness is not only does it help you heal, it also has similar effects for the recipient and the ripple begins and soon the ripples in the river reaches all of humanity and feed each one of us, because when we spread kindness and feel joy others do too! I challenge each and every one of you to start implementing random acts of kindness today and reap the benefits for yourself and the world!