What is Kindness?Dec 01, 2020
What is Kindness?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, kindness is the quality of being generous, helpful, and caring. Kindness takes on many forms, shapeshifting into empathy, thoughtfulness, acceptance, generosity, and gestures of compassion. Kindness is a state of mind that places others before ourselves, and it's demonstrated by an action that is selfless. Kindness is doing good.
It's a mindset
Kindness is more than being nice. It's an attitude that is backed up with intention. With practice, kindness becomes a habit, and this habit shapes how we view our life and then it shapes what we do. Acts of kindness, which are selfless, shift the focus from ourselves onto others. This change of perspective is a powerful tool in promoting gratitude, happiness, and empathy, which can reduce stress, boost mood, and promote self-esteem. It can also offer us a different perspective on our own circumstances, reframing our outlook to be more optimistic or positive.
Kindness pays dividends
Research shows that performing just 10 acts of kindness over 10 days makes us happier and experience more life satisfaction. Feeling happier leads to more kindness, perpetuating a positive feedback loop, which leads to even more kind acts, and continued improved mood. These effects are long-lasting, as they impact the way we feel about ourselves. Even though the main intention of showing kindness starts selflessly, being an agent of giving boomerangs back to us, leaving us with improved self-esteem. The habit of giving can also be infectious, where recipients of your kindness are inspired to be kind to others, perpetuating a chain reaction of positive events.
Kindness is a win-win situation where the giver and the receiver are positively impacted by a simple act. The good news is, acts of kindness don't take a lot of money or time. Everyone can act kindly. Here are some ways you can be kind:
- Text a friend how much you appreciate them
- Check on someone you know is going through a hard time
- Send a handwritten thank-you note in the mail
- Help with a household chore that you don't usually do
- Hold the door open for a stranger
- Say "thank you" when someone is kind to you
- Change a negative self-thought into a positive one
Still looking for more idea or want more guidance? Check out our program, where we guide parents and kids through engaging exercises to practice kindness and to strengthen their emotional intelligence.
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