World Kindness Day
Most of us don't need a special day to be kind. But as a focus, it's a great topic as kindness is such a transformer of attitude and behaviour. It has a ripple effect. It feels good. It can be completely free. EVERYONE can do it.
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” —Amelia Earhart.
Serotonin and dopamine are released by your brain when you are kind to yourself or to another person. Your brain literally lights up with pleasure and well-being. These reward signals are so powerful that they can trigger a chain reaction in interactions with other people.
Most of our lives are made up of a series of often mundane events. If you can be kind in all (or most) of the mundane interactions you experience every day, you are filling your day up with kindness. This has so many benefits to ourselves and to everyone else around us.
The 7 Days of Kindness Experiment
Oxford University and Kindness.org ran a study to quantify the value of kindness. They found that just seven days of small, random acts of kindness were enough to bring significantly more joy to the study participants' lives. And the more acts of kindness people were exposed to, the greater the benefits.
Masaru Emoto Experiments on the Effects of Words on Water
Masaru Emoto has conducted a number of experiments to show the effect of words on the molecular formations of water. After water was exposed to kind, compassion and loving words, beautiful water crystals were formed. Chaotic and 'uglier' patterns were seen from the water molecules that had been exposed to hateful or negative words.
IKEA Plant Bully Experiment
To show the harmful effects of bullying, Ikea conducted an experiment with 2 plants. They were kept in identical conditions. Over the course of 30 days, one plant was to be 'fed' recorded messages that were complimentary and kind; the other's messages were hurtful and unkind. The results after 30 days were clear to see. The plant that had been hearing positive, kind messages was thriving. The other plant was wilted and unhealthy looking. See the article and results here.
All of these experiments are a great reminder how powerful kindness can be. Imagine if we turned that kindness back on ourselves and spread it all around on a daily basis?
“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” —The 14th Dalai Lama.
Random Acts of Kindness
- Say thank you to your other half or friend for all they do for you
- Stop the critical inner chat - it's hurting you! Replace with kind words.
- Buy a friend a treat - a lottery ticket, a coffee, a cinema ticket
- Cook a meal and drop it round to a friend or family member
- Make complimentary comments on a social post
- Give someone 100% of your attention