Why Kindness Is Good For You

From a young age, you are being encouraged to ‘be nice’, ‘play fair’ and ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. It all makes perfect sense.

But it can be difficult. Especially in business. It’s easy to forget these basic rules when you are bombarded with messages of negativity – like the 6PM News, and often it feels like everyone is out for a piece of you. Internet scams, telemarketers and an avalanche of marketing urging you to buy, buy, buy! Is there a place for kindness in this materialistic, self-absorbed world?

If the sound advice of your grandmother is not enough to convince you to live a life of kindness, how about medical evidence that it will help you live longer and better? Dr David R. Hamilton has written a book called ‘Why Kindness Is Good For You.’

It’s a great read, but here is the basic message in a nutshell.

We have been designed to be kind to each other. When we are, our body functions better, is more resistant to disease and aging and we feel better.When we turn our back on kindness, our blood pressure rises, free radicals roam our bloodstream doing us harm, and we are prone to depression.

Other facts about kindness, happiness and compassion:

  • It’s contagious – the human brain is tuned to detect and mimic kindness.
  • It’s addictive – displaying compassion releases endogenous opiates and these powerful chemicals can replace the highs produced by morphine or heroin with a ‘helper’s high’, a far more natural and positive experience, I’m sure you’ll agree.

  • Happiness makes us richer. People sometimes equate money with happiness. In other words, if I have lots of money, I will be happy. Dr Hamilton references research that suggests things work the other way around. He cites a study by Robert A Emmons that measured the happiness of a group of US college students over 16 years. Those who were happier at the beginning of the study actually earned more during the evaluation period. The happiest in the group earnt $25,000 more per annum than the least happy!

 But don’t take my word for it… give it a go and see for yourself.

Click the picture below to reveal a  list of 50 random acts of kindness to get you started. I look forward to hearing your results.

Being kind to others is being kind to yourself.

Richard Everson
Small Fish Business Coaching Canberra

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