I’m writing this from the Manchester/Boston Regional Airport as I wrap up another visit to New Hampshire where I spoke at an annual professional meeting.
My talk, Rock Your Super Power at Work (no cape necessary), highlighted the research that exists on the link between choosing to be kind, and our well-being mentally, emotionally and physically.
I was further suggesting in my talk that anyone – regardless of title, position or salary – can impact change for the better in any organization by simply being kind.
The data in numerous research studies strongly suggests that there is a “positive feedback loop” between being kind to others and feeling content and happy in our own lives.
Performing random acts of kindness helps boost our sense of well-being in part because they activate the release of dopamine in our brains. When we are kind to others, our brains produce endorphins. These in turn induce a physical feeling similar to an opiate “high”.
In other words, if we’re feeling down, a little depressed or otherwise “meh“,…we should do something nice for someone – and science says we’ll turn our misery around. According to research summarized in a fact sheet published by Dartmouth Wellness, active kindness (being kind in word and deed) decreases pain, anxiety, depression, cortisol levels (which raise under stressful conditions), and blood pressure.
But there’s even more reason to up our Vitamin K(indness): it seems we really can change the world – no matter who we are or where we live.
“The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to pay it forward.” [Dartmouth Wellness Fact Sheet]
As I shared with the group I today, this means that we don’t have to be a CEO to make positive change at work; a mayor or council person to make positive changes in our community.
We can begin where we are right now, and plant seeds of kindness that will impact the people around us and ultimately, the world.
I’ve always liked Wayne Dyer’s counsel on kindness: “When you have the choice to be right, or to be kind – choose kindness.”
And so it is.
(C) 2018 Practitioner's Path
- Dartmouth Wellness
- Psychology Today
- Random Acts of Kindness
- More Random Acts of Kindness