In our daily life, there are some behaviors that we are not even aware of, but that make our day meaningful and make us feel good. A colleague’s saying good morning every morning, when we meet someone we know the smile on his/her face during the day, the kindness of a person working in a store we shop, or a thank you for a small gesture…
These small but important details in life are enough to warm our hearts and give us good feelings. The movement of the two lips is perhaps enough to make our whole day beautiful. In fact, there are times when people you don’t know but you remember with their good behavior will make a place in your heart.
Kindness is the source of these small but meaningful behaviors. Although the dictionary definition of it is to treat others friendly, generous and conciderate, it can mean more or different things to each of us. Being kind is being considerate for some of us, being helpful for some, and showing empathy for some of us. However, kindness is always encouraged.
The social value of kindness allows us to think not only of ourselves but of others as well. Our environment, nature, people… It is a characteristic of kindness to feel that others value you and at the same time to make the other person feel this.
The Psychology of Kindness
We all see that kindness has a positive effect in many areas of our lives. But do you know that being kind also affects our psychological well-being?
Studies have shown that people who make kindness a part of their lives feel happier and in general terms they seem to have higher psychological well-being.
So why is kindness associated with psychological well-being?
Reward mechanisms in our brains are activated when we do or even think about things that give us pleasure, and release dopamine (a chemical naturally produced in our body). Activities such as offering coffee to a friend or giving someone a little surprise can activate these centers in our brain.
Being kind to others causes people to respond to us in the same way. This naturally works like a reward mechanism, increasing our sense of happiness and ultimately our well-being. It is known that altruistic behaviors without expecting anything in return also increase well-being.
Especially in these difficult times, the positive effects of a gentle approach on our lives are enormous. Our harmony with our environment is largely related to the level of kindness in our dealings with others. That’s why it’s essential for all of us to make kindness a part of our lives to build effective, satisfying, and positive relationships.