We recently met Jodie Cooper, who along with 2 other Illawarra Mums, has founded the Kindness Crew. The Kindness Crew are all about promoting acts of kindness with a goal to make the world a better place. Jodie’s passion for her cause is infectious and it got us thinking about the benefits of kindness.
Kindness is one of the most researched areas of Positive Psychology and the evidence is very clear that kind deeds do more than simply help the person on the receiving end. Helping someone else is a great thing of itself, but if you are boosting your own wellbeing at the same time........ well, that becomes a compelling reason to look for opportunities for extra kindness
How does kindness increase wellbeing?
It seems that regularly performing acts of kindness can positively change both the way you see yourself and the way in which you perceive those you are helping. You are less likely to feel critical of someone’s situation if you choose to help them, and you may also start to see yourself as a compassionate person overall. In addition:
- Helping others gives you an opportunity to notice your own abilities and resources, leading to an increase in your confidence and self-esteem.
- Knowing that you have been kind to others in the past makes it easier to accept help when you might need it.
- Your act of kindness can kickstart a flow of kind acts and there are studies that show that watching others be kind is a big mood booster in itself. (this is why videos of kind acts regularly go viral on Youtube!)
- Neuroscience has revealed that both serotonin and oxytocin are released in our brains when we carry out acts of kindness. These hormones make you feel good and have been shown to have ongoing health benefits.
So where to start?
We encourage you to download the Kindness Crew Advent Calendar which you’ll find on their website: http://www.kindnesscrew.com.au/ and here are some other quick acts of kindness you could consider.
- Say hi to the woman standing alone at school pick-up time
- Grab a parking ticket for the person who parked next to you and is still getting out of the car (this happened to me the other day and this little gesture put a big smile on my face).
- Bring in your neighbour’s bin while you’re bringing in your own
We really hope that adding some extra kindness to the festive season becomes a lovely wellbeing boost for you and your family.
With best wishes from Kate and Deb
PS. If you’re keen to spread extra kindness we’d love you to share this article with your friends!