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Kindness: The Ripple Effect

Once you begin to acknowledge random acts of kindness – both the ones you have received and the ones you have given – you can no longer believe that what you do does not matter. –Dawna Markova

I can’t remember anytime I was ever kind to someone and I didn’t get a good reward for it. Sometimes, people repay kindness with wickedness, I know that. But the reward doesn’t really come from them so don’t be discouraged.

Kindness is a win-win-win scenario which produces beneficial effects in the giver, the recipient and the observer. People naturally feel good when they give, help or serve others and the recipient of such kind acts are usually very happy to receive such kindness.

It really isn’t difficult to be kind. Anybody can do it.

The act of kindness can be expressed in countless ways. A warm hello said to a stranger, giving money to those in need, allowing cars in front of yours in traffic, giving your seat on a bus to an older person…

According to Dr David Hamilton, these are the 5 side effects of kindess:

1) Kindness Makes us Happier
When we do something kind for someone else, we feel good.

2) Kindness Gives us Healthier Hearts
Acts of kindness are often accompanied by emotional warmth.

3) Kindness Slows Ageing
Ageing on a biochemical level is a combination of many things, but two culprits that speed the process are Free Radicals and Inflammation, both of which result from making unhealthy lifestyle choices. One study that used the Tibetan Buddhist’s ‘Loving Kindness Compassion’ meditation found that kindness and compassion did, in fact, reduce inflammation in the body, mostly likely due to its effects on the vagus nerve.

4) Kindness Makes for Better Relationships
This is because kindness reduces the emotional distance between two people and so we feel more ‘bonded’. We are wired for kindness.

5) Kindness is Contagious
When we’re kind we inspire others to be kind and studies show that it actually creates a ripple effect that spreads outwards to our friends’ friends’ friends – to 3-degrees of separation.

But one of the most rewarding things about being kind is seeing how it causes a ripple effect on others and encourages them to be kind too. I’ve seen in my life how the ripple effect leads to changes both externally and internally and its a path I’d like to encourage you to tread on.

Be kind to someone today, and in that way, we can make the world a better place.

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