It just feels good to do good, and there are so many chances to do so around us, big and small.
And it can turn into a domino effect. Watch here to get an idea of how this daisy chain can take off:
According to research, when someone performs an act of kindness, they're very likely to inspire others to do the same.
Acknowledging people for doing kind acts makes us all think about doing kind acts in our own lives — which is why KIND's #kindawesome campaign is ... well, kinda awesome. (It's catchy, OK?)
If you spot someone doing a kind act for someone else, you can show 'em some appreciation by sending them a #kindawesome card. Send it to them by going here. KIND will send them one of their snacks on the house!
And here's something else: Do you know why it feels so good to do good?
Turns out, kindness doesn't just have emotional and psychological benefits like you'd think — science says it can have physical ones, too. Let's take a look at four of them:
1. It reduces social anxiety.
Get this: A study at the University of British Columbia found that doing small acts of kindness for others can reduce social anxiety and social avoidance. (Who'd have thought?) In addition to increasing overall positive moods and relationship satisfaction, the participants who performed the acts of kindness for others reported reduced levels of anxiety in social situations. Neat!
2. It lowers your blood pressure.
Doing kind acts creates emotional connections, which releases the hormone oxytocin. Although typically linked to sexual intimacy, the hormone can be released by positive social interactions as well. Oxytocin causes the release of a chemical called nitric oxide, which expands blood vessels. The dilated blood vessels have more room for blood to flow, and voila, your blood pressure lowers.
3. Your overall positive moods will increase.
Some studies suggest that being kind to others doesn't just increase our positive moods during those moments of giving, but in general as well. The oxytocin released when we have positive social interactions, such as doing something nice for a stranger, is linked to increased optimism and self-esteem.
4. Your gut will be healthier.
That warm fuzzy feeling in your tummy after doing something kind for someone is actually a nice little cool down for your gut. A 2010 study by Dr. Michael Gershon, chairman of the department of anatomy and cell biology at Columbia University, found that oxytocin can cool down gastrointestinal inflammation.