Did you know that our bodies naturally reward us for doing good? It's an interesting domino effect.
True
KIND®

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!

Then that person can keep the kindness going by recognizing someone else being kind and sending them a card. All GIFs via howkindofyou.com.

And here's something else: Do you know why it feels so good to do good?

More science!

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!

A social situation where you're the hero isn't so bad.

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.

Remember how stressed you were the last time you got a flat tire? Kindness helps both things!

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.

Turn that red into green by using green (get it?). It's a great way to spread positivity!

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.

Share the wealth!

Yeah. It's #kindawesome to be kind. Why not start a daisy chain today?!

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less

Images courtesy of Mark Storhaug & Kaiya Bates

True

The experiences we have at school tend to stay with us throughout our lives. It's an impactful time where small acts of kindness, encouragement, and inspiration go a long way.

Schools, classrooms, and teachers that are welcoming and inclusive support students' development and help set them up for a positive and engaging path in life.

Here are three of our favorite everyday actions that are spreading kindness on campus in a big way:

Image courtesy of Mark Storhaug

1. Pickleball to Get Fifth Graders Moving

Mark Storhaug is a 5th grade teacher at Kingsley Elementary in Los Angeles, who wants to use pickleball to get his students "moving on the playground again after 15 months of being Zombies learning at home."

Pickleball is a paddle ball sport that mixes elements of badminton, table tennis, and tennis, where two or four players use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball over a net. It's as simple as that.

Kingsley Elementary is in a low-income neighborhood where outdoor spaces where kids can move around are minimal. Mark's goal is to get two or three pickleball courts set up in the schoolyard and have kids join in on what's quickly becoming a national craze. Mark hopes that pickleball will promote movement and teamwork for all his students. He aims to take advantage of the 20-minute physical education time allotted each day to introduce the game to his students.

Help Mark get his students outside, exercising, learning to cooperate, and having fun by donating to his GoFundMe.

Image courtesy of Kaiya Bates

2. Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids

According to the WHO around 280 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the US, 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness and 1 in 20 experience severe mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Kaiya Bates, who was recently crowned Miss Tri-Cities Outstanding Teen for 2022, is one of those people, and has endured severe anxiety, depression, and selective mutism for most of her life.

Through her GoFundMe, Kaiya aims to use her "knowledge to inspire and help others through their mental health journey and to spread positive and factual awareness."

She's put together regulation kits (that she's used herself) for teachers to use with students who are experiencing stress and anxiety. Each "CALM-ing" kit includes a two-minute timer, fidget toolboxes, storage crates, breathing spheres, art supplies and more.

Kaiya's GoFundMe goal is to send a kit to every teacher in every school in the Pasco School District in Washington where she lives.

To help Kaiya achieve her goal, visit Staying C.A.L.M: Regulation Kits for Kids.

Image courtesy of Julie Tarman

3. Library for a high school heritage Spanish class

Julie Tarman is a high school Spanish teacher in Sacramento, California, who hopes to raise enough money to create a Spanish language class library.

The school is in a low-income area, and although her students come from Spanish-speaking homes, they need help building their fluency, confidence, and vocabulary through reading Spanish language books that will actually interest them.

Julie believes that creating a library that affirms her students' cultural heritage will allow them to discover the joy of reading, learn new things about the world, and be supported in their academic futures.

To support Julie's GoFundMe, visit Library for a high school heritage Spanish class.

Do YOU have an idea for a fundraiser that could make a difference? Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.