Did you know that our bodies naturally reward us for doing good? It's an interesting domino effect.
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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 Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.