My son Kai shared this video with me a few days ago – he said, “Mom, you have to see this. I know you’ll love it!”
And he was right. It’s 2-3 minutes long – but worth every moment. It needs no introduction. Check it out:
Unbelievable right! How can you not be touched by that?
Kai is 14. And he knows I have a soft spot for acts of kindness. They warm my heart, almost always bring tears to my eyes and, quite simply, they make me FEEL really good.
So it got me thinking… what are the side effects of kindness?
There is a growing body of research devoted to understanding the physiological effects of kindness. The verdict: Kindness doesn’t just make you feel good. Kindness is good for your health.
Here are just a few ways:
Kindness Boosts Your Immune System
Behavioral psychologist David McClelland had students watch a film about Mother Theresa’s work tending to orphans in India. After viewing the film, a rise in a protective antibody was detected in the students who viewed the film, in contrast to those who watched a neutral film.
This finding, famously called “The Mother Theresa Effect,” led McClelland to conclude that simply thinking about kindness can strengthen the immune system.
Kindness is Good for Your HEART
Kindness has been linked to the production of oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “cuddle hormone” because it is released when people bond socially. It’s also a cardio-protective hormone known to protect the heart by lowering blood pressure, especially “if the kindness is face to face and produces a smile,” says David Hamilton, PhD.
Kindness is an Anti-Depressant
Kindness increases the production of serotonin – a neurotransmitter often referred to as the “happy hormone” since it regulates mood, thwarts anxiety and depression.
Simply put, kindness makes you happy. And the most fascinating thing of all, kindness is GOOD FOR EVERYONE. These benefits have been found not only in the person delivering the act of kindness, but the person receiving the act of kindness AND even those that WITNESS the act of kindness.
I don’t know about you, but watching Mitchell’s story, and witnessing Jonathon’s heartwarming act of kindness makes me want to spread the kindness. It’s contagious.
SO I have a challenge for you…
The Kindness Challenge!
In the next 24 hours, extend an unexpected act of kindness. Any way you choose.
- Pay for someone’s coffee behind you.
- Compliment someone you don’t know in line or in an elevator.
- Shovel out a neighbor’s car.
- Take the time to thank that someone in town that you always see working really hard that you appreciate it – and you noticed.
And smile! And if it feels good? Try it again tomorrow. How many days can you string together? Because we know when you do, it benefits all of our souls and health… and inspires all of us to do more of the same.
Wanna live a stronger, healthier, happier life? Be kind!
Stay Koko Strong!
President & Co-Founder, Koko FitClub