Being kind is not only cool, but it’s also an amazing life strategy, whether you are in high school, college, or early in your career. It is good for business, good for others, and really good for yourself.
Practicing kindness—low-key, random acts, or otherwise—have been shown to have positive impacts on mental and physical health, and happiness generally. Why does kindness increase happiness levels? Because it promotes gratitude, empathy, and compassion. This magic mix of goodness leads to a sense of interconnectedness with others. It is being connected to others that creates a sense of community and belonging, and those feel-good vibes we are all on the hunt for.
According to research reported by Psychology Today, when we practice kindness:
- It releases energy. We feel better, and the recipients of our acts feel better, which then makes them more likely to be kind to other people.
- It can release neurochemicals that result in the sense of well-being, the “helper’s high,” as Allan Luks and Peggy Payne describe the healing power of doing good. In fact, the neural circuits that are involved in chemical “highs” are the same ones activated by kindness and compassion.
- It can reduce pain. Dopamine, serotonin, and endogenous opioids are released by kind behavior.
- It enhances the release of oxytocin in interactions where two or more people are engaged in kindness behavior. In turn, bonds between those who are kind to one another are strengthened.
- It enhances both physical and mental health. Many physical ailments are either precipitated by or aggravated by stress. Kindness reduces stress.
Simply put, being kind makes ya feel good! But don’t forget, it is also great for business (for your own company of your employers), and especially important in marketing and for entrepreneurs. Jill Lublin’s book The Profit of Kindness: How to Influence Others, Establish Trust, and Build Lasting Relationships is on our to-read list this spring, and we suggest you check it out, too, if you want to start to better incorporate kindness into your career development strategy.
So get out there and practice kindness today. Start with a random act of it; it won’t take long for it to become a habit. You—and the world—will be better for it!
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