You might not be aware that today is ‘ Random Acts of Kindness Day ‘.
The foundation by the same name was set up to promote the importance of doing good for others.
It’s an opportunity to do something thoughtful for someone else and think about how you can incorporate more of this behaviour into your daily life.
Why do we value kindness?
From an evolutionary standpoint, the thinking is that it promotes cooperative behaviour, which was essential to us as a species when resources were scarce.
If you were kind to someone in need, it made them more likely to return the favour at a later point, thus ensuring your survival.
And kindness doesn’t cost much.
Often, it’s the simplest gestures that can transform someone’s day.
It could be helping a person carry a heavy suitcase, holding a door open for a shopper laden with bags or assisting someone in picking up their dropped belongings.
These acts of kindness benefit the people on the receiving end, but science has also shown that they make the giver happier and more fulfilled.
Here are five reasons why this is in the case:
1. Helps to create a positive self-identity
Like most people, you like to think of yourself as a good person and whatever you do to reinforce this belief helps to create a positive self-identity. By seeing yourself in this light, it helps to boost your sense of self-worth.
2. Makes you more attractive
Other people see kindness as a desirable quality. If people perceive you as a charitable person, it makes them more likely to be drawn to you.
3. Creates deeper social connections
Volunteering or helping out in your community helps to build new relationships. This strengthens your social bonds which are both rewarding and comforting because it gives you confidence that there will be support there when you most need it.
4. Develops your empathy skills
Being kind to people who are experiencing difficulties in life allows you to develop your empathy skills. This ability to put yourself in others’ shoes and ‘experience’ their emotions helps you become less judgemental and more forgiving.
5. It’s contagious
In the past, you might have experienced a rush of good feelings witnessing or reading about an act of kindness. Learning about the kindness of others inspires you to carry out more good deeds yourself. One good deed breeds another, in other words.
Give it a go
Why not challenge yourself today to perform one random act of kindness?
You might be surprised to see just how good it makes you feel, and hopefully, you’ll find a way to make it a daily occurrence.
Originally published at https://blog.42courses.com on February 17, 2021.