Did you realise the massive importance of kindness? There are so many health benefits of kindness. It’s astounding. Take a look.
The health benefits of kindness are so great that they could convince Scrooge himself to be as kind as Santa Claus (which I guess he is at the end of the movie when he buys the turkey… but I digress).
When we say “kindness,” of course, we are talking about being generally good and giving to other people.
That’s the general definition of kindness.
The scientific and psychological definition of kindness is a little different.
Psychological speaking, kindness is all about generosity, care, compassion, love, affection and nurturance and much more.
Kindness is actually quite fascinating.
Take a look at some of the ways different psychologists have defined kindness. *and also look at my guide to Universal Loving Kindness (the spiritual kind of kindness).
Psychological Definitions of Kindness
- Ellen Berscheid calls the strength of kindness “Compassionate Love.”
Daniel Batson’s definition tells us that kindness involves empathy, which is roughly translated as the ability to assume the position of others or to understand how others feel, being upset by another’s suffering and uplifted by another’s joy.
Kristin Neff’s research tells us that self kindness involves three components: self kindness (understanding our own short comings and not doting on failure / pain), self humanity (perceiving our own experiences as part of humanity rather than as reflections of ourselves as individuals) and mindfulness (holding in balance our sense of success / failure, happiness / pain etc.).
Patty O Grady has written a great article about the definition and effects of kindness on Psychology Today.
So that’s a definition of kindness.
But just why exactly is kindness so important? I mean, other than the fact that we all want to be good people and love being nice?
Mental Health Benefits of Kindness
Kindness helps maintain good health and diminish the effect of major and minor diseases and disorders. (PROOF)
Kindness promotes the release of endorphins that make you happy, promote calmness and improve your sense of well-being. (PROOF)
Kindness can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. (PROOF)
Kindness decreases negative feelings like anger and depression. (PROOF)
Recalling previous acts of kindness increases positive feelings. (PROOF)
Not to mention, kindness makes people like you and want to be with / around you. (No need for proof).
Physical Health Benefits of Kindness
Stress related health problems improve after kindness. (PROOF (see above))
Depression, anxiety and other mental health issues can cause heart attacks and other health problems. Kindness helps reduce the risk of these issues. (PROOF (see above))
Kindness promotes the production of T cells in the immune system, which help fight illness and disease. (PROOF)
Did you know about this importance of kindness and the health benefits of kindness? Isn’t it absolutely amazing?
Just being kind can have such a huge impact. And thankfully we’re all really kind people (in my experience, 99% of the readers of The Daily Meditation are extremely kind people, so I guess that means you’re all happy and successful too. Woo hoo!) Love you guys!
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