Kindness The Real Fountain of Youth. Its Humble Power and How It’s the Magic that Lights Up the World
By Jackie White
We all are looking for ways to stay young, look good, and feel good. We try to eat right and exercise to keep ourselves healthy. We might even buy some expensive cream that vows to take years off our time-worn face! We seemingly are searching endlessly for a fountain of youth. Well, I have news for you. This elusive font has been right under your nose and within easy reach all along. The magic that can keep you young and healthy can be found in simple kindness.
Kindness really is like a magic spell or potion because it provides us just what we needed even when we didn’t even know we needed it. Kindness is free to give and to receive and in both instances it lifts your mood and restores your faith in humanity. Kindness is made up of simple words that aim to give love, spread joy and sprinkle happiness from one human to another. Seriously, what could be better than that?
Have you ever delivered an off-hand comment to someone complimenting them on their new haircut? It may not have been totally thought out, it was just a simple string of words in your mind. But, to the receiver, you have just brightened their day and brought a smile to their face. It was easy for you to say, yet its impact is far greater than you may ever know.
I have seen this time and time again when I walk my dog. She is a lover of all and delights in any interaction with anyone. She smiles (yes, my dog actually smiles), wags her tail, and greets the person like a long-lost friend. Most people respond by saying she just made their day. You see, dogs get it. All we need is to spread some kindness to each other and the world lights up.
If you need more hard-core evidence about the importance of kindness, let me share the following bits of science-backed facts sourced from the Random Acts of Kindness website:
Heart-Health: Witnessing acts of kindness produces oxytocin, occasionally referred to as the ‘love hormone’, which aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart-health. Oxytocin also increases our self-esteem and optimism, which is extra helpful when we’re anxious or shy in a social situation. Natalie Angier, The New York Times
Pleasure: According to research from Emory University, when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver. This phenomenon is called the “helper’s high.”
Mental Health: Like most medical antidepressants, kindness stimulates the production of serotonin. This feel-good chemical heals your wounds, calms you down, and makes you happy! Talya Steinberg, Psy.D for Psychology Today
Lifespan: “People who volunteer tend to experience fewer aches and pains. Giving help to others protects overall health twice as much as aspirin protects against heart disease. People 55 and older who volunteer for two or more organizations have an impressive 44% lower likelihood of dying early, and that’s after sifting out every other contributing factor, including physical health, exercise, gender, habits like smoking, marital status, and many more. This is a stronger effect than exercising four times a week or going to church.” Christine Carter, Author, “Raising Happiness; In Pursuit of Joyful Kids and Happier Parents”
Holy Cow, you cannot deny the power of kindness! Begin today with some self-kindness and then extend that out to others because by being kind to others, you are lifting your ownself up too. That’s the magic.
Hold the door for someone
Compliment someone’s outfit
Help a neighbor in need
Listen when someone speaks, no, like really listen so they know they have been heard
Make someone laugh
Go visit someone who may need to see a friendly face
Say something nice to a random person
Bake cookies for the first responders in your area
Write a letter to a friend. Blow their mind with a thoughtfully crafted gift of kindness in the mail!
Get up before your spouse and make the coffee
You see, it’s super easy and the rewards are for all.
Spread some kindness today and Shine On!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.