“People will forget what you did, they will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou
This is one of my favorite quotes. It’s so simple but so true. In fact, we teach that quote to the coaches at FitELITE as they work through our Evolve Coaching Development Program. Having a positive impact on someone really comes down to one thing - Kindness
Kindness feels so “soft and fluffy”, but it has some well research-backed benefits.
Kindness is a superpower. A superpower that allows you to be an effective leader, a trusted co-worker, a great friend, an affectionate spouse, and a caring parent.
Unlike other superpowers...kindness is contagious!
Kindness is so simple, but the impact is far-reaching. Everyone who witnesses an act of kindness benefits in a couple different ways. The very act of seeing kindness (even toward someone else) improves your mood and increases the likelihood of showing kindness toward others. This is the concept of paying it forward.
So, a very simple act of holding the door for someone or paying someone a genuine compliment actually has a multiplying effect. That one simple act is much more powerful than one might believe.
Want to be more kind going forward? Good news! Research shows that those who remembered a previous act of kindness experienced more happiness and are more likely to be generous in the future.
Do you believe that most of your happiness comes when you are able to be of service for others? Take a minute and think about it...I think you’ll find that to be true. So, happiness comes from a simple act of kindness that leads to another act of kindness, that leads to another act of kindness, and so on...
Kind people also tend to be healthy people. You know how it feels when you do something kind for someone. Well, that’s serotonin and endorphins at work. Serotonin is responsible for the feelings of well-being and satisfaction, and endorphins give you that “helper’s high” feeling.
Kindness can also reduce anxiety and stress. In fact, studies show that those who actively practice kindness experience a substantially improved positive affect. Positive affect relates to moods like joy, interest, and alertness.
Would you believe kindness is an anti-inflammatory? Crazy right! Acts of kindness helps the release of oxytocin, which reduces inflammation and can impact the chemical balance or your heart. Oxytocin releases nitric oxide, which dilated blood vessels. Oxytocin is known as a “cardioprotective” hormone because it lowers your blood pressure and protects your heart.
We all seek connection. These positive connections with others actually reduce stress levels. So, kindness helps build strong connections with others and may be an effective way to reduce stress.
Kindness is not just an outward offering toward others. When you are kind to yourself, you are a better version of yourself. You can offer more of yourself to others. So, being kind to yourself, helps you be kind to others and live a happier life. Sounds like a win-win to me!
While kindness is a superpower, it does not require superhero level effort. Be on the lookout for opportunities to be kind. Holding the door for someone, a genuine compliment, a “bless you” when someone sneezes, offering spare change when someone is short at the checkout lane, helping someone carry something to their car...such simple acts that have a profound impact.
Yeah, kindness feels soft and fluffy, but the benefits are rock solid and impactful!
I challenge you to try a 30-day kindness challenge. Every day, for 30 days, seek an opportunity to be kind to another person. At the same time, find ways to treat yourself with kindness. Let me know how you feel after those 30 days!