As I continue my journey of uncovering world acknowledgement days, I was pleased to discover that World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on November 13th. This day was launched in 1988 by The World Kindness Movement, which is an organization dedicated to creating a kinder world by inspiring individuals and nations towards greater kindness. On this day each year, individuals and organizations endeavor to make the world a better place by promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness. What could be better than that? (World Kindness Day 2021, n.d.)
What is so appealing about kindness is that it surpasses the boundary of emotions. Kindness is found in behavior or action. Kindness can be perceived in many ways including friendliness, generosity, and consideration, but I found the following definition in an article that truly stood out. Kindness means “offering the best of yourself to someone whether it be a minute, second, or longer.” Offering the best of yourself is significant, but when you tag on that this individual never asked for your help and you expect nothing in return, the act surges to new heights. (Stoerkel, 2020)
I know what you’re thinking. What could this possibly have to do with wellness? Studies have shown that being kind can improve your emotional wellbeing. Consider how heartwarming it feels after being kind to a loved one or even a stranger. It’s a win-win. The recipient of your kindness feels good and you, potentially, may feel even better. Why is that? In scientific terms, you have increased the neurotransmitters in the brain that make us feel satisfied, otherwise known as serotonin and dopamine. Being kind can also reduce our blood pressure and levels of cortisol, which is a naturally occurring steroid hormone that plays a critical role in helping the body respond to stress. Failure to manage cortisol levels can put you at risk for numerous health problems including anxiety, depression and even heart disease. (Sweet, 2021)
Hopefully you are convinced of the benefits of showing kindness and are eager to hear (and jump on) this month’s challenge. Each week for the month of November, you are to perform one random act of kindness. If you google this title, you will find hundreds of suggestions from holding the door open for someone to buying supplies for a local animal shelter. You decide how big or how small or how often. You may find that you want to perform an act of kindness every single day. When you think about it, kindness is a spirit. It generates more than just good will. It’s contagious and inspires others to follow suit. One might dare to say it could even change the world…
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Stoerkel, E. (2020, October 30). Can Random Actos Of Kindness Increase Well-Being? Retrieved from positivepsychology.com: https://positivepsychology.com/random-acts-kindness/
Sweet, I. (2021, February 10). How Random Acts of Kindness Can Boost Your Health During the Pandemic. Retrieved from verywellmind.com: https://www.verywellmind.com/how-random-acts-of-kindness-can-boost-your-health-5105301
World Kindness Day 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved from awarenessdays.com: https://www.awarenessdays.com/awareness-days-calendar/world-kindness-day-2021/