Kindness: The Fantastic Natural Drug

by Terrah Lozano · 3 comments

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(Photo Copyright Terrah Lozano – Santa Fe, NM USA

Small random acts of kindness go a long way. But how?

There have been studies done that show both the giver and recipient of kindness feel emotions of happiness and naturally have elevated seratonin levels. (Of course, you can also achieve the same effects with drugs such as Prozac, but then that wouldn’t be natural would it?)

You’re probably like, “I could have told you that without a study.”

Well, the interesting part is that any person simply WITNESSING the act of kindness is positively affected as well.

Imagine that! – Acts of kindness are contagious, just as a yawn or a laugh.

We can create an abundance of happiness naturally in our own bodies by simply observing acts of kindness. We can also perform and receive acts of kindness to affect others and make them and ourselves happy.

Think of a time when you witnessed a true act of kindness; a puppy being rescued or a child being loved.  Most of us can’t help but smile by just watching the act and we want to mimic that act in some way.

The side affect of this “natural drug” called kindness is more happiness. What a thought!

This brings me to a story that made me feel warm and fuzzy.

I receive email updates from The Huffington Post as a news brief and this article (and video, if you click on the link) in particular really caught my eye:

5-Year-Old Girl Feeds Nearly 18,000 Hungry San Franciscans; What Can You Do?

The premise behind the story is that this 5-year-old girl named Phoebe saw homeless people in need and found a way to raise the money to help those people.  She saw no obstacles and only thought of solutions.

The beauty of Phoebe’s story is that many people gave small contributions to her goal to raise money for the food bank.  Those small contributions added up to one very significant contribution.

As they say, “One truly can make a difference,” and this just shows that as a whole we can make a huge difference and every little bit counts towards that huge difference.

Are you feeling intimidated?

It does seem a bit intimidating when you see a wonderful story like this in the news. You have several emotions inside you all at once.  You are first inspired and excited but at the same time you think, “Wow, what have I done lately?”

Guilt starts to come upon you but the true answer is that you probably have done a lot lately, just not something deemed newsworthy like in the article.  We seem to belittle our own accomplishments and acts, thinking it wasn’t significant because we don’t think we are significant as people.

It comes down to respecting yourself and realizing the impact you can have.

Some of us think that in order to really make a difference we must go after something huge, like save the world, cure cancer, or promote world peace. But, none of those worthy goals could be achieved without first starting by doing random acts of kindness each day.

Although you can certainly do larger, in terms of the affects you have, acts of kindness, it is still good to go after things you can fit into your life right away instead of thinking you will do it after you get that raise or later when you have more time.

But, later may never come.

So, What Can You Do… Now?

Thinking of the small things you can do puts things into perspective. Things like:

  • Offering someone a silent blessing or a smile
  • Volunteering an hour a week
  • Sincerely asking the clerk at your local market how they are doing can make their day. Have you ever had a really bad day and someone said something nice to you, gave you a compliment? It felt really good, almost refreshing didn’t it? Kindness is the ultimate stress relief.

When you stop thinking about how bad your day is going or how you dread the deadline you have and on and on, and you look at things from a different perspective, really open your eyes to someone else, it is the ultimate high.

When you get that email prompting you to call your senators or spread the word about a hunger issue and you think, “I am so busy with work and I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to affect things that significantly,” you are wrong!

If everyone thought they would have no affect by doing small acts of kindness each day, no good deeds would ever get done.  Actually, we are each a part of a large puzzle and we could easily be a missing piece in contributing to this kindness.  We must acknowledge how important we are to the whole of society. 

We are so important that we can affect change at huge levels.

Conclusion – You feel needed and on purpose.

There is no reason every one of us shouldn’t feel that way every day.  This is not the bliss we feel when we are on our well needed two-week yearly vacations.  That is good too, but this bliss we can control and we can give ourselves at our own will, anytime.  (of course some of us control our schedules and can take time off anytime but the point is that it benefits us all to do random acts of kindness on a regular basis).

The good news is that by doing that for someone else you receive the same, if not more benefits.

This is the beauty and the intrigue with the human race – Random acts of kindness really can change the world and make you feel really good in the process!

Instead of feeling bad for not doing enough after reading this article, just realize the smallest thing can make the biggest difference and say to yourself “I can do anything!”

In fact there are millions of unsung heroes out there just wanting to do their part.

What is it that you have always wanted to do? What is your part? Tell us what you did today to make someone’s day by interacting below.

For me it’s being a part of world issues, children, poverty, and all the organizations that go along with it.  I want to learn from Jeffrey Sachs and give love to all those children.  I also want to help those same issues closer to home.

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linettezimmerman August 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm

The smallest acts of kindness are always the one's that seem to make the biggest difference! As you stated just a smile.
I have seen on television these guys from Purdue University(?) going around handing out compliments…what a concept! What remarkable men!!! hope this catches on!!!

Happiness should be an epidemic and could be if we all just learn that a little love goes a long way!

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