Written by: Tracey Clayton
Everyone has experienced at least once in their life the mixture of excitement and satisfaction upon doing something that made other people happy. Giving is more fulfilling than receiving – we’ve heard this a million times, but have we ever taken some time to think about it and truly understand it? Being generous and kind makes us happy, and in turn, that happiness promotes other good deeds. In a way, kindness promotes life and it’s a never-ending ride, if we dare to join it.
The Psychology Behind Kindness
The feeling of happiness evoked by the act of kindness isn’t a random thing, but rather a legitimate psychological reaction firmly grounded in science.
The flood of positive emotions that appears after we’ve made someone happy is a result of two hormones responsible for good mood – oxytocin and dopamine.
Speaking in psychological terms, a “helper’s high” is the feeling of satisfaction we get after putting a smile on someone’s face. There’s extensive amount of research done on this subject, which has showed encouraging results. One such study conducted in the UK, involved participants taking a survey which measured life satisfaction.
A Circle of Virtue
A desire to develop and constantly improve social connections is what makes us human.
Taking care of each other is a primal instinct, and this encompasses generosity as well. Kindness creates social links which are vital for our existence; therefore, human species wouldn’t have survived long without it. Generosity has kept the world going, and it’s energy that self-propels.
An act of kindness makes people happy, which in turn makes them eager to do more good deeds. Researchers from Harvard Business School put this theory to the test. The participants of the study were asked to recall the times when they spent money on others and on themselves and to tell how happy they feel now thinking about it.
The findings showed that people generally felt happier when recalling occasions when they spent money on others, rather than those when they did it for themselves. In addition to this, the participants who were happy about their prior good deeds were also glad to repeat them in present. This suggests that an act of kindness leads to satisfaction, which promotes further kindness.
The Importance of Raising Children to be Kind
Mass media promote materialism and greed, and it can be challenging to keep children away from their negative influence.
Children need to be taught from an early age about the importance of being modest and generous to others. That’s hard to do in today’s time when the only thing that matters is having the most expensive tablet or iPhone.
Parents need to explain their children the difference between things they want and things they really need. Home, food, and clothes are essential, everything else is of secondary importance. This doesn’t mean that your child should never buy things they want; it simply teaches them about moderation.
Clothes are a necessity to have, but it’s not necessary to follow the most expensive trends – little children will still look amazing in cheap clothing for kids and they will learn that modesty feels and looks better than lavish spending.
Kindness is the Road to Success
Selfishness and greed cause us to feel insecure and don’t allow us to give our best.
Kind people usually aren’t self-centered and this enables them to perform better.
They are free to express themselves in any way they want, which increases their chances of becoming accomplished people. What’s more, you only become richer.