When we think « Well-being », we think about sport, a new activity like painting or even a massage. We can find everything we need to be well, to feel well, but we need time and money. Two things we don’t like to waste.
However, there is an easy way for our well-being. Something that doesn’t cost any money and doesn’t take a lot of our time: being nice. Oh I can see you are skeptical and I imagine you thinking “nice enough” as in “a stupid person.” Truth is for years we were told emotions were weaknesses and the qualities a man needed to be rich and powerful (how to live otherwise) were strength, ambition and cruelty.
“Man is a wolf to another man” they say as if our instinct was to be aggressive. Yet, human nature is good. Humans have two hormones, oxytocin and vasopressin, our body associates with love an generosity. So, in their DNA men and women have compassion they have to cultivate instead of burying it under cynicism and indifference. It is also interesting to note that wolf is a sociable animal and violence between wolves is rare.
On reason that should encourage us to be nice is kindness helps us to live longer. Yes! Being kind is excellent for our health. Our brain loves it. A scan of our brain shows kindness is perceived as pleasure like eating chocolate. Imagine the happiness we get when we share some chocolate! Every time we help someone, we improve our health. Studies have shown people with illness were doing better when volunteering.
Above all, kindness shut up the little voice in our head that bother us during all day long. In fact, rather then letting our thoughts concentrate on ourselves, kindness opens us toward other and releases us from our worries. Just as much as kindness reduces stress the same way.
All right, it’s not always easy to be kind especially with some annoying people. We need to keep in mind being nice with other is being nice to ourselves. Meaning, when I am angry and aggressive toward other, I am less well with myself. Being kind feels good.
Of course, don’t forger kindness is free. It costs nothing and brings back no money. It’s for the beauty of the gesture and the happiness that goes with. Others can refuse our compassion. They have the right to say no and they don’t have to be thankful. Sometimes, our kindness can be seen as an intrusion. We have to accept it and retreat softly until our kindness is welcome. If we use kindness as a way to put ourselves first, it’s less effective. Kindness is humble.
Here are some ideas of free kind gesture: smile, look at the cashier at the supermarket, hold the door, listen carefully to your friends…every act count!
Being kind is not a fault; it’s a quality and a quality that help us feel good. So, dare to be kind!