The psychology behind kindness

The psychology behind kindness


People often remember any person who helped them and made their problems easier to handle. It’s like a feeling of “forever gratefulness” for them. Whenever they think about such past experiences in their lives, they get a feeling of gratitude for them. Acts of kindness are such a beautiful experience that cannot always be communicated in language. It is more than just behaviour, as it contains values, a strong desire to help others, and the moral philosophy of the individual.

What is kindness?

It is an act of choice to help others or yourself that is motivated by a genuine, warm feeling. It’s about feeling care for yourself or another person and doing things to make life better for them or yourself. It’s about being willing to speak up and take a stand for yourself or another person. It’s an act in which a person does not calculate or count what they will get in return. They perform the act of kindness because they feel for other people or their own suffering or pain. It is a type of behavior that involves acts of generosity, concern for oneself or others, consideration, and rendering assistance without expecting anything in return or reward. It is a language of humanity that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Also Read: Do you end up confusing people pleasing with kindness?

The difference between kindness, comparison, and altruism

It is more about action and decisions to help others or ourselves. It’s an act of voluntary choice that a person makes on the basis of their own value judgment. Compassion is about the deep feeling of one person’s pain and suffering for another person’s pain and suffering and a genuine urge to help ease their burden. Compassion involves high emotions and empathy for another person’s pain, but it does not always involve action to ease the pain. Compassion can be understood as one step ahead of kindness. Altruism is about being selflessly helpful for others.
Altruism is more about the moral philosophy of an individual, in which they decides to help another person. It’s simply a desire to help another person, not because they feel obligated to do so out of duty, loyalty, or religious reasons. Such people decide to uphold the moral code of helping or serving others.

Relationship between Kindness, Happiness, and Subjective Well-Being Many studies have been conducted to study the relationship between kindness, happiness, and subjective well-being, and it indicates that there is a positive relationship between kindness acts and the level of happiness. After practicing seven days of kindness act, happiness increases. It leads to a reduction in the risk of disease and enhances subjective well-being and self-esteem. Kind people reported experience of more happiness and have happier memories. Simply by counting their acts of kindness for one week, people appear to have become happier and more grateful. It was also shown in research that kindness positively influences the subjective well-being of a person and contributes to a good social relationship.

Also Read: The psychology behind Prosocial Behavior

Impact of kindness on the body:

According to experts, there’s strong scientific evidence that demonstrates being kind is good for the body and mind. Even witnessing acts of kindness and performing acts of kindness have positive, healthy side effects. When people watch acts of kindness on TV shows, they produce oxytocin (love hormones) in their bodies, which is proven to decrease blood pressure. Being kind to others stimulates the production of serotonin in the body. Serotonin also aids in healing physical wounds by decreasing pain and increasing endorphins. It also promotes a feeling of peacefulness and calmness that combats depression and anxiety.

Research studies also show that people who volunteer for multiple organizations or spend a significant amount of time serving others tend to live longer and have a lower chance of dying early than those who don’t. Hence, showing kindness also results in longevity.

Kindness and stress:

People who experience kindness or choose to do acts of kindness have a decreased level of cortisol (the stress hormone). Stress increases blood pressure, and kindness reduces it. Stress creates tension in the nervous system, pushing it into a ‘fight or flight’ response, whereas kindness relaxes the nervous system by guiding them to rest and relax. Stress weakens the immune system, and kindness boosts it.

Kindness in the 21st century:

People are now so occupied with their life challenges that they do not get a chance or time to think about other pain or suffering. Even when they witness acts of kindness, they feel this person is doing this act for publicity, fame, or to enhance their image in society. In any way, they find a motive for taking such action for that individual. In society amount of taker are becoming higher then amount of givers. People are becoming more self-centered, and people are jealous of others as other people have something they don’t have but do not feel often thankful for something they have but another person does not. Acts of kindness still exist, but in day-to-day life, even when they do not require any money or materialistic goods, people do not prefer to do them as they are engrossed in their own problems.

Also Read: Psychology behind Choices

Some simple acts of kindness that people can practice include:
  • Smile at someone who looks sad.
  • Stop to assist someone who looks lost.
  • Share your knowledge freely.
  • Mentor someone.
  • Write a thank-you note to someone who has helped your career.
  • Forgive someone who has wronged you.

It seems really hard for people to shift their attention from their problems and think about other people’s suffering, but once they start practicing it, this process becomes easier for them day by day. Acts of kindness are beneficial for both the one who does them and the person who gets them. Also, it helps the individual get a break from their suffering and see life from a different perspective. It is good for society and humanity. A simple act of kindness can elevate your mood, make your day, or make the day of another person.


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