Do you really want to be happy? Everyone says yes, but the gateway to happiness makes some of us frown. Do you know how to make yourself happy? Without an external source? And more importantly, what are the health effects of kindness?
The gateway to happiness can be seen as giving to others, which is why we are so drawn to giving to others. Think about this: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – The Dalai Lam
Some of us may feel that, if we give too much, our generosity will be taken advantage of by others. And in many instances this has been true, we have difficulty trusting others as a result. This is true, and a few very selfish individuals can possibly perceive your good intentions as weakness. Without boundaries, one can easily find themselves a doormat to abuses, mistreatment, and manipulation.
However, people who seek to take advantage are in the minority. To quote Gandhi, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” Think about it, change has to start somewhere, so why not start with you and me, right now? This directly relates to taking full responsibility in how you show up in the world, unrelenting and willing to take a stand somewhere in life authentically.
Acts of kindness that can produce health effects from kindness can include donating anything randomly, without seeking reward, and anonymously, without telling anyone. This is good for you, the universe, and those who receive your acts of kindness. Every time you give, you will receive, even, if you are not looking for a reward. Even still, giving without expectation of receipt is even better as it has health effects of kindness that include feelings of accomplishment, support, sincere gratitude, and more. These feelings inspire and motivate us to treat ourselves better.
Try it, and you will see, what some call, karma, the law of cause and effect. It works like this: For every action there is a reaction. Let’s make sure the reactions to our actions are good ones. More so, what we are putting out into the universe we will receive and in addition the things that are being mirrored back to us are areas in which we can work on to heal within ourselves.
It is easy to become bitter when things do not go as planned, however if we think about the health effects of kindness then we can agree that it is worth it in the end. That does not mean we give without balance. In fact, we give to ourselves first before we give to others so we maintain our balance. If the acts of kindness are done out of guilt, obligation, shame, or imbalance we will not gain the benefit and in fact it will have the opposite effect on us and our health.
Danny Thomas said, “All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”
Share everything and you will achieve a legacy of kindness. Share nothing and people will, do their best, to forget you. When my life is over I will only leave memories, in the minds of others, and I want them all to be good ones. This means to share yourself, your authentic self, your truth, who you are and who the creator made you to be in life. He placed your desires on your heart for a reason, and the expressions in your heart for a reason.
So, how much should you give? It can start with, heart felt, kind words, a note, a card, or a flower. You will find that your gifts or donations won’t make you poor. As a result of this, you will see most people, naturally, return kindness to you. These acts of kindness must be genuine and from the heart within balance.
It can be something as simple as supporting a small business or attending your friend’s band performance. These acts of kindness do not need to cost you anything to have the health effects of kindness. When you participate in life with others it creates this sense of belonging and acceptance which builds self-esteem, and self-worth.
You should also take the time to be polite to all of the people who perform services for you, every day. Many people do not bother to say hello to the maid, janitor, parking attendant, or service clerk. I always ask for people’s names as a practice, even though I am terrible at remembering them. It is important for me to offer effort especially to those with whom are supporting me and helping me in life.
Once you do little acts of kindness like learning their name, you would be surprised how many of them will go out of their way to give you good service, just by addressing them by their first name.
If you establish sincerity and trust wherever you go, you will be loved by your fellow man. It is really that simple. As Mohammed said, “A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world.”
So go out and spread kindness, it will touch many and you will feel it too. Our world is filled with so much pain and suffering, where it is not necessary. If we infuse some support, love, and acts of kindness into our world then we are able to make our world a more living place.
Blessings and namaste
Hofmann SG, Grossman P, Hinton DE. Loving-kindness and compassion meditation: potential for psychological interventions. Clin Psychol Rev. 2011 Nov;31(7):1126-32. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2011.07.003. Epub 2011 Jul 26. PMID: 21840289; PMCID: PMC3176989.
Wang Y, Fu C, Liu Y, Li D, Wang C, Sun R, Song Y. A study on the effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and loving-kindness mediation on depression, rumination, mindfulness level and quality of life in depressed patients. Am J Transl Res. 2021 May 15;13(5):4666-4675. PMID: 34150046; PMCID: PMC8205847.
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