Kindness builds connection and connection builds community, and with community comes togetherness, which turns to community perseverance. Togetherness is such a great protector of a community’s overall mental health. How do we get there in a society that is so individualized and separate from one another in real time? We start with being bold, intentional, and kind. One popular way that has swept America is to participate in a random act of kindness. This is where a person does something intentionally nice for somebody else, even a stranger, without expecting anything in return. Doing so makes the giver and the recipient feel good and forms a type of connection between the two that didn’t exist prior. This connection can then encourage the recipient to become the giver, and voila! a pattern of kindness is established in the community.
Why does kindness matter? Because it builds connection with others by increasing oxytocin, which can lead to increased energy, happiness, even an increased lifespan (Make Kindness the Norm). The kindness cycle keeps going, because when we are kind, it sparks chemicals in our brain, such as pleasure and feel-good chemicals that encourages us to keep going and encourages others to keep going, too. These moments of positive interactions and increase in feel-good brain chemicals serve as protective factors against mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, and even physical ailments such as pain and high blood pressure (Make Kindness the Norm). Kindness matters, because many people have been hurt in relationship with others, and we heal in relationship with others through positive interactions.
What can you do today to support kindness and togetherness in your community?
Make Kindness The Norm. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/the-science-