The benefits of being kind are well-documented. Whether paying it forward with random acts of kindness or doing a good deed for someone you love, you feel happier and more fulfilled when you are kind.
If kindness is free, why don’t people practice this virtue more?
We know that kindness is contagious, but is it truly free? Let’s find out.
Is Kindness Free?
What price do we pay if kindness is free?
You don’t have to spend money to hold a person’s door open for them, sing a song at a retirement center, or perform friendly acts of kindness for others. Most ways to be kind are, in fact, priceless!
On the other hand, kindness costs our energy, effort, and free time.
For example, if we give up our train seat to a person who appears to need it more than we do, we may end up paying the price of standing the entire journey.
Or, if we volunteer our time at a local school or charity or help search for a missing neighborhood pet, we pay the price of missing out on time with our families.
So, kindness isn’t necessarily free, but its benefits almost always outweigh the costs.
The Many Benefits of Kindness
It feels good to perform a good deed or act with pure intentions. When we’re kind, our brain releases oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone” or “love hormone.”
This surge of oxytocin makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. It also has several scientifically-proven benefits, such as reducing stress and anxiety, improving cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure, fostering relationships, and increasing lifespan.
Give More Kindness to Receive More Kindness and Happiness
Moreover, what goes around comes around.
Dedicating hours of service to those in need, and acting kindly in general, changes the space around us for the better. When we’re kind, we not only make others feel good, but we also make ourselves happier in the process.
Kindness also begets more kindness. When we put kindness and compassion into the world, we open the door to receiving kindness in return.
This leads to a never-ending cycle of good deeds, happiness, and life satisfaction!
People who give money to charity also tend to be happier than people who don’t. So, even when it costs money to be kind, the mental health benefits are well worth it!
The takeaway? Always choose kindness – it’s good for you and great for the world.
Kindness Is Free: How to Pass It Along Without Paying a Price
Now that we know kindness doesn’t have to come with a price tag, how can we most cost-efficiently pass it along?
Here are a dozen ideas that require little time or money but can make a big difference in the lives of others:
- Smile and be friendly and polite.
- Let someone ahead of you in line.
- Help your elderly neighbors with chores like mowing the lawn or shoveling the snow.
- Write a positive online review for your favorite local business.
- Pay your colleagues a compliment.
- Check-in on your friends.
- Make a music playlist for a friend who feels down.
- Spend time playing with pets at the local animal shelter.
- Pick up trash in your neighborhood.
- Donate old clothes and blankets to a homeless shelter.
- Show courage and stand up for someone who’s being mistreated.
- Be a positive role model.
The price of being kind is well worth it. When you choose to be a kind person, you feel good and make the world a better place.
So, don’t hesitate to spread some kindness today – it’s (essentially) free!
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