A simple act of kindness
"A tree is known by it's fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness sows love" - Saint Basil
Last week, I was sent 3 gifts in the post. One beautiful bunch of flowers from my 'baby' sister and 2 gift boxes full of thoughtful items. One friend had put in a face pack, my favourite tea and chocolates in a stylish box which I always appreciate. Another had put in the biscuits we always like to eat together and dip in our milky brews... (M&S choccie rounds - no less, heaven!) evoking some good memories, candles and a lovely card. Each arrival from the postman made me feel elated! It had been an especially tough week for me and our family but it had gotten me thinking, despite living and breathing Mamabox daily, I had forgotten essentially at the very root of it - just how powerful and uplifting an act of kindness could be.
It didn't matter to me especially what was sent, how much money was spent... although I was kind of excited about a chocolate binge, but each of these special people had taken the time out of crazy busy lives to do something just for me. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude and infinitely better, nurtured, loved and cared for.
An act of kindness, big or small, pre-meditated or spontaneous, how it can shift our mood, change our psyche, alter our outlook... and have a knock on effect - likes dominoes! It inspired me to think with how powerful this was, what more could I be doing on a daily basis? Life is so busy for all, but that little time spent clearly can mean so very much.
Princess Diana wisely said, "Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do this for you."
According to David J. Hamilton according to his book The 5 Side Effects of Kindness, when you take the time to enact an act of kindness, whether you expect anything in return or not - this is what you get.... pretty good value :)
Kindness Makes us Happier
When we do something kind for someone else, we feel good. On a spiritual level, many people feel that this is because it is the right thing to do and so we’re tapping into something deep and profound inside of us that says, ‘This is who I am.’
On a biochemical level, it is believed that the good feeling we get is due to elevated levels of the brain’s natural versions of morphine, causing elevated levels of dopamine in the brain and so we get a natural high!
Kindness Is Good for the Heart Acts of kindness are often accompanied by emotional warmth. Emotional warmth produces the hormone, oxytocin, in the brain and throughout the body. Wahoo!
Kindness Slows Ageing Ageing on a biochemical level is a combination of many things, but two culprits that speed the process are Free Radicals and Inflammation, both of which result from making unhealthy lifestyle choices. Research now shows that oxytocin (that we produce through emotional warmth) reduces levels of free radicals and inflammation in the cardiovascular system and so slows ageing at source. One study that used the Tibetan Buddhist’s ‘Loving Kindness Compassion’ meditation found that kindness and compassion did, in fact, reduce inflammation in the body.
Kindness Improves Relationships This is one of the most obvious points. We all know that we like people who show us kindness. This is because kindness reduces the emotional distance between two people and so we feel more ‘bonded’. It’s something that is so strong in us that it’s actually a genetic thing. We are wired for kindness.
Kindness is Contagious When we’re kind we inspire others to be kind and studies show that it actually creates a ripple effect that spreads outwards to our friends’ friends’ friends – to 3-degrees of separation. Just as a pebble creates waves when it is dropped in a pond, so acts of kindness ripple outwards touching others’ lives and inspiring kindness everywhere the wave goes.
Food for thought and inspiring and something I am taking away this Valentine's Day and moving forward.
A simple act of kindness, a smile, a hug, taking the time to truly listen, a package in the post - let someone know you are thinking about them today and truly Feel The Love xxx
Mamabox offers thoughtfully curated, luxurious gift boxes for new and expecting parents with a focus on their wellbeing and care. For each box sent, a care kit is also sent to a Mother&Baby in need in the UK via The UK registered charity Ourmala and their Happy Baby Project. This includes essential but expensive items such as nappy cream, baby wash & shampoo and Dr PawPaw multi-use healing balm. Send a box and be safe in the knowledge that you have generously enacted not one but two acts of kindness. For enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for the support. Mama's Supporting Mama's 💛