The Science of Kindness
“Did you know there are scientifically proven benefits of being kind?
Watch our new science of kindness video to learn more, then scroll down for some specific benefits to being kind.”
Researchers at Kindlab analyze the results of [kindness] studies. Kindlab is a division of the nonprofit group Kindness.org. The Kindlab team is interested in the effect that helping others has on the person doing the helping.
Kindlab’s goal is to use scientific data to spread good deeds around the world. Oliver Curry is a research director at Kindlab. “The more we understand why people are kind, the better we’ll be able to . . . make the world a kinder place,” Curry told TIME for Kids.
The warm feeling of wellbeing that washes over you when you've done something kind isn't just in your head.
It's in your brain chemicals, too.
Acts of kindness can release hormones that contribute to your mood and overall wellbeing. The practice is so effective it's being formally incorporated into some types of psychotherapy.
A recent study reported on how people felt after performing or observing kind acts every day for seven days…Happiness was measured before and after the seven days of kindness. The researchers found that being kind to ourselves or to anyone else — yes, even a stranger — or actively observing kindness around us boosted happiness.
“I think we can all agree that whatever it is, human nature originates in our brains. We’re not humans because of our feet (even though they are evolutionarily important); we’re humans because of our minds.
Our brains are products of evolution. And we now know that evolution works by these main mechanisms:
Kindness is more than behavior. The art of kindness means harboring a spirit of helpfulness, as well as being generous and considerate, and doing so without expecting anything in return. Kindness is a quality of being. The act of giving kindness often is simple, free, positive and healthy.
Social connection is vital to well-being and is often impaired among individuals with anxiety or depressive disorders, yet [Cognitive Behavioral Therapy] may be ineffective at improving social connection. Acts of kindness may more effectively improve social connection and related dimensions of well-being than prevailing CBT techniques.