The Benefits Of Compassion And Kindness
Most children are brought up in families where compassion and kindness towards other people is a common value. In these families, or even in whole communities and cultures, the impact of being kind and compassionate is seen as having a benefit to the other person.
In reality, showing compassion, or an understanding of the challenges of another, as well as being kind to others can have a very big impact on yourself as well. People that are naturally kind and compassionate, as well as those that are empathetic to the needs of others, often find they are happier and more content in life. They also tend to have a larger social network that is there to help them in times of challenge.
To understand how the sharing of your kindness and compassion with others has benefits for you as well, consider the possibilities of how this learned or innate behaviour can also be adding to your life in a very meaningful way.
Greater Personal Satisfaction
People that are reported as kind, empathetic and compassionate to others tend to rate themselves higher than average on scales asking for self-reporting on satisfaction and contentment in life.
There are several reasons why this may be true. In a chemical sense, acts of kindness and compassion are more common in people with higher levels of vasopressin and oxytocin, two important hormones that are associated with feelings of love and connectedness with others.
It may well be that people that are genetically predisposed to higher number of these receptors in the brain are not just more satisfied and content with their own lives, but are also able to give more generously of themselves to those they see struggling or in need.
Better Connection With Those Around You
In studies, those that are reported as being kind to others, easy to talk to and compassionate, tend to be seen as having better interpersonal relationships. While this may seem obvious, what the research also finds is that these superior connections with those around you result in more opportunities for advancement in a career as well as higher pay rates.
Being kind and compassionate is not a way to get a promotion, but those who have developed and cultivated these behaviours in a genuine and authentic way tend to have better outcomes in their career.
Lower Rates of Depression, Anxiety and Stress
It also makes sense that those that are more satisfied and personally content, as well as those that enjoy making others happy and content, have a lower rate of developing depression, anxiety and stress related symptoms.
Positive interaction with others, including pets and animals, has been shown in medical studies to lower heart rate and blood pressure, to increase feelings of positivity and happiness and to increase the "feel good" hormones in the body.
These specific medical issues also increase the functioning of the immune systems, which in turn fights off inflammation that can be a contributing factor to not just medical health issues but also mental health issues.
The amazing thing about being kind and compassionate is that it is a skill that anyone can learn and include in their day to day life. It doesn't have to take time, cost money, or require training; it just takes a new way of looking at how we interact with the world around us.
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Philippe Jacquet & Associates