Why Be Kind To One Another: Kindness Pays

There are many reasons why we want to be kind to one another in the various aspects of our life.

They include our family, colleagues and strangers.

It can not only change the lives of the people we have helped, but also literally change ours as well, health wise.

The graphic above shows some of the amazing scientific benefits of kindness that you probably didn’t know about.

In a nutshell, being kind to one another may actually increase our lifespan.

Why is this so?

How An Act Of Kindness Impacts The Various Parties

An act of kindness occurs in situations where somebody is in need of help.

He is unable to help himself, or he is unable to help himself in time, or he is unaware that he needs help.

The helper gains satisfaction and joy in seeing the person needing help get better in some small or big way.

The person needing help and is helped will feel thankful and grateful to the helper for solving his problem. This reduces his distress and stress levels significantly.

It follows that witnesses to the act of kindness also experience what those 2 parties are experiencing. This is probably because they think they may be able to play the role of the helper and make a difference, or they could also be the person needing help who then gets the help.

All the 3 parties to an act of kindness will experience happiness.

In the presence of a good deed done by one person to another, our brain produces the chemicals that make us feel the joy, or reduces the chemicals that make us sad or stressed out.

And an increase in our lifespan may be the end result!

Witness Someone Being Kind To Another – And Notice How You Feel

Check out the video below.

You are a witness to the unquestionably talented artist who is sketching the people in front of him in the subway, and then giving the art away to them as a gift.

Be honest now. How did you feel when you saw that act of kindness?

How are you feeling now, after the video has ended?

How will you be feeling later, as you think back on what you have seen?

Note that all 3 parties feel similarly, to varying degrees.

Here’s the science behind what we are feeling — and how they are making us healthier!

Doing Acts Of Kindness Releases The DOSE Of Happiness

The 4 major chemicals released in our brain when we are happy are Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin and Endorphins (“DOSE”).

Dopamine is released in our brain when we have achieved a goal set.

Helping someone is a goal – and once we have done it, we feel immense satisfaction. This feeling is compounded when the person being helped expresses his gratitude and happiness for the help.

Dopamine is also called “Helper’s High” for this reason.

Oxytocin is released when we bond with somebody.

The act of helping another promotes this bond and we feel closer to them as a result. It also increases our self-esteem, reduces stress and plays a role in the health of our heart.

Serotonin makes us happier, calmer and more focused.

Low levels of it has been associated with depression.

It also regulates our sleep and digestion, as well as the health of our bones.

Endorphins are our body’s natural painkillers.

They help alleviate any pain we may have and maximise pleasure from an activity that is important to our survival.

This includes helping someone else who is in distress or pain. Endorphins enable us to continue providing the help even when we also experience some pain and discomfort in doing so.

Endorphins also help alleviate depression and reduce stress and anxiety, as well as give us confidence and help us to sleep better.

We get the full DOSE of Happiness by simply doing kind acts for others!

Here Are Some Easy Ways For Us To Be Kind To One Another

For us to have all the health benefits from being kind, we must do random acts of kindness regularly to make a difference in the lives of those we are helping.

Helping somebody just one time will give us a buzz of satisfaction, due to the release of the brain chemicals above. But it will quickly fade, along with all the benefits we get from them.

As such we have to follow up one act of kindness with more over a period of time so that we are in a state of happiness for the long term.

The best way to do this is to simply be kind to everybody, and make it a part of our routine for the rest of our lives.

Fortunately there are a couple of easy ways that we can do this.

Be Kind To One Another: Volunteer For A Cause

volunteers live longer

Being a volunteer for a cause involves multiple factors that enhance our wellbeing.

Depending on our roles, we may be exercising by moving a lot, perhaps shifting things around, walking to some place, or preparing meals in a group.

Exercise also releases endorphins, dopamine and serotonin — all of which provide the benefits stated above.

Group activities with other volunteers also promote the release of oxytocin which increases our bond with them, as does meeting the people the volunteering is meant to benefit.

Supporting a cause that is meaningful to us will again release serotonin which gives us the confidence to meet it.

As such, you can see that the multiple benefits from volunteering for a cause we believe in would appear to feed on themselves, which gives us even more satisfaction and joy, reduces our stress and makes us calmer.

Simply find a cause you can volunteer for and make the time for its activities every week if you can.

If you want to volunteer to help BeepBeep Nation out, simply become one of our supporters here.

Be Kind To One Another: Make A To-Do List

We can also make a list of some acts of kindness we can do for anyone, starting today.

And then we simply do the acts everyday, checking each one off as we go along, and knowing that whoever we are helping everyday will be better off than before we did anything for them.

This will take some time and effort especially when we have never done it systematically before.

But it will be truly worth our effort, and not every act of kindness requires a lot of time.

Sometimes a simple phone call to talk to somebody for a few minutes is enough to make a difference.

Other times you may be just dropping some stuff off for the person you’re helping and you’re done.

There are 2 ways to make a list of things to do:

We can either:

1. Think of a list of acts of kindness that we can do for anybody — be they strangers or people we know

You can simply use your phone’s task app to type in your list of acts of kindness for someone you know, or some stranger.

Then simply check off each one as you do it, when you can. Keep adding to it as you go along and pretty soon you’ll be doing it everyday.

2. We can wait for others to ask us to help and then offer our help to them, if we can indeed help them.

This second option has the advantage in that the help is tailored to what the requestor for help actually wanted help with.

We are not guessing, so the results will be better for the requestor. The list is automatically created for us to check out.

We then offer the help if we can. Otherwise we can just skip to the next request.

Because the same request is being seen by other users of the app within the vicinity of the requestor, other people may be able to help when we cannot.

In fact, the more users there are for the app, the more help offers a requestor will get, thus ensuring as many people as possible get the help they need.

Kindness Pays

BeepBeep Nation aims to get the majority of people in the world to help another as much as they can, as regularly as they can.

Apart from the health benefits to ourselves when we help others, we are also changing the lives of those needing help but can’t access help easily.

The end result is a kinder, better world for everybody even as we all get healthier at the same time.

There are many other positive side effects from practising kindness. BeepBeep Nation will facilitate this, and in the process, create amazing values for the world that don’t currently exist!

The BeepBeep Nation app which is being developed currently (with some awesome help from our supporters) can do this and much, much more!

If you would like to be one of our supporters, simply click here and let us know.

Volunteer Benefits – The Science

There are many benefits for volunteers. Here's the science behind compassion.

A volunteer benefits from doing their share in alleviating the suffering of their fellow human beings.

We frequently showcase this kind of stories — of people with exemplary acts of devotion and compassion or even people who do random little acts of kindness in their everyday lives.

Some people who enjoy helping out tend to do so for religious or spiritual reasons.

And whether it’s Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, or others, the religions of the world do have discourses of compassion.

Though I myself have always been curious about a different but equally important aspect of this human tendency: is there a science behind this?

volunteer benefits from psychologically and physiologically when doing good deeds.

I’m glad to report: yep, there is.

A study done by experimental social psychologists tested how the experience of compassion affected people’s behavior.

First, participants were told that they were supposedly part of an experiment about mathematical ability and taste perception.

Ostensibly, these were the instructions: participants were supposed to solve as much as they can of 20 math problems, in which they would receive 50 cents for each problem they solved correctly.

After being checked and getting paid, they would proceed to the taste perception phase. Here, participants were asked to prepare taste samples for each other by pouring extra-hot hot sauce.

It seems absurd, but here’s the catch.

The experimenters hired confederates to pretend to be fake participants.

Let’s call the first one Dan and the second Hannah. In one version of the experiment, Dan was asked to cheat badly and very obviously on the math problems, so that the real participants would see.

Afterwards, in the taste perception phase, the experimenters noticed that the real participants poured bigger servings of hot sauce to Dan the Cheater.

But doesn’t this show revenge instead of compassion?

experiment to see the effects of compassion on volunteers.

Well, in another version, Dan the Cheater was asked to do the same thing but now Hannah was gonna play a role.

Before the taste perception phase, Hannah would cry and the experimenters would ask why.

She’d say she recently found out about her brother’s terminal illness. Increasingly emotional, Hannah asked to be excused from the experiment.

In this version, even though the participants still witnessed Dan cheating, they did not pour bigger amounts of hot sauce in the taste perception phase.

What does this show?

First, the compassion that the participants felt predicted how much hot sauce they were going to give to another person.

And second, more importantly, the compassion that people feel towards one person can predict how they will act towards others.

This experiment is only one of many studies that are now delving into the idea and reality of compassion.

Recently, a conference has even been held to discuss it, joined by representatives from different fields such as evolutionary psychologists, clinical psychologists who deal with children suffering from trauma, charity owners who conduct social and emotional skills workshops for the youth, and others.

brain scans to determine the different states in the brain that correspond to compassion.

Using brain scans, one doctor even explained how different parts of the brain are activated when people are in a “compassionate state” or “non-compassionate state.”

So interestingly enough, compassion actually seems to have physiological, neurological effects.

A volunteer benefits both his body and mind.

But now here’s the thing. My personal epiphany, if you will.

We can participate in all these discussions, conduct our own experiments if we’re in the field, compile all these data, but maybe it’ll be a bit more exciting to see for ourselves.

There’s all this science about compassion, we know that. But somehow I think the reality of compassion can’t be proven by numbers.

Tall order but maybe here’s what we can do: go out there, help people out, and prove it for ourselves.

Help people out and reap the benefits as a volunteer.

If you are interested in reading more scientific information about kindness or compassion, here’s a list of various quantitative and qualitative studies about the topic.

Then again, if you are more keen to join the action, check out the upcoming BeepBeep Nation app. You might be surprised at the many ways you’ll see how compassion exists.