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The Ripple Effect: Exploring the Power of Acts of Kindness

Now that I’m living in Weaverville, North Carolina I can tell you first hand southern hospitality is alive and well. The people are friendly, eager to say hello and converse. They’re also the most courteous drivers I've ever shared the road with. Being exposed to consistent acts of kindness reminded me of a research study that I once was told about. The study assessed people’s blood pressure and other physiological changes that took place when they performed an act of kindness and when they received an act of kindness. The research found that subjects physiological response was positively effected, it lowered their blood pressure. One variable that surprised the researchers was that those observing an act of kindness also experienced positive physiological benefits.

Here are some other benefits of acts of kindness:

  • It helps you live longer

  • Increases immune response

  • Decreases disease rates

  • Decreases rates of depression

  • Improves sense of life satisfaction, it's going to make you happier

  • May reduce chronic pain

Some simple examples of acts of kindness:

  • Look someone in eyes and smile

  • Say hello

  • Give someone a compliment

  • Spend time with your loved ones or a complete stranger

  • Giving someone your undivided attention. This means while having a conversation, look at the person, truly listen and don’t interrupt them. This makes people feel like they're being heard.

Acts of Kindness are contagious. You've heard of the term, pay it forward. If you witnessed an act of kindness, you're more likely to then reciprocate and give the gift of an act of kindness. Just remember back to times when you gave and received an act of kindness and how that made you feel. The feeling of gratitude and well being. I’m challenging you to go out and consciously perform acts of kindness. It’s good for your health and well-being as well as those receiving and witnessing the good deed.

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