Join the Kind­ness Rev­o­lu­tion!

Wor­ried about your fu­ture, your job, the planet... you name it? Well, help is at hand.

Cosmopolitan (India) - - YOU, YOU, YOU - By Lorna Gray; In­puts by Me­her Ba­jwa

If you feel the world has gone mad—from crazy cli­mate change to out-of-con­trol economies—the flip­side is that a new feel-good fac­tor is com­ing to town. Ap­par­ently, we’re all be­com­ing kin­der, bet­ter peo­ple as a re­sult of th­ese tur­bu­lent times. Ex­perts are pre­dict­ing a ‘moral re­newal’, with peo­ple learn­ing to rely on friends and fam­ily more than money. “It’s a nat­u­ral sur­vival instinct to shift your fo­cus closer to home and be nicer to friends and fam­ily dur­ing times of eco­nomic in­sta­bil­ity,” ex­plains Lon­don­based psy­chol­o­gist John McDer­mott. “It makes us want to pro­tect the peo­ple clos­est to us.”

But it’s not just fam­ily and friends. It seems peo­ple are also be­ing kin­der to com­plete strangers. “Be­ing nice to peo­ple is ad­dic­tive be­cause kind­ness makes you feel hap­pier,” says Dr David Hamil­ton, author of Why Kind­ness Is Good For You. “When a per­son per­forms an act of kind­ness, their brain pro­duces dopamine—as­so­ci­ated with pos­i­tive think­ing—and en­dor­phins, which are hor­mones in your brain that make you happy. Face-to-face kind­ness also pro­duces the bond­ing hor­mone oxy­tocin, which can lower blood pres­sure, plus it ben­e­fits the ner­vous sys­tem. Stud­ies show that peo­ple who prac­tise com­pas­sion have a more ac­tive va­gus nerve, which plays a role in keep­ing your car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem healthy.”

Some of you may re­mem­ber the

‘ran­dom acts of kind­ness’ vogue dur­ing the re­ces­sion in the ’90s, but the al­tru­ism we’re see­ing to­day is mag­ni­fied by the In­ter­net and so­cial me­dia. One could al­most con­clude that be­ing nice to oth­ers is the ul­ti­mate self­ish act: the buzz we get from be­ing good stems from our in­nate need to feel val­ued and to be­long. And an act of kind­ness in 2013 can pro­vide in­stant hits of both— men­tion that old lady you helped across the road on Face­book, and watch the com­pli­ments roll in. Such acts can even go vi­ral, like the now-fa­mous pho­tos of a po­lice­man in the US buy­ing a home­less man a pair of shoes, or the Free Hugs cam­paign that took over a few years ago.

From small be­gin­nings, mighty things grow

Around the world, peo­ple are spread­ing kind­ness to strangers. Blogs such as 366 Ran­dom Acts have sprung up, where peo­ple pledge to do a good deed a day for a year, or do 35 nice things for peo­ple when they turn 35. “Spend­ing money on oth­ers boosts hap­pi­ness— even when cash is tight—es­pe­cially if it’s for a wor­thy cause,” says John. “It pro­vides moral re­as­sur­ance and longterm sat­is­fac­tion, and is much more ef­fec­tive than treat­ing your­self, which only pro­vides fleet­ing hap­pi­ness.”

They were pretty sure they’d find a Chanel store around the cor­ner!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.