Share the love: being kind is good for you. Photo / Getty Images.

Acts of Kindness Are on The Rise: Here's Why Being Kind Is Good For You

Research suggest being kind makes you happy, and can inspire others to do the same

Small acts of kindness now play a bigger part in our lives. Over the past few months, acts of kindness are happening around the world.

"I think there’s a movement happening," says Jaclyn Lindsey, the co-founder of Kindness.org, which commissions research into altruism and promotes kindness initiatives. "Covid-19 has given an opportunity for people to demonstrate new ways of being kind."

These have included anything from the setting up of community groups to collect shopping for the vulnerable, or making food for the elderly.

Dr Oliver Scott Curry, research director for Kindlab (the research arm of Kindness.org) and a research affiliate at the School of Anthropology at Oxford University says being kind can lead to improved wellbeing.

"All the evidence suggests it makes you happy," says Dr Curry, as it "can make you feel that you’re part of a support network, or less isolated".

“You might feel you’re part of something larger than yourself, or it might help you make friends or earn the admiration of peers. Other people might think you’re a nice person and then choose to interact with you.”

Jaclyn Lindsey gave up her job to launch Kindness.org, because she believed kindness could “overcome the challenges in the world”. 

“It doesn’t take much to be kind,” she says. “We’re not looking for acts of heroism, but I do think people have a deep desire to be better and do better, despite the limitations we face. We’re prone to talk about the bad, but I’m a firm believer that the good is happening as much if not more. Kindness is everywhere.”

One act of kindness can even inspire another — the idea of "paying it forward". It's a win-win. - The Telegraph

READ: Five Things We're Getting Wrong When It Comes To Mindfulness

LOCAL ACTS OF KINDNESS

Feel Free: Period poverty is a difficult reality for many New Zealanders, impacting their ability to engage with work, education and life.
Dignity is a local certified B Corp that aims to make sanitary products accessible.

The "buy one, give one" model sees businesses pay a monthly subscription to give employees access to free sanitary products by Organic Initiative, and Dignity donates the same number of boxes to schools and community organisations for people who can't afford their own. Dignitynz.com

Sweet Idea: We all love a bit of baking, and the time and ingredients spent doing so demonstrate care and generosity. Good Bitches Baking is a registered charity with 26 chapters around New Zealand, whose volunteers bake and deliver "moments of sweetness" to communities having a tough time, including boarding houses, hospitals, refuges and hospices. Gbb.org.nz

Not So Lonely: In New Zealand's older community, loneliness can be as bad for health as smoking, and increase the likelihood of entering rest home care. Charity group Age Concern welcomes donations to help train and support volunteer visitors, or volunteer your own time as part of its Accredited Visiting Service.

These hourly visits once a week can make a real difference to a person's health and happiness. AgeConcern.org.nz

Become a Volunteer Driver: For those undergoing cancer treatment, the Cancer Society's volunteer driving initiative provides support for patients unable to drive themselves to treatment, helping take the stress off people and their families during a difficult time. Volunteer drivers require a friendly, caring manner, good driving skills and current full NZ driver's licence. DaffodilDay.org.nz

Join the Army: The Student Volunteer Army creates volunteering opportunities for young people in Aotearoa. Since March, students have assisted those most affected by Covid-19 including solo parents and essential workers, by delivering groceries and prescriptions for over-65s, immunocompromised and healthcare workers, and providing childcare. Sva.org.nz

 

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

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