Society functions best with the altruism, cooperation, compassion, and generosity of its members. Being kind improves the lives of everyone. Whether you say “hello” to a stranger in an elevator or watch someone’s pets while they are away, kindness toward others will improve your life in a myriad of ways.
Kindness promotes the well-being of everyone around you. Remember, you do not live in a vacuum. People rely on you, and you rely on others. Practicing kindness is just one way to improve the world around you. Kindness will also enhance your life. Be prepared for the fantastic effects of kindness in your life.
5 Ways Kindness Toward Others Improves Your Life
Kindness improves your life in a variety of ways and will help immensely in your recovery. Recovery is difficult enough, but when you practice compassion toward others and yourself, you may find recovery more attainable. The following are a few of the benefits of practicing kindness: kindness boosts your self-esteem, mood, immune system, and self-control and helps you be more kind to yourself. These are just a few of the benefits. As you practice kindness, you will receive many more.
#1. Kindness Boosts Your Self-Esteem
Have you ever noticed how you feel better about yourself when you do something nice for another person? This improvement in your self-esteem is a result of recognizing you are capable of helping others. In addiction, you may feel angry and selfish and as though you have nothing to offer the world. However, as you recover, you will discover that you have much to offer others. One way to increase the feeling of having something to offer is by offering kindness toward others.
People are naturally kind and giving. Being kind does not require money or extensive amounts of time. Simply offering a smile, opening a door, or even just listening as someone shares the frustrations of their day are all acts of kindness. Each of these acts promotes a feeling of well-being toward others and yourself as you realize your ability to do for others and act unselfishly.
#2. Kindness Toward Others Makes You More Kind to Yourself
Learning how to be kind toward others teaches you how to be kind to yourself. When you recognize how much a small act of kindness can improve someone’s day, you also acknowledge you are deserving of love and compassion. Practicing kindness toward yourself is essential in your recovery from addiction to alcohol and/or other substances.
#3. Kindness Boosts Your Immune System
While not often thought about, one benefit to prosocial behaviors like altruism and compassion is a boost in your immune system. After consistently practicing kindness toward others, you are better able to fight off illness. You will be more healthy and have more energy. Who knew opening a door for a stranger could be so beneficial to your physical health?
#4. Kindness Boosts Your Mood
One part of addiction is the depression you may have been treating on your own by self-medicating. Underlying comorbid conditions are not uncommon in people who struggle with substance use disorder (SUD). However, treating those conditions can make a radical difference in your life and help you be more kind to yourself and others. As you can practice kindness, you will discover your brain’s push to create more happy neurons. Two neurochemicals that promote happiness are serotonin and dopamine. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), acts of kindness promote the development of these neurochemicals in your brain, boosting your mood and helping battle depression and other mental health conditions. Practicing kindness boosts your mental well-being.
#5. Kindness Improves Self-Control
Self-control is an often sought-after virtue in today’s world. Reacting with frustration is much easier than taking a step back and evaluating how you want to respond. Many professionals recommend the STOP technique: stop, think, observe, practice response. By practicing kindness every day, you are rewiring your brain to respond carefully and compassionately toward frustrating situations. You are practicing compassionate responses and soon will be an expert at controlling your reactions to align with your values.
Things to Remember
Kindness does not always come easily in the early stages of recovery. You will have a learning curve on how to be kind toward others and yourself. Perhaps the most challenging acts of kindness will be toward yourself. Recognize self-care is not selfish, and you deserve to treat yourself well. Addiction to alcohol and/or other substances has robbed you of enough joy and self-compassion. You are naturally a kind and compassionate person. Give yourself permission to be who you were created to be. Give yourself permission to forgive yourself and accept kindness from yourself and strangers. Be kind to others and yourself.
Practicing kindness has been shown in many studies to be beneficial to your life. Kindness improves your quality of life and the quality of life experienced by others; the smallest act of kindness can have a profound effect. At Renaissance Ranch, we believe in the importance of practicing kindness every day. Renaissance Ranch is a clinically driven and gospel-centered treatment center providing support for every step of the recovery process, including detox and aftercare. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to alcohol and/or other substances, help is available. The time has come to ask for help and discover hope for healing. Begin practicing kindness toward yourself by asking for help today. You deserve to heal from addiction, and you do not have to do it alone. Call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898 and learn how we can help you discover a new life. A better life is waiting for you.