I have been reading a lot about kindness, gratitude and its connection joy. I have been keeping a gratitude journal and thinking of small ways that I can be kinder in my day to day life.
Today while buying a coffee at my local cafe, I handed the waitress my loyalty card to be stamped. She handed it back to me smiling and said, “the next coffee is a freebie”. Inspired I handed it back to her and said, “Keep it, use it to pay for the next person’s coffee order”. She was taken aback and smiled, “that is so kind!” “Okay”.
I collected my coffee from the barista and went back to my office smiling. I was bursting with the excitement and happiness in anticipation of making some one’s day. Literally colours felt brighter, people seemed friendlier, my morning was fantastic.
Later in the day when I saw the waitress, she told me ” I gave your free coffee to a guy who was in after you, he was so surprised and happy. It felt good to give him the free coffee. We were all talking about it.”
The Chain Reaction of One Kind Act
When I reflected on the morning, I realised that my one act of kindness had a ripple effect that affected more than just me.
Let’s look at who was affected:
When I made the kind gesture my body was flooded with a rush of hormones designed to make me feel joy.
According to fellow kindness blogger Jen Sievers , I was experiencing a “helper’s high”. The delicious cocktail of endorphins and hormones like oxytocin. This boosts our sense of connection, love, trust and optimism, which increases our serotonin levels and reduces our cortisol levels. In short being kind makes us happy.
I didn’t just stop with me. I transferred my “helper’s high” to the waitress and the barista who served the free coffee. Whom in turn would have been friendlier to their customers and been more inclined to give excellent customer service. The customers in the cafe would have left happier because of the friendly service and would have passed their joy on. If you are kind it encourages others to be kind too.
The Recipient of the Free Coffee
The recipient of my random act of kindness, would have received benefits far beyond a free cup of coffee. There would have been the euphoria of been given an unexpected surprise. He too would have been hit with a cocktail of feel good hormones and left the cafe with a feeling of joy.
I imagine that he would go on to tell his friends and family about the pleasant surprise that he received that morning. He would have been more likely to be in a great mood and to be friendlier and kinder to others. Those that he would have come in contact with would have been positively infected with his joy and would have passed this on.
What have I learnt from my kindness experiment?
- Kindness packs a powerful punch. One small act of kindness has far reaching consequences and is felt by many.
- Kindness is addictive. The kinder you are the more you want to be kind.
- Being kind brings you joy. Practising gratitude and kindness makes you happy and attracts good things to you.
- Actions speak louder than words. If I want the world to be a happier, kinder more caring place it starts with me.
Just one question remains, what kind thing will I do today?
Follow Jen Siever’s Facebook group On Joy here if you would like to chat to fellow joy and kindness seekers.
Are you inspired by the kindness of others? Do you want to practise more kindness in your daily life? Do you have a kindness story to share, that will inspire others?
Join The Kindness Project Facebook group.
It is new and just starting out, but I am hoping that if we all share our kindness stories, random acts of kindness and thoughts on being kind then we can truly change the world one kind act at a time.