Photo by Francois Léca
A helpful stranger to my rescue
A couple of weeks ago I had to get stitches. I was hurrying to my car before the usual afternoon deluge of rain and slipped and fell.
I didn’t realize that head wounds bled so much and this scared me. I managed to get up and sit in my car where I tried to stop the bleeding, which was not an easy task.
Suddenly, there was a knock on my window. This woman had seen the accident and came through the pouring rain to make sure I was okay. She stayed with me until the bleeding was under control. This meant a lot to me because I was shaken up.
I don’t remember saying thank you, but I hope I did. We were strangers and I must have looked pretty scary, but she showed kindness to me when I really needed it. She even stood in the rain to do it.
After things settled down, I got to thinking about this woman’s good nature and started doing some research about kindness. I learned some interesting things.
The benefits of random acts of kindness
Did you know that kindness can improve your health?
According to a study done by Allan Luks and Peggy Payne, authors of The Healing Power of Doing Good, there are many health benefits to being kind and helping others. They include:
- A rush of euphoria, followed by a longer period of calm after performing a kind act, which the authors called a “helper’s high.” (I like the idea that we can “get high” on kindness:~)
- Improving stress-related health by reducing feelings of depression, hostility and isolation that may lead to physical problems.
- Increasing feelings of joyfulness, emotional resilience and vigor.
- Decreasing the intensity and the awareness of physical pain. (I found this one very interesting!).
- Maintaining a sense of well-being for hours or even days when remembering the helping act. (WOW. This is a nice benefit of being kind!)
- Increasing self-worth, happiness and optimism, as well as a decrease in feelings of helplessness and depression.
I like to think that the woman who helped me received these health benefits and more. That’s the other thing that’s great about kindness; it’s contagious! When you are kind to someone, that person is more likely to be kind to someone else.
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This post is the first of a two-part series on kindness. Next Thursday, I will be doing an interesting interview with Tim Piazza, the developer of a new social site related to kindness. I hope you will return and learn more about this creative and kind man!