Improving Mental Health Through Acts of Kindness
There are many scientifically proven benefits of being kind. Showing kindness promotes an increase in life satisfaction, positive mood, and is associated with a decrease in social avoidance and feelings of depression. Easy to understand and reinforce, as the website, Random Acts of Kindness, purports, kindness is teachable and contagious. And the benefits reach beyond the individuals delivering kindness. Those experiencing the kindness of others reap the benefits, as well. "The positive effects of kindness are experienced in the brain of everyone who witnessed the act, improving their mood and making them significantly more likely to “pay it forward.” This means one good deed in a crowded area can create a domino effect and improve the day of dozens of people! "Jamil Zaki, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University for Scientific American, July 26, 2016
Promoting acts of kindness by students in the school setting is a topic highlighted in a recent ENews publication from Edutopia. In the article, Simple Ways to Encourage Kindness in Students of All Ages by Laura Lee, the author shared five strategies to engage students in kindness activities. Complete with templates and explicit examples, these activities are simple, novel and free for educators. Establishing daily routines for prompting acts of kindness creates a foundation of healthy practices for all students.